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Dangerous, Insanitary and Earthquake-prone Buildings Policy

Update: The submission period has now closed. We will update this page as the project progresses.

We are reviewing our Dangerous, Insanitary and Earthquake-prone Buildings Policy, and are seeking public feedback on the proposed amendments.

What is the purpose of the Dangerous, Insanitary and Earthquake-prone Buildings Policy?

The Building Act 2004 requires councils to have a Dangerous and Insanitary Building Policy, and to review that policy every five years to make sure it’s fit-for-purpose. The purpose of this policy to reduce public health and safety risks that unsafe buildings could present to our community. Policies on dangerous and insanitary buildings are required to state:

  • The approach that the council will take in performing its functions under the Building Act 2004
  • The council’s priorities in performing those functions
  • How the policy will apply to heritage buildings

All buildings are required to meet the applicable standards when they are built but they may become dangerous and/or insanitary overtime.

What are the proposed amendments to the policy?

The most significant proposed amendments are:

  • Considering affected buildings within the policy to give effect to section 132A of the Building Act 2004
  • Removing references to earthquake-prone buildings from our policy, as this is no longer required under the Building Act 2004

As part of this review, we propose to retain a reactive policy approach. This means that investigations into whether a building is dangerous or insanitary will be initiated only when a trigger occurs. Examples of such triggers include identification of danger by Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ), reports through complaints, or discoveries made during daily council operations.

Alternatively, a proactive approach could be implemented, involving a systematic survey of all buildings in the district. However, with over 30,000 buildings to assess, this approach would lead to increased costs to support the necessary resourcing.

You can read detailed information on what’s proposed in the Statement of Proposal here.

How can I have a say?

Share your feedback by completing the online submission form here

While we prefer you to give your feedback online, you can also download our print-friendly submission form here and send it to us:

  • By email: submissions@fndc.govt.nz
  • In person: Drop off the submission form at any FNDC service centre or library (you can ask our friendly customer service team to print the form for you)
  • By mail: Strategy and Policy Team, Far North District Council, Private Bag 752, Kaikohe 0440

Alternatively, you can request to share your feedback verbally by emailing us at submissions@fndc.govt.nz.

We must receive your feedback by 5pm Wednesday 17 July 2024.

Note: Anyone is invited to submit feedback on this consultation, whether as an individual or on behalf of an organisation, however, any submissions that are out of scope, offensive, inappropriate, or late may not be accepted by the council. You will be notified if your decision is not accepted and, where appropriate, invited to resubmit.

Any submissions that are made on the Dangerous and Insanitary Building Policy become part of the public consultation process. The collection and use of personal information by the Far North District Council is regulated by the Privacy Act 2020. Please note that your submission or a summary of your submission will be treated as public information and may be published on the council's website and made available to elected members and members of the public as part of the consultation process. Your name and contact details (address, phone number, email) will only be used for administrative purposes - such as the council contacting you to update you on the outcome of this consultation and letting you know about future consultations

Questions and Answers

Section 131 of the Building Act 2004 requires all councils to adopt a policy on dangerous and insanitary buildings, which must be reviewed every five years. The Far North District Council’s Dangerous, Insanitary, and Earthquake-prone Policy was last reviewed in October 2014 and is now overdue for review.

Under section 83 of the Local Government Act 2002, community consultation is required before the Council can make a final decision on the policy.

Please note that if the review is not completed within the required period, the policy will still remain in effect.

The policy currently takes a reactive approach to implementing legislative requirements. This means that necessary assessments and actions are triggered by specific events, such as observations by staff or contractors during their general duties, or complaints from members of the public.

Both Kaipara and Whangarei District Councils also follow reactive policies. A proactive approach, involving a systematic survey of all buildings in the district to identify dangerous, insanitary, or affected buildings, would incur additional costs. With over 30,000 buildings in the district, additional funding would be required to support the necessary resourcing to undertake such a comprehensive survey.

Maintaining a reactive approach is proposed to efficiently manage resources while fulfilling legislative obligations.

You can read detailed information on what’s proposed in the Statement of Proposal here.

  • Consultation opens: Monday 17 June 2024
  • Consultation Closes: Wednesday 17 July 2024
  • Verbal Submissions: TBC
  • Policy adopted by Council: TBC

Supporting Information