Complaints and enquiries

Process for complaints

A customer has a right to appeal or complain about any building control function the Building Consent Authority (Council) undertakes and to have this heard. Complaints provide feedback about service experience and give us the opportunity to improve our performance. You can make a complaint in person, however it must be in writing. Complaints not made in writing or made anonymously will not be considered.

Complaints can be made through our request for service process or directly to the Building Manager, Far North District Council, Private Bag 752, Kaikohe.

What is a building control function?

A complaint in relation to building control is defined as a complaint about:

  • meeting statutory time frames
  • lodgement or vetting of building consent applications
  • processing of building consent applications
  • inspection of work under construction
  • issuing of a Notice to Fix
  • issuing of code compliance certificates
  • issuing compliance schedules
  • failure to provide appropriate information or advice
  • fees and charges
  • failure to meet legislative or Building Code requirements.

What information is required?

  • Date incident occurred
  • Nature of complaint (guidance information, vetting, lodgement, inspection, Notice to Fix, Code Compliance Certificate, Compliance Schedule)
  • Copies of any supporting information (if applicable)
  • Relationship (customer, regulator, or stakeholder)
  • Name and contact details

How we handle your complaint

All complaints will be acknowledged upon receipt and where possible responded to within five working days. Sometimes depending on the nature of the complaint it may take a little longer to investigate or we may have to come back to you for further information.

We aim to be accessible and responsive by:

  • Making it easy for you to make a complaint
  • Acknowledging your complaint within five working days and keeping you update on progress
  • Being efficient in how we consider your complaint
  • Communicating in way that is easy to understand

We aim to be open and fair by:

  • Treating you with respect
  • Dealing with complaints in an objective way
  • Considering things from your perspective so we can address what you think is wrong
  • Ensuring we provide accurate information in a timely manner

We aim to continually improve by:

  • Assessing issues on their own merits
  • Using complaints as an opportunity to improve how we operate
  • Acknowledging when we have made a mistake and striving to make it right
  • Ensuring our staff understand the importance of good processes and complaints resolution

Do I have a right of appeal?

Yes, if you do not agree with the outcome you may request a review of the decision. All appeals must be made in writing setting out the reasons why you disagree with the decision.

Determinations

If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your appeal, you can ask the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) for a determination.

A determination is a legally binding ruling made by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) about matters of doubt or dispute to do with building work. They are not for civil disputes or disputes about workmanship. 

To find out more about determinations, go to MBIE website. Check the previous determinations on the website – some of them might be about situations like yours. A determination can be appealed to the District Court.

Compliments

If you liked the service we provided, we would love to receive your feedback. Compliments are welcomed as they serve to acknowledge good performance. You can forward these to the Building Manager, Far North District Council, Private Bag 752, Kaikohe.

Inquiries

If you wish to make an inquiry about a building control matter we are happy to assist although we cannot provide design advice, our team can explain the consent process and answer questions of a general nature. We also provide access to a building control officer at our Kerikeri office during normal working hours. We will respond to telephone inquiries immediately if an officer is available to take your call or within one working day.