Council delivering 99% of building consents on time

Published on 22 December 2020

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International Accreditation New Zealand will renew the Council’s Building Consent Authority after staff successfully processed more than 99 per cent of consent applications in 20 days or less since 1 August.

The team is currently taking 13 days, on average, to process consent applications and has processed 100 per cent of applications within the 20-day statutory timeframe since September. Compliance since 1 July is 99.55 per cent over all.

The October assessment is a big improvement on last year when the agency, which is appointed by the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment to audit Building Consent Authorities, identified a number of critical non-compliance issues.

The latest assessment conducted at the end of October identified only a small number of general, non-compliance issues, many of which were addressed during the audit. The remainder will be addressed before February 2021, which will result in the Council retaining its Building Consent Authority accreditation.

Mayor John Carter says the improvement is due to strong leadership, a concerted effort by staff to meet targets and effective support from other parts of Council, notably business intelligence and online services specialists.

“We are now moving towards a full online service for consents, making it much more streamlined for customers and staff. We are also filling several staff vacancies that have undermined our capacity to meet statutory obligations at a time when the number of consent applications was growing significantly.”

Over the past five months, building consent applications in the Far North have grown on average by 9 per cent compared to the four-year average.  

Mayor Carter says staff are now fully focused on maintaining 100 per cent compliance for building consents and code compliance certificates until the next audit due in 2022. 

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