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Red tape cut around resource consent processing

Red tape cut around resource consent processing

Red tape is being cut in successful trials of new procedures for processing resource consents at Auckland City.

“As committee chairperson, I am very pleased to see that the time for processing has significantly improved, with 80 per cent of consents processed in 20 days – a big jump from this time last year,” says Councillor Juliet Yates, chairperson of Auckland City’s Regulatory and Fixtures Sub-Committee (RAFs).

As part of the Birch Review, Auckland City invited a panel of external experts to examine the city’s regulatory consent processing. The panel’s report was completed in July 2002, and made a number of recommendations, including “maximising delegations” to senior staff and suggesting more flexibility for “duty commissioners” to assist the Regulatory and Fixtures Sub-Committee.

Instead of all applications having to be reviewed by the full sub-committee, a system of “duty commissioners” has now been introduced. The result has been a significant reduction in the time taken to process resource consents through the decision-making process, without reducing the quality of decision-making or scrutiny of consents received.

“By reducing processing time from a minimum of five working days and maximum of nine working days, to between one and two working days, we have had very good customer feedback,” says Councillor Yates.

Another recommendation from the Regulatory Review addressed the “clarifying and simplifying of resource consent processing”. A number of new initiatives have been implemented with more to come, including bookable pre-lodgement interviews for building consent customers.

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