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Hot property market puts heat on entire industry

MEDIA RELEASE
20 October 2003

Hot property market puts heat on entire industry

Rapidly increasing property prices and a buoyant domestic economy have placed pressure on the entire construction industry, including the processing of resource and building consents.

Auckland City statistics demonstrate a significant increase in building activity planned for the city, with the number of resource and building consent applications up as much as 42 per cent from the same period last year. Other local authorities have similar trends.

Paul Sonderer, Director Customer Services says the surge in building activity across the city is putting pressure on all aspects of the building industry, including the council’s consent approval processes.

“Like everyone else in the industry, we are having trouble recruiting skilled people, with a recent recruitment drive only finding two suitable applicants.”

Resource and building consent processing and Land Information Memorandum (LIM) staff are working overtime, staff from other areas have been re-deployed into processing, consultants who have the capacity to help are being used, and the human resource team is investigating a number of different avenues for recruitment.

“We are working with local tertiary institutions on a recruitment drive as well as central government agencies such as the Immigration Service to recruit internationally,” says Mr Sonderer.

Compared to monthly numbers for 2002, building consent applications lodged in 2003 were up 42 per cent for July (an increase of 348 applications), 29 per cent for August (an increase of 236) and 15 per cent for September (an increase of 111). This is an average increase of 29 percent for the quarter.

Due to the substantial increase in consent applications, people should allow extra processing time when lodging their applications, as it is likely to take a little longer than usual.

“We are hoping to have the backlog cleared as soon as possible but until then we are advising applicants that the process may take up to 20 working days longer than usual. Importantly, we will not be taking shortcuts or relaxing standards demanded by the various statutes and codes of compliance.

“We apologise to any customers who are affected by these delays and reassure them that we are doing everything we can to get through the large number of consent applications within an acceptable timeframe,” says Mr Sonderer.

Ends

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