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Pressure For Councils When Private Certifiers End

Councils Will Be Under Added Pressure When Private Certifiers Disappear

Manukau Mayor Sir Barry Curtis says he is deeply concerned about the impact on councils around the country if private certifiers are no longer able to operate.

Private certifiers will be forced to close early next year as a result of the Building Act which came in this year.

Sir Barry says this is not a wise move and he warned the government against it, even though it appears to have arisen from a mistake in the legislation. “I understand there was no intention to do away with private certifiers, but that is exactly what will happen. The effects will be immense. Probably it will have the biggest impact on Manukau because we have an intense level of building and the highest concentration of private building certifiers.”

There are 11 new housing starts per day in the city, as well as many starts on commercial buildings. Sir Barry says, “The city is growing like Topsy but that level of growth puts huge demands on planning and regulatory staff. It is already very difficult to get and retain enough skilled professional staff.”

One third of the consents are being handled by private certifiers in Manukau City. The rest are processed by the council.

“The City Council strongly supports the private certification industry and relies heavily on its contribution to growth of the city. I accept there are some poor performers, such as ABC, but that applies to any industry or sector. However most private certifiers are professional and competent.

“Our consenting staff in Manukau have a huge workload to deal with because of the sheer number of applications. Recently they have been overwhelmed with consents and, once the private certifiers are no longer able to operate, they will have an even higher workload due to an avalanche of extra work. They will struggle to cope.

“There is still time to fix this problem and I am urging the government to change the legislation urgently to allow private certifiers to remain in business.”

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