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Consents, compliance and customer services

Consents, compliance and customer services
September 2, 2005

Results from a customer satisfaction survey indicate improvement in consents and compliance at North Shore City Council.

The results from the recent environmental services survey relating to the building, land use and subdivision consents process show increased customer satisfaction compared to last year.

Top of the poll with a 96 per cent satisfaction rate, an increase of 17 per cent on the previous year, was the customer advisory service. This includes telephone and front-of-house inquiries and assistance with lodging consents and viewing property files.

North Shore City's general manager environmental services, Alison Geddes, reported the survey results yesterday at a meeting of the council's regulatory committee.

"We've had some major challenges this year including the new policy, procedures, and training requirements that come with the introduction of the Building Act 2004.

"We're also in the process of reviewing all of the council's bylaws, a number of which have now been adopted, we've introduced of a major waste minimisation programme, and a new grading system for all food premises across the city," says Ms Geddes.

"As a result of the new Building Act, we now have 20 days in which to process consent applications and we're doing over 70 per cent of these on or before time. This compares well with other local authorities and our own performance last year.

"Sharing some of our waste minimisation services with Waitakare City and Rodney District councils will save $300,000 a year and we've successfully introduced new pool and spa pool safety regulations," she says.

North Shore City's regulatory committee chairperson, Callum Blair, is also pleased with the result.

"They're a reflection of all of the work that has been done to improve our consents processing timeframes and our levels of customer service. We're doing well in other areas too especially in successfully enforcing our building regulations and tree protection rules," he says.

"It's good to hear that in recent months the excellent work of staff within the environmental services division has been recognised and appreciated by their peers, industry professionals, government departments and especially by our customers," says Councillor Blair.

"We continue to excel in the area of environmental programmes and education with the Safe Summer campaign, Enviroschools, Sustainable Living campaign, Waicare and other initiatives that are reaching far and wide to our communities. The number of people participating in environmental education initiatives has risen from 12,000 to almost 23,000.

"Our focus is on continuous improvements in all areas and our priorities for this year are customer service and building upon this year's achievements. There are always new challenges in regulation and compliance but we have dedicated and loyal staff and we'll support them in their work," Callum Blair says.

The report highlighted the recruitment of quality staff in a competitive market and receiving the internationally recognised standard of 'Investors in People' as other successes.


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