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Timeframe for building consents improves

MEDIA RELEASE
7 September 2005


Timeframe for building consents improves

The waiting time for building consents is improving, with Auckland City announcing that processing delays have reduced significantly.

Twenty five per cent of building consents are being approved within 48 hours. Sixty two per cent are now being completed within the statutory 20 working day timeframe, up from 46 per cent in June. Ninety per cent of consents are being processed within 38 days.

Jenny Oxley, group manager of Auckland City Environments, says the improvement in processing time is the result of several factors.

“We’re continuing to do a lot of work on improving our internal processes but there has also been a decrease in the number of building consent applications and this has certainly helped,” she says.

“We have also been working in partnership with the Property Council and other industry representatives to look for possible solutions. We are most appreciative of their support and ideas.”

Auckland City had 1,400 building consents in progress in July. This figure has come down to 908 in August. The city’s target is to have no more than 800 consents in progress at any one time.

“We’re certainly making good progress towards the statutory twenty working day timeframe and hope to meet this over the next few months,” says Ms Oxley.

Ms Oxley acknowledged the current delay would still be of concern to customers and that in turn was of concern to Auckland City.

“While the processing delays have improved, we recognise that having to wait longer than 20 working days will still not be acceptable to many customers. We continue to ask for their patience and cooperation.”

Auckland City is continuing to use consultants as a temporary additional resource and staff are working weekends.

Ms Oxley emphasised that customers can assist the process by:

- providing all the information required. Information often left off applications include specific details on drainage, stormwater, materials, cladding detailing and fire engineering requirements

- applying for a Project Information Memorandum (PIM) before the building consent. This will avoid unnecessary delays in the consent process while issues such as drainage, planning or redesign are addressed

- having a pre-lodgement meeting with Auckland City staff for complex consents where any issues can be discussed early in the process.

The delay in processing building consents has been caused by a combination of Auckland’s construction boom, a shortage of skilled staff and the introduction of the Building Act 2004. The Building Act 2004 has introduced a number of new requirements, including the need for more detailed information to be submitted with building consent applications, which means consents take longer to process.

ENDS

Note to editors:
The statutory 20 working day timeframe is counted only while the building consent is in progress. If more information is required, the consent goes on hold and the clock stops. However, the 20 days is cumulative and includes all processing days.

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