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Building consent times continue to improve

MEDIA RELEASE

13 October 2005

Building consent times continue to improve

Timeframes for processing building consents in Auckland city have improved significantly in the last three months, with 76 per cent completed within the statutory requirement of 20 working days.

This is a major improvement on the situation in July when Auckland City Council said that building consent applications were taking an average of 50 days to process.

Twenty five per cent of building consents are now approved within 48 hours and 52 per cent within 10 days. The number of consents in progress is now under 800, down from 1,400 in June.

Councillor Glenda Fryer, chairperson of the Planning and Regulatory Committee, says council officers have worked hard to get building consent processing times back on track.

"A combination of initiatives, including staff working overtime, employing consultants and improving internal processes, has allowed Auckland City to make headway on the backlog of building consents.

"We are, however, acutely aware that the processing time for resource consents is slower at the moment and the team is working on initiatives to resolve this," says Ms Fryer.

An average of 51 per cent of resource consents were processed within twenty working days in the last quarter.

A shortage of skilled staff is a factor and a recruitment process is underway to address this. Internal processes are also being assessed to ensure efficiency. External consultants are in short supply, which limits Auckland City's ability to outsource resource consents.

"The consents team accepted there were concerns about processing times for building consents and they got on and found solutions. Now they need to turn their attention to resource consents," says Ms Fryer.

Each year, Auckland City Environments processes around:

10,000 land information memoranda (LIMs)

8,400 resource consent applications

10,000 building consent applications

31,000 building inspections

5,000 resource consent monitoring site visits

1,000 liquor licenses and monitoring

9,400 health inspections

8,500 dog complaints

4,000 pool inspections

13,000 noise complaints.

This does not include taking care of 180,000 phone calls and 26,000 requests for information and advice.

"Added to that is the additional expectation of this council that urban design will be a priority. We have the policies right and now it requires implementation. Of course that can add to the time it takes to process consents," Ms Fryer says.

Ends

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