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Extension to help some councils gain accreditation

Hon Shane Jones
Minister for Building and Construction
Associate Minister in Charge of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations
Associate Minister of Immigration
Associate Minister of Trade
Date: 18 May 2008 Media Statement

Extension to help small number of councils gain accreditation

Building and Construction Minister Shane Jones today announced a nine month extension to an existing timeframe for a minority of councils to be accredited and registered as building consent authorities.

Mr Jones said that all councils have made a big effort and he particularly acknowledged the work done by those councils who are accredited and registered, and those who are very close to achieving that status.

"For the minority of councils who are unlikely to be accredited and registered by 30 June 2008, the extension to 31 March 2009 will give them sufficient additional time to become accredited and registered; or transfer their building control functions to another accredited council," he said.

There are a number of now accredited and registered councils who may consider providing support to other unaccredited councils. These alternative arrangements take time to establish. The extension of time enables this to happen.

"Accreditation and registration is an achievable goal for all councils. A broad cross-section of councils are already accredited and registered, ranging from the largest to some of the smallest rural district councils."

Mr Jones explained that without an extension of time, councils not accredited and registered could not lawfully continue to grant building consents, carry out inspections or otherwise approve building work. He said this would have major, unacceptable impacts for industry, business, homeowners and communities as lawful building work in those council districts would grind to a halt.

"Rather than allowing this unacceptable situation to happen, the Government has taken the practical and pragmatic approach to change the regulatory timeframe," he said.

The Minister said that while only a minority of councils will need this extension, it is not possible to say exactly how many, or which, councils won't be accredited and registered by 30 June 2008. This depends on the outcome of ongoing assessments and the work that individual councils must complete to meet the required criteria and standards.

"By 31 March 2009, the Government expects that any council not accredited or registered will have transferred its building control functions to another accredited and registered council," the Minister said.

Appendix 1

List of territorial authorities accredited and registered as building consent authorities as at 8 May 2008

City councils (6):
* Auckland
* North Shore
* Waitakere
* Hamilton
* Hutt
* Palmerston North

District councils (26):
* Rodney
* Papakura
* Franklin
* Waikato
* Matamata-Piako
* Rotorua
* Whakatane
* Taupo
* Carterton
* New Plymouth
* Stratford
* South Taranaki
* Manawatu
* Horowhenua
* Kaikoura
* Hurunui
* Waimakariri
* Clutha
* Southland
* Hastings
* Gisborne
* Hauraki
* South Waikato
* Otago Regional
* Kawerau
* Southland


Councils with accreditation imminent (4):

* Wellington
* Nelson
* Waimate
* Kapiti Coast


ENDS

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