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Committee updated on Building and Resource Consents

Committee updated on Building and Resource Consents

Building consent customers should notice an improvement in the delivery of building consents and services by the end of March 2014.

A report from the Crown Manager to the Regulation and Consents Committee also notes that by March the full number of staff required to meet the increased demand for building consent services will be recruited and trained. Once this is in place other system and process improvements would start to have an effect.

Crown Manager Doug Martin told the committee a full management team will be in place by early February 2014.

“We have a way to go in our improvements but smart management, more resourcing, and Action Plan strategies will mean people will start to see a difference.”

“We plan to have enough resourcing to meet a worst case scenario in our forecast should we need it.”

Mr Martin says the response to the recent recruitment drive for the newly appointed General Manager and Unit Managers under the new structure for Building Control had attracted candidates of an extremely high calibre.

“This reflects that they are attracted to a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work in Christchurch as part of the rebuild. We have had a good response nationally and a stunning response internationally from Canada and the United Kingdom. The good thing about international recruitment is that many are seeking fixed term contracts so we can fit their recruitment to the rebuild cycle."

A number of initiatives are well underway to reduce processing days and the backlog of building consents. These include:

To date, 19 Building Consent Authorities have registered their interest in supporting the Council’s building consenting function. Seven of these are now processing building consents for the Council and a further four are awaiting training.
By the end of the year it is expected that up to 100 building consents per week will be contracted out. It is expected that a target of 150 – 200 consents being contracted out will be reached by the end of March 2014.
International and national recruitment of additional building consent officers and building inspectors: as of 8 November 2013 118 applications plus 21 referrals from the Council were applied for as part of the first phase of the international recruitment process. A shortlist of recommended candidates for interviewing has been prepared.
As of 10 November 2013, the Council had received 46 applications from national candidates.
Resource Consents

Council figures show that 100 per cent of all resource consents were processed within Resource Management Act statutory timeframes for the month of November. The figures follow the Council welcoming the release of a final report from the Ministry for the Environment which noted ‘In general the consent process is working well in regard to timeframes’.

The report to Council also noted that over 90 per cent of requests for information are being made in the first 10 working days of processing meaning that for the vast majority of applications any further information required is identified early in the resource consent process. This potentially leads to faster processing of consents.

Regulation and Consents Chairman David East says,“I am very satisfied with the reports for both building and resource consents and feel confident that good progress is being made”.

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