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Council applies for accreditation as a consent authority

Monday 19 May, 2014

Council applies for IANZ Accreditation as a building consent authority

Christchurch City Council has lodged its application with IANZ for accreditation as a building consent authority.

Crown Manager Doug Martin and the Council’s Director of Building Control and City Rebuild Peter Sparrow, lodged the application following major changes over the past 10 months to address serious issues with the Council’s building control operation.

Mr Martin was appointed Crown Manager in July last year to help the Council fix problems with its consenting processes after it lost IANZ accreditation as a building consent authority the previous month.

Within four weeks of starting he produced an Action Plan on Building Control Functions to correct the situation for the Minister of Local Government and the Minister of Building and Construction .

“That Plan made it very clear that change was needed to improve the systems at Council. Since then we have made excellent progress in scaling up the Council’s building control operation to meet the increased demand for building consents and to see the Council regain and retain IANZ accreditation,” Mr Martin says.

“We have totally revamped the way that we operate in the building consents area. We have brought in a new team, we have totally revised our processes of processing consents and I’m confident that we now have the capacity to handle the city’s rebuild. Our application for accreditation is timely given the systems we now have in place,” Mr Martin says.

Christchurch City Council is experiencing a huge increase in demand for building consents. In the year ending 30 April 2014 the Council issued commercial and residential consents worth $2.28 billion compared with $1.13 billion the previous year and $729 million in the 2011 to 2012 year.

Peter Sparrow, who was appointed to lead the team last year, says it is important that the Council is able to excel in its core function as a consenting authority. “We want to be facilitating the rebuild, not acting as a road block. We have worked alongside our staff who have considerable expertise and competency to find solutions,” he says.

“I am confident that we have transformed our operation and built the platform required to ensure continual improvement in our processing of consents. To do so, we have liaised closely with our industry partners.”

As part of the application, a team of IANZ assessors will audit the Council’s revised processes, starting on-site on 8 July 2014.

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