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Opportunity for Councils to Reduce Consent Delays

24 March 2008


Opportunity for Councils to Reduce Building Consent Delays

“Initiatives announced today to remove some of the current red tape, provide a great opportunity for Councils to reduce consent delays” says Certified Builders CEO Derek Baxter.

“The proposals outlined will provide greater freedoms for councils to streamline their processes, if this reduces delays, it should slow the bureaucracy driven increases we currently face.”

“Builders biggest frustrations have been inconsistent interpretations and variable timeframes for processing consents. Builders can’t plan at the moment and if they have staff sitting around waiting for consents that drives prices up.” Baxter says.

“The real challenge with this package will be striking the balance where the Structural Integrity, Weathertightness and Safety are maintained while freeing up time for council staff to focus on more complex plans. Councils must use this extra time efficiently.” He cautions.

A great move is the possibility of competent people being able to certify certain aspects, this puts responsibility back where it should lie. If a registered plumber moves a toilet why does it need a PIM, Consent, Inspection and fees that often cost more than the cost of the project in the first place?

“In our view to make the ‘competent person’ idea work considerable thought will have to be given to clearly defining restricted building work – the work that will require a licensed builder to oversee it. If this is to be tied to builder licensing a major step in providing more comfort to councils will be the day that to get a license a builder actually has a trade qualification.” Baxter says.

“I do give credit to Shane Jones for quickly identifying some problem areas and today focusing his department on solutions to them. The exact detail is still to be worked through but I think the minister has managed to find some key areas where a difference can be made quickly.”

ENDS

Background.
Certified Builders Association of New Zealand (CBANZ) is an association of trade qualified builders. All members must have completed a formal qualification in construction.
CBANZ has over 1500 companies that operate mostly in the residential and light commercial parts of the construction industry.
It is estimated that CBANZ members have a combined turnover of over $2billion.
All CBANZ members are required to offer the Homefirst Builders Guarantee on new residential construction. This 10 year guarantee covers loss of deposit, guaranteed completion and structural warranties. Other guarantees are available for additions and alterations, and labour only construction.

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