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Bungled laws snarl Auckland highway projects

23 March 2005

Hon Nick Smith National Party Building and Construction Spokesman

Bungled laws snarl Auckland highway projects

National’s Building and Construction spokesman, Nick Smith, says bungled new building laws are causing a bureaucratic nightmare for engineers trying to solve Auckland’s transport problems.

Transit NZ has had to withdraw its building consent for the $167 million State Highway 20 extension from Hillsborough Rd to Richardson St from the Auckland City Council and instead apply for 39 separate consents.

“Nothing is to be achieved by this new highway having to get 39 building consents rather than one,” Dr Smith says.

“These consents are in addition to the 17 resource consents granted under the Resource Management Act. It is bureaucracy gone mad.

The Government’s new Building Act comes into effect next week. It prohibits interim code compliance certificates and the use of any building (including roads) until certificates have been issued. This means many more consents are required for projects built in stages.

“The problem of dozens of consents being required applies to hundreds of construction projects all over the country. It will do nothing to improve the safety or quality of work but will add millions to the costs and cause delays.

“Labour’s new law is a botch-up. It was a knee-jerk reaction to the leaky homes crisis and was rushed through Parliament without proper consultation with the industry.

“National will make significant changes to Labour’s Building, Transport and Resource Management Acts so we can get roads built and Auckland moving without unnecessary bureaucracy,” Dr Smith says.

ENDS

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