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Last line of defence fails to inspire confidence

Earthquake Recovery Spokesperson
MP for Christchurch East

Last line of defence fails to inspire confidence

The Government’s latest defence of the consent accreditation debacle in Christchurch beggars belief, says Labour’s Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Lianne Dalziel.

“National tried to suggest today that because there are so many building consent authorities being assessed by IANZ at the same time, Building and Construction Minister Maurice Williamson couldn’t possibly be expected to be across the detail of the Christchurch City Council.

“That’s a novel way of saying Maurice Williamson is out of his depth and hasn’t done his reading.

“Mr Williamson’s own ministry was meeting with the council for a year on this very issue and yet it took him nine months, and a final warning, to elevate the issue to the Minister of Earthquake Recovery, Gerry Brownlee.

“If Ministers Williamson and Brownlee had been on top of their portfolios they could have helped the council avoid the revocation of accreditation.

“National’s silo mentality isn’t good enough. There is no question that the people of Christchurch have been let down by the council, but to find out that the same communication breakdown extends to central government is particularly disturbing.

“Christchurch is unique. It is facing the biggest rebuild in history in which building consents play a critical role. The Minister must be aware of that and must have been advised last year that continued accreditation beyond May 2013 was dependent on a satisfactory outcome of the damning IANZ assessment.

“Perhaps it is time Ministers took a few reading recovery lessons so that New Zealanders can be assured that those privileged with leading our rebuild are up to the job,” Lianne Dalziel said.


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