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Christchurch City Council resource management review

Hon Amy Adams
Minister for the Environment

4 December 2013

Christchurch City Council resource management review released

Environment Minister Amy Adams has today released a report into a review of the Christchurch City Council’s resource management functions.

Ms Adams asked the Ministry for the Environment to carry out the assessment following International Accreditation New Zealand’s decision to revoke the council’s certification to issue building consents.

The review has found there are a number of minor issues with the council’s consenting function, but these are within the council’s capacity to resolve.

“As the Minister responsible for the Resource Management Act, I needed to be satisfied that the council’s resource management consenting and planning functions were being provided effectively and efficiently, and with capability sufficient for the council to deal with the pace of earthquake recovery,” Ms Adams says.

“It is reassuring that the report showed there is no evidence of systemic failure, however, I have asked the council to work closely with the Ministry for the Environment to resolve the minor issues identified in the report.”

Ms Adams says the report shows that the council’s consenting processing timeframes are good, with more than 98 per cent of the 1984 resource consents received during 2012/2013 processed within statutory timeframes.

However, there are a number of areas where improvements need to be made. They are:

• some areas of the consent process including section 92(1) requests for further information could be improved
• delegation of who holds power to make decisions on resource applications could be clearer
• a better approval system for subdivision survey plans is required
• internal service level agreements could be improved
• the Urban Design Panel could be put to better use and its role clarified; and
• the application process for certificates of compliance and existing use rights could be improved

The report also recommends that attention is required to revise the council’s District Plan.

“I note that the council had already started the district plan review at the time the report got underway.

“The Government and the council will continue this work to ensure the district plan meets the needs of Christchurch, as the city continues to recover from the earthquakes.”

To view a full copy of the report go to: http://www.mfe.govt.nz/publications/rma/assessment-chch-council-rma-plan/index.html

ENDS

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