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Regulatory review improves council service

Regulatory review improves council service

Improvements to Auckland City Council’s consent handling have made it easier for people to do business with the city, streamlining processes and contributing to a faster turn around of customer transactions.

Restructuring has focused on operational activity and customer service experience with new technology, staff training, pre-lodgement meetings and on-line building consent tracking so customers can monitor the progress of their application with the most sophisticated tool in the region.

With over 300,000 transactions a year, the regulatory service has by far the most public interactions of any council function. However, customer feedback had criticised us for not being easy enough to do business with, prompting an in-depth review.

“By giving staff the technology and tools to do the job we’re investing in improved service and staff development with the overall benefit going to customers,” says Councillor Aaron Bhatnagar, chairperson of the City Development Committee.

“It’s been a multi-million dollar investment but it’s great to see it delivering results. An example of this would be achieving our best ever building consents processing timeliness for each month from May through to the present day.”

Pre-lodgement meetings, where customers meet with council officers and learn what is required to speed their consent application, is now available to mum and dad applicants as well as industry professionals. The modest flat fee of $210 can save time and many dollars by helping customers supply the correct information at the time of lodgement.

The council has also set up a Regulatory Advisory Board where key customer groups give direct feedback on the council’s regulatory functions.

“We still have a way to go but the results to date are very encouraging,” said Mr Bhatnagar.

Ends

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