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Rodney Ready for Changes to Resource Consent

Rodney Ready for Changes to Resource Consent Processing

Rodney District Council says recent changes to resource consent regulations by Government, which will result in consents which are issued late receiving a discount, will have little effect on its performance when these are introduced.

According to the most recent survey figures available from the Ministry for the Environment, nationally 31% of consents are processed outside of statutory timeframes. Rodney District Council processed 97% of its consents within statutory timeframes with only 3% exceeding these timeframes.

The Government has announced that it intends to require that Councils discount resource consent fees which are not processed within the statutory timeframe and offer a 1% discount for each day the consent is over time. The maximum discount that could be offered would be 50%.

The changes are expected to be introduced by July 2010 and Rodney District Council Customer Service Director Lloyd Barton says the Council already reduces fees for the small number of resource consents which are processed outside of these timeframes.

"RDC has been focused on improving the speed of our consent processing and customer service and we have recently introduced a "Customer Charter" so all our customers know their rights and have a formal process for resolving complaints which helps to help identify where services can be improved," Mr Barton says.

He doesn't believe that the quality of the resource consent processing service is compromised by speeding up processing times and it is instead about having smart systems and continually looking at how improvements can be made. "For example the Council recently adopted landscape design guidelines to help customers and staff complete quick assessments about the visual impact of buildings in landscape protection areas."

Mr Barton says RDC will continue to look for ways to improve its consent processing and is currently working with other Councils in the Auckland Region to develop a common approach to consent processing under the new Auckland Council.

ENDS

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