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Council retains accreditation as building consent authority

Council retains accreditation as building consent authority

Queenstown Lakes District Council has retained its accreditation as a Building Consent Authority following last month’s follow-up assessment by IANZ.

The report notes that compliance had “improved considerably” since the last assessment in May when 10 significant corrective actions were identified, General Manager Planning and Development, Tony Avery, said.

The October re-assessment identified two minor corrective action requests relating to administrative procedures for issuing building consents, which are being addressed immediately. One requires a change to ensure that amendments to building consent applications are not issued with separate code compliance certificates. The other requires a review and revision of the way specified systems are described.

Mr Avery said the outcome of the IANZ review reflected the huge amount of work that the Building Control Team had carried out since the beginning of the year, when the Council’s accreditation was in doubt.

“We are not complacent about the results of the latest assessment, because we have to maintain these standards all the time. But all the changes that were made earlier in the year are bearing fruit now.” That included recruiting more staff, leading to improved processing times for consent applications; better internal processes and self-audits; more structured training programmes; and ensuring that applications for consents were of the high standard required for them to be considered.

Mr Avery said that the building industry had responded well to the more stringent requirements to ensure documentation was complete. “We are very close to meeting the 20-day processing time for applications now, with about 89% of applications processed on time.” Because the number of applications continued to increase, however, he urged people to continue lodging their applications as early as possible before they intended to start building work, to avoid delays.

Mayor Jim Boult said he was very pleased at the outcome of the IANZ assessment, which confirmed the progress that the building control team had made.

“Given the pace of development and growth in our district, the staff are working in a highly challenging environment. I was particularly reassured to note the assessors’ comment that our staff had shown a strong commitment to improve and address issues that had been noted earlier in the year.”


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