Mayoral Candidate Receives Complaints
While Phil Goff celebrates a record amount of building consents in Auckland for the first half of 2019, disgruntled residents have been flooding the inbox of Mayoral Candidate Craig Lord with stories of dodgy contractors and an inept Council building department.
“We have a major problem on our hands,” says Lord, “I thought it was just the leaky building fiasco but it appears we have not learnt and now have another potential disaster looming. I’ve been contacted by more people than I can cope with who are sharing their stories about building code malpractices where rules are being broken left right and centre.”
It started with a property in Mangere Bridge, and how the builder has knowingly been breaching the building and construction codes. The Council department heads know of the breeches but instead of acting on them they are telling the affected parties that they need to take civil action - an action that requires expensive lawyers and court costs.
“The mentality is to spit out housing no matter what. But while plenty are being done properly there’s evidence that plenty are not. The governing body is not consistently following up, and if they do, they have no answers, no solutions and say their hands are tied so take it to a lawyer.”
Goff is celebrating an increase by saying “streamlined consented processes are allowing dwellings to be consented faster and more efficiently, with total growth in dwellings consented since August 2017 now at 40 per cent, or 4000 more consents a year” - whilst ignoring the fallout of poor-quality control. Lord is worried that Aucklanders are going to be left with a city full of illegal work, and ratepayer money will need to be directed away from core services and instead be used for remedial work and remuneration costs.
Blockhouse Bay resident Mike Fish was one who emailed Lord, and his story was as shocking as many. On a multi-house redevelopment, the builders put retaining walls on the neighbour’s property, all the while filling storm water drains with concrete run-off.
“It took 3 days for a Council contractor to water blast the drains,” Fish said. “Then later on I observed guys accessing the sewer system, chiselling out the concrete to put the storm water pipe into it - Council were told and have done nothing”
Lord says that with developers being urged to build as fast as they can from both central and local Government rules and codes are being broken, and the mentality seems to be “build it quick, and worry about any consequences later.”
“This is unacceptable and the Council knows they are not going to be held accountable, even if they have issued a controversial or illegal consent. The public can’t afford to take Council through the legal system. There are no checks and balances, and the management team - who are paid extraordinary salaries by the ratepayers - are sitting on their hands because they don’t care”
Lord will make it one of his goals to bring the
consent departments up to the specifications that the city
residents deserve and