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Hastings council to review building consents activity


The impact of COVID-19, Cyclone Gabrielle and qualified staff shortages on Hastings District Council’s building consents workload will be the subject of a review in a bid to improve performance in this area of activity.

Today, council’s performance and monitoring committee was presented the terms of reference for the review with a particular focus on building consent processing and inspection timeframes.

Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said it was critical to have continuous improvement in this regulatory service that council provides.

“We want to provide a good quality customer experience, that will also aid with the district’s recovery.

“Our community has expressed concerns about the building consents process and we want to explore how it can be more efficient.”

Performance and monitoring committee chairperson Damon Harvey said the district had been through an enormous period of growth and as such needed to have the best regulatory framework possible.

“We need to be able to work smarter, more efficiently and effectively so people have a higher standard of support to get on with their building plans and developments, and even more importantly to get on with the cyclone recovery.”

The building function of council was also important to ensure people’s lives were safe, and that the wider community of ratepayers was protected from the prospect of future litigation, which could potentially be very costly, he said.

Former Waimakariri District Council Jim Palmer, who had recently been the independent chair of the panel undertaking the review of the future of Local Government was proposed to conduct the building consent activity review.

The review would take place in February 2024.

It could not happen any earlier as staff time and resources would already be taken up preparing for council’s two-yearly IANZ accreditation assessment, scheduled to take place in November this year.

20 July 2023

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