25 Nov 2021

Building consent demands cause delays in Dunedin

11:57 am on 25 November 2021

The Dunedin City Council is asking for patience as its building services team struggles with a boom in building consents.

No caption

Photo: 123rf

About 9 percent of consents are currently being completed outside the required 20 work days timeframe.

The council said the average wait for a building inspecting was about 10 working days at present, well beyond the two to five it aimed for. While the wait for a plumbing and drainage inspection sat at 17.

Council customer and regulatory general manager Claire Austin said she understood this would be causing frustration.

"Of course we also realise this can create frustration for those undertaking work, or looking to get started on a project, and our staff are doing all they can to work through the backlog quickly," she said.

"Unfortunately the continuing demand does mean delays may get worse before they get better, so we ask those waiting on a consent, or an inspection, to please be patient while we work through this."

Other councils were in a similar position, but Dunedin City Council staff were working extended hours and on weekends to catch up, Austin said.

"We are also looking to recruit more staff as soon as possible, to help tackle this sort of work in the future."

Those in the building industry could do several simple things to help, she said.

"Completing the checklists we provide can help avoid unnecessary delays and reduce costs.

"We are also working with the construction industry to make the process as user-friendly and timely as possible."

The council projected it would receive more consents this year than it did last, which were higher than normal.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs