9 Apr 2015

CCC consent processing back on track

5:17 pm on 9 April 2015

The Christchurch City Council is now processing building consents on time and to a high standard, the Crown-appointed manager says.

Christchurch City Council

Christchurch City Council Photo: RNZ

The council was stripped of its accreditation in 2013 after concerns about delays.

Crown manager Doug Martin was appointed to improve consenting processes, which are a crucial part of the city's rebuild.

His final report has been released today and showed substantial progress has been made.

Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith said Mr Martin and the council deserved praise for their work getting the critical service back on track.

Dr Smith said new house consenting had soared to three times the normal rate last year.

Mr Martin's final report said the post-quake environment remains challenging and the pace of the rebuild would continue to put pressure on local authorities.

The council's accreditation was reinstated in December.

Local Government Minister Paul Bennett said it was important that "momentum and confidence in the processes and institutions supporting the rebuild continue".

"The report makes recommendations to both the Council and the Government about further steps that might be taken to do this - and about how lessons learned might be shared."

Recommendations for the Christchurch City Council

  • Undertake the programme of work outlined in the 2015 Action Plan
  • Provide quarterly reporting throughout 2015 to the Minister of Local Government, the Minister for Building and Housing and the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister.
  • Review building inspection operations, with a view to creating a more effective and efficient inspection function.

Recommendations for the Government

  • Consider further developing the Streamline Consenting system implemented by the Christchurch City Council, which initially focused on building consents for low risk residential builders.
  • Develop and implement a plan to raise the quality of consent applications from small Group Home Builders who do not qualify for participation in Streamline Consenting, and those from small builders and developers.
  • Engaging with selected councils to 'pilot or trial' new initiatives or innovations to inform further policy, training and guidance development.

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