News & Events
Council concerned about possible Building Control reformsThursday, 16 June 2011
Changes to the structure of building control proposed by the Department of Building and Housing are concerning Southland District Council.
A centralised processing of consents is being proposed, with inspection services being kept locally. The key drivers for this, according to the department, are processing inconsistencies between councils across the country, alleged inadequacies in the inspection process and a desire to address alleged inefficiencies and excess costs within councils.
Southland District Mayor Frana Cardno said Council's building control team has a good relationship with builders, good compliance with processing timeframes and prides itself on customer service.
"Local government is all about local services. If this is centralised, how are our isolated communities going to cope? At the moment Southlanders can ring our 0800 number and talk to a real person who understands Southland and lives in Southland," Mrs Cardno said.
Council is also concerned that centralised or regionalised processing through the Department of Building and Housing will mean important local knowledge such as hazards information and the position of underground infrastructure could fall through the cracks or be lost, leading to construction difficulties and increased costs and delays.
Council's building control team came through a recent intensive external audit process very well, with the auditors impressed by the professionalism and robustness of Council's processing and inspection services.
"We think Southland District Council and the Southland building sector has little to gain and much to lose from these changes," she said.
The leaky home problem happened because the rules were changed to allow more use of substandard material and local government is left to deal with the consequences, she said.
"Southland has had very few leaky homes because our practical building control team had high standards already."
Council is working with other southern councils already to look at the centralisation proposal and the building control team is already working with the other council teams to ensure processes are as consistent as possible between southern councils.
Who to contact
If you would like to discuss a matter on this page, feel free to contact us:
Southland District Council
P.O. Box 903
Phone: 0800 732 732
Fax: 0800 732 329