Media release: SDC honoured twice with national building control awards

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Southland District Council’s work in improving its building control activities has been recognised with two major national awards.

At the Building Officials Institute of New Zealand (BOINZ) awards ceremony held by videoconference, SDC was named winner of the Organisational Commitment to Customer Service and Excellence Award, while building control team leader Angus McIntyre was judged to be the Young Building Control Professional of the Year.

Manager building solutions Julie Conradi was delighted with the result, which was recognition for a lot of hard work not just from her team but right across the Council organisation.

“Customer service is truly a Council-wide commitment,’’ she said. “The support we have received from both the industry and all staff here at Council has been overwhelming and ongoing for years.”

The Organisational Commitment to Customer Service and Excellence Award recognises the huge amount of work carried out by SDC’s building control team to achieve compliance by meeting its performance targets in a challenging environment in which building consent applications increased by 11% and the industry was under resourcing pressure, making it difficult to recruit staff. With a shortage of experienced staff in the labour market, SDC initiated an in-house cadetship and training programme to get inexperienced staff up to required levels, which yielded excellent results, Julie Conradi said.

A range of efficiencies were put in place to improve the team’s performance and customer experience, including the introduction of online services, making it easier for customers to track their applications, and a restructuring of the building control team.

As much of this work was happening, SDC was undergoing Covid-19 level changes and its biennial audit for accreditation by International Accreditation New Zealand (IANZ). Accreditation is required for SDC to continue its role as a Building Control Authority carrying out building inspections.

“We are proud of what has been achieved in the past few years,” Julie Conradi said. “The focus now is on engaging with the industry to continually improve processes and relationships as we continue to build trust with our local communities.”

Chief executive Cameron McIntosh said the two awards represented “an organisational commitment to supporting each other, our customers and the people of Southland”.

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