• Building news

20 May 2024


Better late than never!

Apologies for the two-week delay in getting this out – you have all been keeping me busy with queries!  We have a bit to get through but hopefully the information will be helpful.  If you have any ideas on further subjects for these newsletters, please don’t hesitate to let me know by emailing us at building-cs@southlanddc.govt.nz.

Building Networks™ blogs

If you haven’t already, I would recommend that you all sign up to the Building Networks™ blogs that are emailed out regularly.  They provide excellent information on a variety of building industry requirements and information.  Recently they put out some great information on PS3-Producer Statement Construction. 

You can read about the PS3 information here.  Or maybe you want to know more about CCCs?

To subscribe for their updates, go to this page and sign up for free.

They also run a good selection of courses, which may be of interest of you.

Certificate of acceptance (COA)

We are currently receiving a high number of COA applications due to building work being done without a consent.  These have been put as a low priority for processing while we work through our backlog of consents.  We are now starting to slowly work through these. 

It is worth noting that COAs are double the price of the appropriate value of work that the building consent would have been charged at (unless it is for urgent work).  The best option would be to get a building consent prior to completing any work.  If you are unsure whether you will require a building consent you can make the most of our free 30-minute consultation in our offices where you can bring in your plans and talk to one of our technical staff.  If you would like to make an appointment you can request this on our website.

District Plan now online and interactive!

Last month, our environmental policy team implemented the National Planning Standards to streamline and standardise District Plans across New Zealand, and in doing so have adopted an ePlan version for Southland District Council. You can find the ePlan here.  

The Ministry for the Environment requires all councils to have an online interactive plan and our new ePlan follows several other councils, which means customers can get used to and experience the same tool across a number of districts.

The ePlan is an interactive and entirely digital version of the District Plan, which will make searching information relevant to your property much easier. While the provisions within the ePlan haven’t changed, you might notice some changes to provision headings, table numbers, the definitions section and the structure of the document. Additionally, we have implemented digital GIS maps as part of the ePlan so that when you search for your property address all relevant overlays and sections in the District Plan will show in an information panel to the left of your property map. The applicable information is linked and will take you directly to their specific sections within the plan.  You will no longer have to search PDF maps for information about your property and the rules that apply to it.

Our regular users, including surveyors, developers, real estate agents, designers, lawyers and tradespeople, will welcome the change, but the public will also find this tool far more streamlined and user-friendly than what we’ve had before.

To help you get the most out of the ePlan, we have created a user guide which is available on the Southland District Council e(Plan)

For further questions, please contact Council at 0800 732 732, or email us: sdc@southlanddc.govt.nz or dp@southlanddc.govt.nz

News from MBIE

Each month MBIE put out news and updates that are directly related to our industry.  These updates are worth staying up to date with as some of the updates could affect you directly.  https://www.building.govt.nz/about-building-performance/all-news-and-updates/making-it-easier-to-build.

April’s updates have some great information around the government’s initiative to making it easier to build.  Definitely worth a read!

Earthquake-prone buildings (EPB)

The government has brought forward a review of the EPB building system to take place this year.  If you would like to know more about this review and the management of these buildings you can read about it here.

Managing inspections and milestones

Each building consent is provided with an inspection and documentation regime that outlines the inspections to be undertaken and documentation required to be provided. It is very important that you and/or your contractor read this and understand what inspections have been allowed so you can plan you project accordingly.

Please be aware that certain specific inspections may also be required to be undertaken by consultants, such as an engineer. These inspections are additional to those required by Council and will be identified within the consented documentation. Please read your Form 5 carefully and in full. 

Milestone inspections

If third-party verification for certain building elements or components is being undertaken (engineer monitoring etc) please be aware that the required information, ie site records, PS4s, should be provided to the BCA (building consent authority) as soon as possible. Council may need to suspend all further inspections awaiting documentation to be supplied at key points during the construction process if third-party verification has not been provided.

Booking inspections

Please be aware that you need to book your inspections at least five days in advance to have any chance of getting the day you require.

Our online form is the fastest way to get your inspection booked in. It ensures we have all the information we need, and we will endeavour to book your inspection as close to your preferred time as possible. Please make sure to check your email and phone for confirmation messages.

More information on inspections can be found here.

New checksheet for building consents coming

This is a heads up that we have had discussions at our focus group meetings about the introduction of a checksheet that must be submitted with your building consent application.  We will be using a model similar to what Queenstown District Lakes Council is currently using and will pilot this with a few designers so we can make enhancements prior to pushing this out to all industry to use.

We are looking to streamline the processing and to ensure that all relevant considerations and documentation is provided.  Watch this space…

Back to News & stories