• Building news

16 Mar 2023

blue wooden toy house miniature pink paper surface

It’s been a long while between the Build Better newsletters! I hope you all had a good break over Christmas and New Year and I’m sure, like us, you’ve hit the ground running. Not long now till a well earned long weekend with Easter coming around quickly. 

I thought I had got away with buying Easter Eggs this year with both kids having moved out of home, but I’ve been given the hard word so better not disappoint! Although, I bet the chocolate ones will be easier to find than the real ones at the moment.

Specific design foundations by CPEng engineer

We’ve heard a little bit of chatter out and about and think that there is some confusion on when we may require a specific design foundation by CPEng Engineer. 

To clarify, Council does not have a blanket requirement for specific design foundations. It’s the designer’s role to undertake a site investigation to establish whether good ground is available on site. Only when this investigation is inconclusive and good ground cannot be established, then it is the designer’s responsibility to engage a suitably qualified person to design the foundation.

Inspections cell phone number

Our inspections cell phone decided to go into retirement so we have a new one with a new number. Please replace any saved number you have with 027 375 4067.

We had a blow out with inspections earlier in the month which we should have communicated about better with all of you. Our apologies for this. In future we will try to push out to you if this is happening. Our Eastern area is currently at a high rate so there could be delays in this area. The sooner you can book your inspections, the better so we can try to accommodate your needs.

Stewart Island – we have a fortnightly roster tentatively booked in for Stewart Island. It will depend on how many we have as to when we will go over. Please keep this in mind with booking inspections. Our Stewart Island inspector will review what’s been booked and where appropriate he will work with customers on whether it is an in-person inspection or if a remote inspection can take place. 

Please book the inspection as you normally would and he will contact you to discuss or you will get a text with the date and he will contact you prior to arrange a time.

Website update

If you’ve been on our website in the last couple of weeks, you will have noticed that we have a new, fresh-looking website. The building data has been fully refreshed.

If you are having trouble finding anything the search functionality is very good so type in what you are looking for and it should pop up.

If you still can’t find what you need, then please email us at building-cs@southlanddc.govt.nz. Otherwise, pop in and have a look round our website.

Why can't I be put directly through to the technical team?

Due to the high volume of work we have at the moment we are triaging our calls through to the technical team. As we have our team completing inspections and doing building consent processing, there is also a likelihood that the person you want to talk to may not be in the office for the week.

To alleviate frustrations from not being able to get an answer from an individual we have put in place a Duty Officer from the technical team who is available to give call backs about individual building consents. In most cases they can answer your questions but occasionally will push this through to the technical officer you need to talk to.

So, if the Coordinators can’t answer your question, they will put a request for service through to the Duty Officer who will call you back to discuss your query.


Simpli are putting out releases often. I’ve attached the latest lot of updates for you to have a look through. 

We are working very closely with SIMPLI and are constantly feeding back any suggestions for improvements. If you do have any suggestions of what can work better in this space, please feel free to send your suggestions to us at building-cs@southlanddc.govt.nz.

Making a good application

We are all extremely busy at the moment and can sometimes drop the ball and small things that can make an impact on our work. One of the things that may help is the useful links via the MBIE website that outlines what works well to make a good application. In particular, the standard order of documents checklist.

When we receive an application that has all documents laid out in a way that is easy to follow, it makes the application so much easier and quicker to process.



Compliments, complaints and feedback

As always, we are encouraging an open, honest communication between our customers and Council. If you have any compliments, complaints or general feedback, we would love to hear from you. You can send information on any of these to esqualityassurance@southlanddc.govt.nz.

You can ask for any correspondence to remain confidential and can trust that only our Building Solutions Quality Assurance team has access to this. For more information take a look at the complaints and feedback page on this website.

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