First territorial authorities registered as building consent authorities
Department of Building and Housing Chief Executive Katrina Bach presented registration certificates on 2 November 2007 to the first seven territorial authorities accredited as building consent authorities.
Territorial authorities can be registered as soon as they are accredited as building consent authorities. Their details are recorded on a register of building consent authorities.
The Building Consent Authority Accreditation and Registration Scheme is among Building Act 2004 reforms aimed at ensuring buildings are built right first time. It focuses on strengthening the building process at the consent processing, inspection and approval stages - that is, making sure territorial and regional authorities have the appropriate systems, processes, procedures, resources and capability to do the job properly.
The benefits of accreditation and registration as building consent authorities will include:
- more robust management systems and processes, with better quality control and risk management
- increased public/community confidence as a result of the council having independently proven, appropriate competency, quality-assured systems, processes, procedures and resources
- better customer service - ie, operational improvements and efficiencies leading to more prompt turnaround of consent applications, without jeopardising quality
- improved capability and capacity, from having more competent and better-trained staff
- greater confidence among building control staff that they are doing things properly
- strengthened and more consistent decision-making, leading to better-quality outcomes and improved Building Code compliance.
All 85 territorial or regional authorities must be accredited and registered as building consent authorities by 30 June 2008 or must have transferred their building control functions to an accredited and registered building consent authority, which 10 authorities currently intend doing.
Those being accredited are at different stages of the accreditation process, with 20 in the final stages, having completed their full on-site assessment by International Accreditation New Zealand. The Department expects the number of accreditations to grow quickly over the next few weeks.
Representatives of the first territorial authorities registered as building consent authorities, with Department of Building and Housing Chief Executive Katrina Bach. From left: Geoff Mears (Rodney District Council), Peter Eathorne (Palmerston North City Council), Ms Bach, Kevin O'Connor (Southland District Council), Graham Young (South Taranaki District Council), Karen FitzPatrick (Hurunui District Council), Ewan Higham (Franklin District Council) and Peter Scantlebury (New Plymouth District Council).