Big tick


City Hall’s building consents department’s achieved a pass mark in its latest two-yearly assessment.

The department was audited by three International Accreditation of New Zealand (IANZ) assessors over four days earlier this month, who looked at its practices and compliance with regulations.

Fourteen general non-compliances were identified – half of those were resolved during the assessment.

The remaining seven compares with six after its last assessment two years ago.

Queenstown’s council now has to provide the independent Crown agency with a list of proposed corrective actions by November 22 and have the issues resolved by February 21 to keep the accreditation.

In a media statement, council building services manager Chris English says the assessment makes it one of the most compliant building consent authorities in the country.

”This is a marked difference to 2015-16 when [it] came very close to losing its accreditation.”

Three and a-half years ago, IANZ assessors identified a raft of problems as an understaffed department struggled in the midst of a building boom.

Builders and landowners experienced delays of weeks and months as the department grappled to process consents within the statutory 20-day timeframe.

Planning and development general manager Tony Avery says significant investment’s been made in the department in the last four years to improve the ”core council service”.

”I am proud of the hard work made to improve processes and ensure best practice across the board.”

To prepare for the assessment, the council hired a consultant in June to audit the team and measure it against regulations.

Since its 2016 nadir, staffing has grown from 25 to 42 full-time-equivalent positions, and eight contractors were helping with processing and inspections.

The council’s building consent authority is one of the largest in New Zealand, based on building consent volumes.