Policy Parrot says:
The Governmentâ€™s warning shot across the bow of the Christchurch Council this week regarding consent processing is an issue that is due wider consideration and conveniently poses the opportunity to raise the flag about this ongoing problem to New Zealand.
Christchurch City Council has not processed consents within the statutory 20 working day time-line despite Mayor Parker saying that 80% of consents are processed within the 20 working day time frame. Of course his Council are telling porkies.
Parkerâ€™s comments are the same as what we heard here in Auckland recently with Mayor Brown saying that Auckland Council processes 95% of all consents within the statutory 20 working daytime frame. A spectacular lie.
No Council actually processes a Resource Consent or a Building Consent inside the true definition of â€™20 working daysâ€™ and they play a game of smoke and mirrors when reporting how they perform.
So what is â€™20 working days?â€™
When we â€“ the residents and professionals of this world think of 20 working days we automatically assume that to mean four consecutive weeks with five working days per week. Lets call that one month to be general.
Councils however have a different view. A council consent process is counted in actual working days spent on the application. Whilst that sounds similar it is not. Councils routinely use a term called â€˜stop the clockâ€™ that refers to periods of time during the consent process that councils are not processing the consent.
Most of the time one does not know when a â€˜stop the clockâ€™ has occurred because Council does not notify an applicant of this. The few times an applicant will know about it is when a Section 92 request is made â€“ which is a request for further information. That is a mechanism used by Councils to buy time. A Section 92 will almost inevitably be sent by post and take up to a week to be received. But the stop the clock time starts from the time that the Council initiated the s92 request. On returning the supplying the information requested the clock starts again. Â Read more »