Auckland Council can’t cope with building consents? They didn’t see this coming then?


Auckland’s housing boom has forced its council to enlist the help of other local authorities to process building consent applications.

Auckland Council received a record 23,220 applications last year, up by 12 percent, and consents teams at Wellington and Porirua city councils have been contracted to help process them.

“Demand for consents has been relentless,” said the council’s building control processing manager Doug Naylor.

It has contracted the two southern councils for an initial year-long term to ensure there are no unnecessary delays with applications.

“The boom has made it difficult to find experienced design and construction specialists the council – and the wider industry – require to meet demand,” he said.

It is also looking at other possible providers.

I appreciate the fact that they are now outsourcing the work to get through it, but what sort of potato head couldn’t predict that, with the council and government pushing like mad to get more houses built, consent applications would rise?

There is part of me that suspects there was a deliberate refusal to up-scale the consent staff to keep the expansion of Auckland under control.

But then the government got into Auckland Council’s ear and told them to pull finger – or else.   As a result, there was no planning to put any more staff on, and yet there was pressure to make immediate progress. Hence the outsourcing to other councils.

I’m just flying a kite, but somehow I don’t think I’m that far off the mark.


– NZN via Newshub


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  • Muffin

    Or they are so bloody useless they really didn’t have any idea it would get busier.

  • cows4me

    Maybe central government should tell Auckland they’ve lost the cheque for the train set, it was on the kitchen table but must have got lost in the other junk mail. So if you want a new one pull finger.

  • R&BAvenger

    When the CCC got itself into trouble over this sort of thing it had it’s authority to issue consents pulled until it was able to prove it was up to the task.
    Outsourcing is naturally an option. One could make the argument that all consenting should be outsourced so that there are penalties for non -performance and if outsourced to the private sector, it means staff levels in the local councils can be reduced. the money saved can be put into core responsibilities, like mowing berms.

  • Rokopa

    If i was a Wellington or Porirua rate payer i’d be asking why our Consents department is so over staffed. Hopefully after the 1 year contract expires they will undertake a review of their resources.

  • no bullswool

    You are giving Auckland City Council too much credit. Let’s just say one of my children is a recent Town Planning graduate experienced in consent work.Messed around through job process.Had a position then didn’t have a position.Waiting…waiting…Totally unprofessional,disorganized rabble comes to mind.Needless to say now working,as a Town Planner in consenting for another council out of Auckland. Hallelujah!

  • Mick Ie

    If they utilise contractors (qualified builders ie who actually have proper knowledge and experience of current NZ building code) on temporary contract they can agree a contract rate and AC can cancel it after the back log had been cleared. Usually contractors are quick and thorough because they are self employed and know they don’t get paid if if they don’t meet the standards. Nor do they receive sick, holiday and redundancy pay so overall they are more cost effective to employ than permanent full time salaried staff. Usually contractors costs are also factored into the rate of the development so the payments are not met by rate payers either.
    Or, is this also being outsourced because the building consent departments In the other councils don’t have enough work of their own to keep them employed?

  • Aucky

    Twyford will have the answers. I’ll bet he’s donkey deep with his council mates to stymy progress at every turn and then question Nick Smith’s competence in the House. I sense, however, that the Government has now cut Twyford off at the pass.

  • Deja Voodoo

    Instead of asking Porirua and Wellington to help them process consents they should be asking for some advice on how to better run the system. Porirua is a dream to submit jobs at, they used to routinely process building consents in about 5 working days. Also, applicants will often end up receiving a refund on their deposit, as opposed to other councils that usually require the balance to be paid equal or more than the deposit paid.

  • one for the road

    Bet $ to doughnuts that in a few years, all those consents that were outsourced will have a high level of rejects and remedial work required on properties due to differing and lax quality control by the councils involved, but it will all fall back on Aklds ratepayers to put right and fund when said council is sued once again for poor workmanship….

  • Just me

    I’m guessing the same potato heads that didn’t manage the 27 million blowout on the council building refurbishment.

    As the old say goes… “You can’t take you eye of the ball” – however this implies that they had an eye on this in the first place… and there is little evidence to suggest that the council plans anything other than reckless spending.