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Audit to review building consent process



Peter-WetheyPeople applying for future resource consents in Kaipara will be relieved to know a review of the system, which has caused frustration for applicants in the past, has been given the green light and may lead to an overhaul of the consent process.

At a Kaipara District Council ordinary meeting held at Kaihu on May 30, deputy mayor Peter Wethey’s notice of motion to audit the current resource consent (RC) procedures was ‘adopted unanimously’, a move he says he is really pleased about. 

“I am hopeful that when actioned it will provide the facts as to whether council can improve the systems and procedures by which it processes consent applications and so get more timely approvals,” he says. “If we can achieve this, many of the frustrations that consent applicants have experienced will hopefully be relieved.”

Wethey says he submitted the notion due to elected council members receiving a high level of complaints from RC applicants, with the ‘common thread’ suggesting contributing factors lie with the procedural process and not a human resource issue. 

The notion is the deputy mayor’s second attempt to attain an audit regarding Kaipara’s consent process, with an average of only 70 per cent of RC applications completed within the permissible time-frame. 

The audit will measure the effectiveness of RC assessments, allowing council to gauge whether the current human resources dealing with consents matches the volume of applicants. 

“Unless council can be assured that the processes and procedures used by staff are efficient and ‘fit for purpose’, increasing human resources will not improve the performance – it will only increase council’s costs.”

Wethey’s notion also asks that a relevant sample of applicants from the past 12 months be surveyed in the audit to ‘determine councils reputational standing for the handling of the activity’, and to be executed by a suitably qualified third party contractor with the results available in time for the council meeting in August.

“This audit will provide factual data from which council can decide the most appropriate action in order to achieve an improved performance,” Wethey says. “The district expects a better performance.”

Cr Peter Wethey

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