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Christchurch builders welcome consents shake-up

Tuesday 2 Jul 2013 9:10 a.m.

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The Christchurch City Council has lost its ability to approve building consents after International Accreditation New Zealand (IANZ) revoked the council's accreditation yesterday morning.

The decision follows a one month period in which the council were told by the IANZ to improve their consenting process.

Speaking on Firstline this morning, Brent Metrick of building company Stonewood Homes said he believed it was the right move.

"Looking at it on balance, I believe it is the right decision, but it depends on the end game. If this is an MB [Master Builders] act of support to ensure that processes and systems within Christchurch City Council are actually running efficiently, then I’m totally behind it."

Building consents should be issued within 20 days, but Mr Metrick said the council is currently taking around 55 days to process applications.

"This is something that really does need to be dealt to, because it is affecting our customers' everyday lives.

"When they're sitting there for an additional month and a half in their substandard accommodation waiting for their new home to be built, believe me, they are not very accepting of delays."

Mr Metrick said many Christchurch residents were becoming sceptical about the process.

"Some clients actually class it as 'the black hole'. Certainly that is concerning to us.

"At the end of the day the consent does need to be issued within a statutory timeframe."

Prime Minister John Key told Firstline the  Government will do all it can to assist the process.

"What the Government is trying to do is the only thing it can do, and that is provide a potential pathway through."

There have been no announcements as to who will now issue the consents, although it has been suggested Master Builders may take on that responsibility.

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