Another Christchurch consents check

RACHEL YOUNG
Last updated 13:24 10/07/2013
amy adams
ENVIRONMENT MINISTER: Amy Adams.

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The Government is now examining the Christchurch City Council's resource consenting arm.

This comes while the council's building consents department deals with the fallout from losing its accreditation because of faulty processes.

Its accreditation was revoked by International Accreditation New Zealand (Ianz) on Monday.

Environment Minister Amy Adams has asked her ministry to carry out an ''independent diagnostic assessment'' of the council's resource management planning and resource consenting functions.

She said that given the issues that had been identified with the council's building consents process, she wanted to be satisfied its resource consenting arm was operating properly.

''We need to ensure that there are not any roadblocks,'' she said.

The ministry had received complaints relating to Christchurch, particularly over the time and difficulty in getting a consent.

However, it was not unusual for people seeking consents to contact the ministry if they were having problems, she said.

The ministry sent a letter to the council on Monday saying it would like to work with it to assess the resource consenting functions.

The aim of the assessment is to identify whether the council is sufficiently resourced and has suitably robust resource management processes in place.

It is a non-statutory assessment, and ministry staff will meet council staff and other agencies and stakeholders over the next few days to gather information.

They will prepare a report for Adams, to be delivered in the last week of this month.

Council acting chief executive Jane Parfitt said: ''We welcome this independent assessment and look forward to receiving any recommendations.''

The council's resource consents team operates separately from the building consents team and does not fall under Ianz jurisdiction.

The number of resource consent applications received by the council is smaller than the number of building consent applications.

NUMBER OF RESOURCE CONSENT APPLICATIONS:

February: 128.

March: 167.

April: 148.

May: 173.

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