Home News Industry Updates BCAs to publish building consent and CCC stats

May 2024

BCAs to publish building consent and CCC stats

29 Apr 2024, Industry Updates, News

Building and Construction minister Chris Penk orders Building Consent Authorities (BCAs) to publish timeframes for building consent and code compliance certificate (CCC) applications every quarter

To reduce delays and improve the processing speed of the building consent system, councils will be required to submit data quarterly – starting last month (April 2024).

“Applications for building consents and code compliance certificates must be completed within 20 working days; however, feedback from the sector is that they often take a lot longer, causing frustrating and costly delays for builders,” said Penk.

“Delays in the building consent system increase the cost of building and make it harder for the sector to deliver more affordable homes for Kiwi families.

“Starting in April, Building Consent Authorities will be required to submit timeframes for building consent and code compliance certificate applications, with this data being published on the Ministry of Building, Innovation and Employment’s (MBIE) website every quarter.”

Drive standards

Penk added that the additional scrutiny on BCAs will encourage best practice, drive innovation and reduce the time it takes for a new dwelling to reach CCC stage. It will also help inform policy discussions moving forward.

“Collecting this data is also an important early step that will help inform future changes in the Government’s ambitious plan to streamline the building consent system and make it easier to build.”

Christchurch City Council Head of Building Consenting Steffan Thomas said being asked to provide more detailed information to MBIE is a positive step.

“MBIE, as the central regulator, needs this type of information, so they can make more informed decisions on changes that may be needed, and/or guidance and assistance that would assist in the building consent process.”

When asked by Under Construction if he thought the added reporting would place more administrative pressure on the council, Thomas said that it wouldn’t as “we already gather this information”.

‘Look at the whole picture’ say some

However, not all councils believed the new reporting requirements were necessary or would improve consent processing speed.

“This new Government requirement continues the historic focus on councils’ statutory performance alone,” said Ian McCormick, General Manager Building Consents at Auckland Council.

“It is important to note that building consent statutory performance figures, as requested by MBIE, provide only a partial view of consenting processing times. Statutory time is essentially an accurate count of the time an application is being worked on by council staff. The total processing time includes the time council staff spend waiting for information found to be missing from the application to be provided by the applicant or agent.

“The amount of time councils spend waiting for this information is typically substantially longer than the total statutory time; however, this demarcation is not reflected in overall statutory performance figures. If the time taken for applicants to respond to councils was also reported, therefore bringing the wider industry into focus, it would have the potential to really make a difference and enable an improvement in the quality and completeness of building consent applications submissions.”

No one-size fits all

Wellington City Council (WCC) Chief Planning Officer Liam Hodgetts also warned that data alone won’t improve consent timeframes and said nuance is required when analysing data from regions facing unique challenges.

“The supply of this data won’t improve consenting timeframes on its own. It is one part of informing future decisions on Government’s plans to improve the building consent system.

“If this reporting can assist central government in highlighting the challenges BCAs face for approving more complex buildings, particularly in Wellington, due to its seismic risk and topographical challenges, then WCC welcomes that.

“The MBIE report includes new data sets that we have not previously reported on but is not overly onerous and we welcome government interest to better understand the BCA consenting environment.”

Register to earn LBP Points Sign in

Leave a Reply