February 2021


28 Jan 2021, Industry Updates, News

Kāinga Ora, the government agency that builds and maintains state houses, has set up its own building consent authority, called Consentium, to improve standards and service

Consentium’s National Building Consent Authority Manager Anna McCrossan says the aim of the new building consent authority (BCA) is to lift building consent standards and provide exceptional service to Kāinga Ora and its contracted builders.

“Our team will work with our design and build partners to deliver high quality consenting and inspections services within statutory timeframes.

We will also engage with our design and build partners early to provide education and advice on how to comply with the Building Act. Ultimately, it’s about contributing towards improving housing quality and helping Kāinga Ora scale up its build programme to ensure the delivery of healthy, warm and dry state houses, which provide homes for generations to come.”

The consenting team will operate out of hubs in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, with building inspectors located across the country. It will independently process, grant and issue building consents for public housing, as well as provide inspections and Code Compliance Certification (CCC).

Consentium’s scope will cover building consent services for public housing of up to four levels. This will include new homes, the retrofit programme, and repairs and maintenance that require a building consent.

Setting up the new BCA has not been without controversy, with Auckland Council losing 18 staff to it, before councils went to the new
agency in protest.

It is not clear if the existence of Consentium will have any impact on builders not contracting to Kāinga Ora. On one hand, it will remove workload from council BCAs. On the other hand,  if council staff who have left to join Consentium cannot be replaced, it remains to be seen if councils will be able to process the remaining consent applications any faster.

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