Christchurch City Council loses consent accreditation

July 1st, 2013 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

The Press reports:

The has been stripped of its accreditation to issue building consents.

In a huge blow to the organisation International Accreditation New Zealand (Ianz) has followed through on its threat to revoke the council’s accreditation.

Christchurch City Council will be stripped of its right to issue consents from Monday.

Council’s general manager regulation and democracy services Peter Mitchell said in the last 14 days the council issued 632 consents with a combined value of $160 million.

Of the original backlog of 500 consents, 25 remained and these were expected to be cleared today.

He said the council could still lawfully receive, process and grant building consents and would continue with other aspects of the building consent process, including inspections and processing code compliance certificates.

Mitchell said he was confident the city council would regain its accreditation.

He explained the Ianz letter indicated that while the agency was satisfied progress was being made, it did not yet have confidence the council was operating in full compliance with its standards.

It had raised a number of issues that it had not raised in the May 30 letter which it now wanted more information on. …

Ianz chief executive Dr Llew Richards said stripping a council of its consenting powers was a “hugely unprecedented” move.

He said the organisation told the Christchurch City Council of its decision about 9am today.  “They have not been able to satisfy us,” Richards said.

He was unable to comment specifically on the problems but outlined the process for when issues arose.

”A core responsibility of a BCAs (Building Consent Authorities) is to ensure a sound audit process is in place and to provide Ianz with records of such technical reviews. Without such evidence, Ianz could not continue accreditation,” Richards said.

”A lot of publicity is given to the statutory deadline for issuing consents. Ianz uses this information as only one of the indicators of adequate resourcing.

“An improvement in the rate of consents issued still requires an assurance they comply with the Code and Act requirements.”

Note that IANZ is independent of the Government.

I’d say this delivers the mayoral election to . Who wants to vote for incumbency, when the status quo is that you fail at your core functions?

Not that this is the fault of Bob Parker. The CEO Tony Maryatt needs to be held responsible for this outcome. Parker hasn’t helped though by denying there is a problem, and comparing the letter from IANZ to a parking ticket.

A spokesman for Brownlee said the council’s consenting crisis was scheduled to be discussed by Cabinet today. The Minister would make a comment after that.

City council planning committee chairwoman Cr Sue Wells said staff were gutted by the decision.

A consenting authority had never been stripped off its accreditation before so the council was now in uncharted waters, she said.

“We’re going to take a deep breath and sort this out,” she said.

Last November Ianz identified 17 areas of concern with the council’s processes and in May gave it formal notice of its intention to remove its consenting ability.

It is worth remembering that Lianne has spent three years claiming that the major problem in Christchurch was that the Government took away too much power from the Council. Considering the CCC has proven incompetent at even a core function such as consenting, imagine how much chaos there would have been if Labour had been in charge, and had CERA powers mainly resting with the Council?

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27 Responses to “Christchurch City Council loses consent accreditation”

  1. Daigotsu (465 comments) says:

    ‘Not that this is the fault of Bob Parker. The CEO Tony Maryatt needs to be held responsible for this outcome. ‘

    Who hired Maryatt?

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  2. wreck1080 (3,956 comments) says:

    I don’t get why councils keep hiring maryatt?

    He screws up hamilton city, then, Christchurch pay over the odds for a failure.

    What gives there?

    I say that there is no accountability for fat pay checks.

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  3. liarbors a joke (1,069 comments) says:

    “Council’s general manager regulation and democracy services”

    WTF is that? I mean…who invents these wanky chest beating titles? What were they called in the old days….clerk?

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  4. iMP (2,420 comments) says:

    DPF, while the Ianz is independent, I think this has more to do with the Govt.s preference for taking the power to make these decisions, given the amount of money it is pouring into Chch, rather than the CCC’s record on consents, which isn’t that bad. You have to accept, that the ground stabilisation issues are pretty massive and complicate these matters significantly.

    If the CCC were so poor, why has the Govt. partnered with them just a few days ago on a $4.8 billion partnership across several massive projects??

    [DPF: Because there is no choice. They remain the Council]

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  5. iMP (2,420 comments) says:

    To which we can add, that the same staff responsible for consents have been hired by Govt (CERA) on several other projects. The CCC has pretty much been gutted in terms of its core specialist staffing.

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  6. peterwn (3,304 comments) says:

    “Parking Ticket”? More like Judith’s car crusher.

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  7. mikemikemikemike (331 comments) says:

    National: taking Democracy and fucking it in the arse since ages ago.

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  8. hj (7,063 comments) says:

    Everything the government is doing is what developers want e.g: a move to pit developers and banks against individuals rather than groups of individuals.

    And I’m not saying councils aren’t inefficient but it is central government that is pushing population increase

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  9. Rich Prick (1,721 comments) says:

    One wonders whether this is a first step towards installing Commissioners, afterall Ecan’s sins were far less serrious.

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  10. iMP (2,420 comments) says:

    If National did that (unlikely) they would lose Govt., by losing the party vote across Christchurch and thus the Treasury benches in Nov2014, regardless of which party one supports. Locals simply would not put up with Wellington grabbing CCC as well as ECan. It would hand Shearer a gold-plated issue to campaign on (democracy).

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  11. gravedodger (1,569 comments) says:

    @ imp, my take is overwhelming support for the sidelining of trougher Burke and his muppets who could not see wood for trees .

    The ECAN disaster series has not been missed for all their interference in matters that did not come within their orbit and failing to do what they were appointed to do.

    Ask anyone who is forced to work with the Regional Council and a large body of them are getting better service from the Bazely governed Bureaucracy than the previous rabble who couldn’t make coffee.

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  12. liarbors a joke (1,069 comments) says:

    Fucking Maryatt….whenever a nasty issue pops up his name seems to be linked to, or near it. He simply has to go , I’ve never known of a town clerk so incompetent. Last issue was the under insuring of council property on a massive scale… CCC is a basket case. Bring in the Commissioners Gerry , as a ratepayer here you have my permission, and no doubt thousands of others.

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  13. RF (1,448 comments) says:

    I have friends living in Christchurch who have been through sheer hell with the lack of progress with their EQ claims. What is scary is that I live in another earthquake prone city. Time to renew my passport.

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  14. Viking2 (11,562 comments) says:

    One is left wondering what Key and Brownlee are up to. This has been on the radar for some weeks and our proactive leaders have created a crisis. Instead of sorting the issue a couple of weeks ago the responsible Govt. that has dumped shit like new stadiums etc on CCC has now got a crisis of some note on its hands.

    Too busy trying to upstage Len and fuck the rest of us instead of properly dealing with the major issues of the day.

    Appalling management by both Key and Brownlee. It was clear that IANZ was going to shaft CCC two weeks ago. So the govt. sat on its hands, allowed the trough dwellers at Ianz to precipitate this crisis.
    Who the hell are these people. All of a sudden we have another bunch of tit suckers bleeding us dry in the name of apparent accreditation status.
    Well the news for them is that they failed their jobs previously so why would we want to pay them for another go. Undoubtedly this is a construct of Williamson and Smith, a bit like accrediting builders etc. Only as good as the day someone asks the questions. Until liability is properly sheeted home to the designer and constructor and not every public servant in NZ nothing will change except to make building more and more costly to be funded by owners and ratepayers.

    Epic fail.

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  15. peterwn (3,304 comments) says:

    If I were the Mayor of Christchurch, I would suggest that the CEO and responsible section head might like to get their gardening up to date and leave their keys and swipe cards on the table on the way out the door.

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  16. Viking2 (11,562 comments) says:

    One would suspect that they are already suffering from loss of qualified staff and what would also be the most unusual building situation in NZ history and yet the armchair critics have but one answer. Sack everyone. FFS what do you expect of the organization when even the land assessments haven’t been completed let alone the EQC deciding what is needed.

    Auckland barely meets the standards and its three times the size and hasn’t had a disruption to everything it does. (other than Len)
    Wait till Key’s grandiose plans get under way and see what happens. Think housing is expensive now? Invest in Auckland because it’s only going one way. just like Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne.

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  17. Mike Readman (365 comments) says:

    Bob didn’t just rehire Tony, he threatened to quit if he wasn’t rehired!

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  18. Dirty Rat (383 comments) says:

    Farrar states that this crowd is indepenant of the Govt…then later states “imagine is Labour were in Govt”…I mean wtf ??

    You are saying its not a Government issue, then you are later making it a Labour Party issue.

    You are a cock

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  19. Bazar (37 comments) says:

    @Dirty Rat
    For those with limited reading comprehension, allow me to explain.
    The government has no control over Ianz’s actions.
    Ianz has deemed the CCC to be below their standards.

    What the national government has done, is obtain some control over governance of Christchurch since the EQ.
    According to labour, this is undemocratic and had they been in power, they would of released much of the power back to the CCC and the ratepayers. The same system that is so dysfunctional it can’t even meet basic consenting standards.

    So while this isn’t an issue the National government can control, they have already preempted much of the damage already.

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  20. Shunda barunda (2,985 comments) says:

    Note to self, never EVER buy a post quake building (or even garden shed) in Christchurch!

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  21. lazza (382 comments) says:

    From experience gained in an official advisory position at Banks Pensinula DC when Bob Parker was its Mayor I advised Bob of my worries over the accounting procedures (sniff test!).

    I was greeted with every reason to poo poo my concerns from Bob. Six moths later his CEO was fired for improprieties. Talk about denial!

    Same now at Christchurch … same leopard, same spots, different CEO but same arrogant denial.

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  22. iMP (2,420 comments) says:

    A few facts that might illuminate the fog of the anti-Parker lynch-mob.

    1. “Mike Greer Homes director Mike Greer said the council was marginally slower than other councils at processing consents, possibly due to the council dealing with a larger number.” Oh, and 11,000+ aftershocks.

    2. Richard Diver of Countrywide Property, said “”You just can’t beat an organisation like that up over night to cope with the huge influx, and the increase in workload is significant.”

    3. In the past 14 days the council issued 632 consents with a combined value of $160 million.

    4. Of the original 500 back-logged consents which Parker committed to clearing by the end of June, 25 remained yesterday morning. All were expected to be cleared by the end of the working day.

    Meanwhile, the Council has signed a deal with Govt., that will pour $4.8 billion in to the city over the next few years costing ratepayers a fraction of the cost. Christchurch will get at least ten hugely significant new major developments.

    If that is “dysfuncional,” I’ll take that.

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  23. marcw (254 comments) says:

    @ iMP: If the CCC was working at it’s best, why could they manage to clear 525 backlogged consents in such a short time only AFTER they had been threatened with de-registartion by IANZ? They had become complacent, and had a take it or there’s the door attitude to their high paying clients. Maybe if they wern’t a monopoly provider they might have had a better customer focused service – their arrogance shows through in most of their dealings with their captive constituents.

    Do you really think the backlog would have been given such a priority without the intervention we have seen? (Answer: pigs will fly.)

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  24. iMP (2,420 comments) says:

    Marcw:
    1) Massive ground consolidation and assessment issues other councils don’t have.
    2) massive insrance complications that affect consents.
    3) CCC staff head-hunted by Govt. for its Chch rebuild work necessitating CCC having to hire-in consents staff from other councils.

    All issues that helped create the backlog. Some staff did not have homes, for goodness sake. That CCC has cleared the backlog is pretty impressive, I’d say.

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  25. marcw (254 comments) says:

    iMP:

    You (deliberately) missed my point – why did it take the threat of deregistration for them to pull finger? It sure as hell wasn’t their customer focused approach.

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  26. thaksinsproposal (40 comments) says:

    I do not believe for one minute that this successful NZ Nat Government will leave Dalziel crazy in charge of anything.
    Nor the imaginative Parker
    It is going to be hard for us , but the Republic of Christchurch died.
    We will have to face the music
    It is now , face up New Zealanders , be brave look after your own household , there is no relief

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  27. thaksinsproposal (40 comments) says:

    Unless a good third party candidate like Hugh Pavletich wants to be Mayor,
    I will vote for Mayor Parker,
    he has taken a pounding , and he inherited a dysfunctional system

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