Christchurch consents

Martin van Beynen at The Press reports:

The has granted building consents that potentially put people and property at risk, International Accreditation New Zealand () says.

Ianz on Monday announced it was revoking the council’s accreditation of its consents function on July 8, prompting a council and Government scramble to ensure consents can continue to be issued in the rebuilding city.

The council had granted consents that Ianz found ‘‘did not meet the requirements of the Building Code’’, prompting one earthquake widower to label the debacle ‘‘very worrying’’.

Council officials will meet Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee and Local Government Minister Chris Tremain in Christchurch today. The most likely outcome is the appointment of a commissioner to run the council’s consents department until accreditation can be regained.

While attempts have been made to downplay the seriousness of the revocation, Ianz chief executive Llew Richards told The Press yesterday ‘‘we have serious concerns’’.

He referred to sections of the latest Ianz report saying the authority had identified council building consents that breached the Building Code and/or Act.

‘‘These have the potential to cause damage to the property, other adjoining property or injury to people,’’ the report says.

Hardly the equivalent of a parking ticket, as claimed by the Mayor.

He was staggered the problem went back as far as 2007, he said, but admitted in Parliament he did not know about the September Ianz report until June 7.

“At that point I decided that this situation was intolerable and we have been taking action since that time and we will have further discussions with the city council tomorrow, because this situation cannot continue.”

Those who had argued the Government should stay out of local authority functions should now be reconsidering, he said.


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