Christchurch consents

July 3rd, 2013 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

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.


13 Responses to “Christchurch consents”

  1. hj (8,596 comments) says:

    Back in Houston Tx…..

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  2. rouppe (1,249 comments) says:

    While it is Council responsibility to get these things right, what it’s saying to me is that architects and builders are putting up rubbish designs.

    That means they don’t know what they’re doing. Why isn’t their accreditation or membership to building organisations being reviewed?

    This is leaky homes all over again. Builders and architects make up rubbish that isn’t fit for purpose, and then walk away scot free

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  3. peterwn (4,337 comments) says:

    Rouppe – good point. Not sure what the issue with architects is, but if an architect submits a seriously deficient design, then surely the Council should refer the architect to the profession’s disciplinary body. Architects do not walk ‘scot free’ but depending on circumstances (eg amount of insurance, personal financial circumstances, use of a trust to protect home etc) the architect may not be worth suing. Even more so with builders, they arrange their affairs to minimise exposure to claims, for example liquidating and re-establishing their companies every few years and pushing as many assets as possible into a family trust.

    The ‘problem’ with councils – they are always there and have infinitely deep pockets by courtesy of the ratepayer. Councils do insure themselves against staff negligence, and in Christchurch’s case, if the council is insured re building consents and inspections, it is very likely the insurance is not applicable since withdrawal of accreditation. This aspect has not been mentioned yet.

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  4. Mark (1,614 comments) says:

    It is about time that Government gave the right to accredited engineering firms to grant consents especially for commercial and more complex structures so long as they (the consenting firm) were not consenting their own work.

    Councils simply consult them in any event.

    Leave councils to provide consents on domestic structures

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  5. tvb (5,542 comments) says:

    If Parker thinks this is no more important than a parking ticket is no more important than a parking ticket then he is not fit to hold public office. This is reinforced by the results of the CTV inquiry in which a faulty building caused a serious loss of life. It seems Parker has consented to buildings that have safety issues. Parker will be facing election shortly and hopefully this talking airhead and his strange wife can disappear.

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  6. rouppe (1,249 comments) says:


    And that I think is wrong to be able to sidestep responsibility for the work you do by setting up companies every few years. The trust thing is more difficult, but there should be the ability to sheet home responsibility to the people who did the work.

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  7. Alan Wilkinson (2,438 comments) says:

    I’m sceptical without facts. Our building codes are completely anal now. Everyone involved in a building from architects to drainlayer has to sign up to taking responsibility for their work. There always many ways to skin a cat and the code’s “acceptable solutions” are examples but not exclusive.

    I suspect it is extremely unlikely designs that are unsafe or unsanitary have been submitted and approved. I heard Campbell ranting last night and he obviously doesn’t have a clue about the industry so I wouldn’t put the slightest credibility on his alarmism.

    Show us the facts so we can investigate and assess them.

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  8. flipper (5,339 comments) says:

    The problem is that Councils are box tickers, and posses no more than book knowledge derived from reading the relevant NZSS, the Building Act and BRANZ. Moreover, the Accreditation group itself has no more credibility than councils.

    Their view of some consents issued by CHCC is one of evaluation theory. Unless they have made field inspections, and those have been done by folk with practical as well as theoretical experience, they are of no more than bureaucratic comment. All care, but no responsibility? The “faulty” consents could be nothing more than inadequate paper work – not faulty design or material.

    But enough on that, the real culprit in all this is Maryatt. His resignation is overdue, as are the resignations of the managers he has appointed. That is where the “fault” lies, and will rest.

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  9. Viking2 (14,467 comments) says:

    Funny isn’t it really. We build roading structures and air planes, bridges, massive stell structures around various plant, designed and built by engineers and no one blinks.
    We allow electricians to self certify but not plumbers or drain layers. something is amok here and we should ask why the fuck the ratepayer should take responsibility for all this stuff. Its outrageous. Councils should decide the town plan, provide the sewer and then fuck off.
    Just like insurance companies should be properly responsible for assessing the relative merits of insurance they take on. If they get it wrong tough on them. Again no reason a ratepayer nor taxpayer should be involved in a commercial transaction.

    Next we will need their certification to buy a fucking computer.

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  10. orewa1 (430 comments) says:

    Parker’s blind loyalty to Marriott is about to bring them both down.

    Parker loves limelight and thinks everything can be answered by going on tv with a big smile and hi-viz jacket. Marriott, outrageously, exploits his boss’s vanity, hiding behind the mayoral apron strings. Its an appalling abdication of accountability on such a critical matter – agruably NZ’s biggest failure of local government mangement in living memory.

    Marriott will be gone within days and Parker in October. This is the cleansing Christchurch needs.

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  11. bereal (3,137 comments) says:

    Mayor Parker is an incompetant presiding over a train wreck of a council with the help and
    guidence of his wife.
    He does have one almost unique skill though.
    When asked any question by the media he is able to prattle on and on and on in reply.
    He has learned that if he pauses to catch a breath he risks being interupted and losing centre stage.
    Therefore he has taught himself how to drone on without the need to pause to take a breath.

    He makes a didgeredoo player look like a sook.

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  12. MarkF (108 comments) says:

    Looks like something happened.
    Christchurch City Council CEO takes leave

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  13. flipper (5,339 comments) says:

    Orewa and

    Excellent. 🙂 🙂

    But…..but….we will need to kill yet another industrial complex that sucks on the economy, without contributing a single benefit.

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