Council build consent system streamlined

By Emily Normanemily.norman@age.co.nz -
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GoShift, a partnership between central and local government, was formed to improve performance, consistency and service delivery across the building consent system. PHOTO/FILE
GoShift, a partnership between central and local government, was formed to improve performance, consistency and service delivery across the building consent system. PHOTO/FILE

Building consents will be "standardised and simplified" this year, thanks to GoShift, a nation-wide programme that all three Wairarapa councils have signed up with.

GoShift, a partnership between central and local government, was formed to improve performance, consistency and service delivery across the building consent system.

Carterton Mayor John Booth said the "resource-sharing" component of the programme will enable councils to cut down on costs and time spent processing building consents.

"Carterton District Council has always prided itself on the way we process our building consents and we've got a really good reputation for getting it done quickly and doing a good job," he said.

"We always meet our deadlines on processing building consent applications and under this GoShift initiative, shared resources will make things potentially even easier for us. What we're all hoping with this process is that the shared resources will result in some cost-saving that will ultimately benefit the customers and the ratepayers out there.

"Anybody that is building a new house, or altering a house, or starting a new business or anything, building consents are all a part of the cost and if that cost can be reduced through efficiencies, then that's great and that's what people are looking for."

The first stage of GoShift is the introduction of simplified and standardised building consent application forms across all participating councils in the next few months. Other parts of the consent process will be standardised over the next six to 12 months.

The programme is led by Wellington City Council, with the support of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. MBIE general manager building system performance Derek Baxter said councils have taken a solid leadership position on something they have the ability and mandate to change for the better.

"GoShift councils have committed to making it easier for their building customers to do business with them, by reducing the complexity of their processes and sharing them with other councils," he said.

"Customers will have consistent building consent experiences, no matter which council they are dealing with. One participating council has had, up to now, 26 different kinds of consent application forms. GoShift will reduce that to just two."

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