Tauranga City Council has brought in experts to investigate problems with its building consents.

The move comes amid public complaints about the way the council is handling consent applications, which are made by people wanting to build new homes or alter existing ones.

Details about the nature of the complaints have not been made public, but Bay of Plenty Times contacts said two problems were the length of time taken to process applications and frustration with the council repeatedly asking applicants for more information.

The council has been under pressure since a citywide building boom sparked record numbers of building consent applications.


Council chief executive Garry Poole said an independent review would be conducted by auditing and advisory firm BDO.

The review had "a broad scope" and would examine all aspects of the consent process. It was expected to be finished by early next month.

Mr Poole said the council had a responsibility to consider the complaints. He was confident that a fair and reasonable process was being followed.

"Given the review is now under way, we will not be making any further comment," he said.

"It is important to allow the review to run its course."

Tauranga Mayor Greg Brownless welcomed the review.

He said there was tension between people who wanted their consent applications to be processed quickly and a council that could be held liable for problems arising from consents that were issued too hastily.

"I think that when you do get concerns you have to look into it," he said.


"And that's what we're doing."

In December, the Bay of Plenty Times revealed that the council had started outsourcing the processing of building consents as the number of applications continued to break records.

At the time, the council said most building consents were still processed in-house, but some were outsourced to Porirua City Council and to private firms Holmes Farsight and Holmes Solutions, both subsidiaries of Holmes Group.

Of the 40 to 80 consent applications the council received each week, it sent away between 15 and 25.