The Government's new urban development authority is being accused of poaching council staff in a "short sighted" and "aggressive" recruitment scheme.
According to Kāinga Ora, it has only recruited 13 staff from councils for its new Building Consent Authority, all of whom came from Auckland Council.
But its moves in an already tight market has put territorial authorities around the country on edge.
Wellington City Council has vented its frustrations in a draft submission on the Urban Development Bill.
High salaries being offered by Kāinga Ora for consenting roles has resulted in staff moving from local authorities to the new entity, the draft submission reads.
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"This type of aggressive recruitment is short sighted, given councils will need equal resources to support Kāinga Ora's development projects.
"The council recommends that Kāinga Ora offers salaries in line with those offered by local authorities, while the Government supports education programmes to increase the number of skilled consenting staff across the country."
Kāinga Ora national building consent authority manager Anna McCrossan said consenting team staff were offered salaries at market value rate, and were paid fairly for the work they do.
"We use what we believe to be the reputable, independent and proven job evaluation methodology to set our positions. The outcome determines which band the position is allocated to and therefore the appropriate remuneration band."
McCrossan said their team was made up of 28 fulltime staff, including six who were not responsible for performing a technical Building Control Function.
A National Building Consent Authority would reduce the duplication of both council inspectors and Kāinga Ora's own quality assurance teams assessing the same homes for similar purposes, meaning less work for territorial authorities, she said.
There have been several meetings between Kāinga Ora senior managers and councils to explain the approach, McCrossan said.
According to Auckland Council, the number of people who have recently moved from its employment to Kainga Ora's was as many as 18 when including both technical and support staff.
The council's regulatory services director, Craig Hobbs, said council staff were desirable candidates for the new authority in an already limited pool of specialists within the urban development sector.
"It has been a challenge to find skilled staff before Kāinga Ora was established; and this additional strain does have an impact on our ability to undertake our existing functions which are of a significant volume", he said.
Auckland Council is the largest building consenting authority in the country, having last year alone consented more than 15,000 residential units and conducted 182,000 inspections.
Christchurch City Council head of building consents Robert Wright said he was aware of the pressure Kāinga Ora's recruitment was putting on other metropolitan departments.
Although Christchurch hasn't shared that experience, he said retaining and recruiting staff was challenging and they were a "sought after commodity" by both Government departments and the private sector.
Building surveyors and inspectors are on New Zealand Immigration's Construction and Infrastructure Skill Shortage list for all regions.
Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said the Government made no apology for wanting more housing to be built in high growth centres more quickly.
Most skilled consenting staff started with previous building and construction experience and they learnt on the job, he said.
"A lot of in-house training is carried out by both the private sector and government departments.
"Qualifications and competencies are developed through a combination of tertiary courses, in house training, external providers and reviewed through a comprehensive assessment process."