Dunedin building and construction (+DCC fees) #leaky

### ODT Online Wed, 2 Feb 2011
All up to speed in upgrades
By David Loughrey
Major upgrades of Dunedin buildings central to public life are running on time, the Dunedin City Council says.
Read more

****

### ODT Online Wed, 2 Feb 2011
Dunedin dream home becomes nightmare
By Chris Morris
A half-million-dollar dream house in Dunedin appears to be a leaky home, prompting a cry for help from the family living in what they say has become a mouldy nightmare. It has also prompted a warning from an Auckland-based leaky homes expert, who says the home’s condition might be a sign of a much larger leaky-home problem across Otago.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

54 Comments

Filed under Architecture, Construction, Design, Economics, Heritage, Project management, Site, Urban design

54 responses to “Dunedin building and construction (+DCC fees) #leaky

  1. Elizabeth

    ### D Scene 2-2-11
    Engineer wants answers for high consent fees (page 3)
    By Wilma McCorkindale
    Dunedin builders are forced to pay hiked Dunedin City Council (DCC) consent fees three times higher than the rest of the country, a city councillor says . . . Lee Vandervis said one complainant, Dunedin man Errol Chave, went to considerable lengths to compare Duunedin fees with other areas around the country.
    {continues} #bookmark

    Register to read D Scene online at http://fairfaxmedia.newspaperdirect.com/

  2. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Fri, 11 Feb 2011
    Consent fee criticism ‘misleading’
    By David Loughrey
    A growing chorus of criticism of building consent fees in Dunedin has sparked a review, but a city council manager has dubbed some of the commentary “just so misleading and inaccurate”.
    Read more

  3. Phil

    You have to love that photo of Neil McLeod. It’s a classic “bugger, how did you find that out ?” shot. The ODT had quite a selection of Murray Douglas snaps, depending on the severity of his latest ballsup.

  4. Phil

    “misleading and inaccurate” isn’t exactly saying “wrong” though, is it. Sometimes the more you say, the deeper the hole.

  5. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Tue, 15 Feb 2011
    Leaky home claim likely
    By Chris Morris
    The Dunedin City Council could be facing a claim through the courts for a “sizeable” six-figure settlement, following allegations it erred in signing off on a half-million dollar leaky home in Dunedin.
    Read more

  6. Stu

    Poor Michael. I installed wireless there for him just before he discovered the scale of the problem.

    The WHRS man is correct – go and look at the number of recent buildings, particularly in North Dunedin, with the same style of monolithic cladding. Lots of examples in and around Howe St, Gt King St, Frederic St/Leith St, Forth St etc. Think tilt-slab concrete is bad…?

    • Elizabeth

      Oh, you mean in the ghetto where DCC allowed ‘residential’ intensification… to fuel the university’s student intakes; an area that lacks the necessary infrastructural capacity. Yeah, that place.

      Pull the recent crap out and start again – meanwhile, in amongst the streets you name are the most stunning early houses and cottages. The best of these if upgraded and retrofitted provide the framework for a very comfortable, characterful, accessible and relaxed mixed community neighbourhood, allowing for greater amenity (with just maybe some more rooms and floors) and sense of place.

      An area, it must be said, with the potential to take higher design values well for long term investment.

      It would be frightfully nice to see an effective reduction in the number of landlords siphoning student loans without any compunction to upgrade ‘habitable rooms’ or provide quality amenity space.

      Does the Dunedin City Council have any intention to shift the gearing? It certainly has the means available.

      The University of Otago seems always to claim the North Dunedin campus area as its own ‘holding’ – it’s not. The area is still very much ‘Dunedin’, and the streets Stu mentions are fully public domain – irrespective of the university’s property acquisition policy(?), or was that simply ‘opportunism’.

      Underscoring the ghetto’s future is the University’s lack of consultation with DCC on the future of the residential neighbourhoods – the Campus Master Plan was developed in an insular and non inclusive manner. The Council and the interested public were excluded from consultation. Time to take the area back for the City.

      Perhaps if you sleep in Maori Hill you don’t have to think about black mould under the stair, or other pathogens breaking through the paint surfaces. Or the total building coming apart. Oops, too bad.

      • Elizabeth

        ### 3news.co.nz Tue, 15 Feb 2011 7:00p.m.
        Costly council building consents
        Every time you build a house you need to get consent from your local council. The consent cost covers the approval of the house plan and inspections to insure the build is in keeping with the plan and the building code. Consents are a complicated business. Each local authority calculates its fees differently. But the process is governed by statute – so why does it appear to cost two to three times more to build in Dunedin as elsewhere in the country?
        Video

  7. Stu

    647 George = triple-brick cottage. Solid.

  8. Phil

    Very interesting to follow the current level of squirming in Building Control. I’ve heard the stories about the comparison between councils as not being fair. But there’s more to it than just that. In 2009, building consent fees were increased by 25%. The money was needed specifically to hire extra staff in order to cope with an anticipated extra workload. The extra work didn’t materialise (blamed on the economic climate, which reduced the number of building consents and fees), the extra staff weren’t hired, but the fees increase remained in place. That’s nothing to do with comparing other councils. That’s simply taking money that they couldn’t justify. That increase is on top of a 67% fee increase applied less than 12 months earlier due to the Building Act changes.

    I’ve also heard the line coming out of Building Control that their fees are higher across the board because of the high number of low value building consents lodged in Dunedin. They end up losing money (according to them) on small consents, so they charge more for larger consents to make up the difference. Doesn’t seem quite fair if you’re the person building a new house and paying for your neighbour to alter his garage at the same time.

    It’s not the first time this has raised its head and I think it’s fair that questions are being asked.

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Fri, 18 Feb 2011
      Report says home dangerous: family
      By Chris Morris
      A Dunedin family living in what they claim is a half-million-dollar leaky home say the first results of a Weathertight Homes Resolution Service (WHRS) inspection prove their home is “dangerous”. However, a senior Dunedin City Council manager is still refusing to discuss their claim in detail, or say whether their request for a new rental “safe house” to live in – paid for by the council – will be considered.
      Read more

      • Elizabeth

        ### ODT Online Wed, 9 Mar 2011
        Cull to meet owners of ‘leaky home’
        By Chris Morris
        Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull has organised a meeting with senior Dunedin City Council staff and the owners of a $550,000 allegedly leaky home, to be held later today. The meeting was arranged by Mr Cull after the couple – Michael Beazley and Deborah Wai Kapohe – approached him directly to express concern at the way council staff had dealt with their complaints.
        Read more

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Fri, 11 Mar 2011
          Talks with Cull over leaky home
          By Chris Morris
          A Dunedin couple threatening the Dunedin City Council with legal action over an alleged leaky home say progress has been made after meeting Mayor Dave Cull and council staff. However, the couple – Michael Beazley and Deborah Wai Kapohe – say their plea for the council to buy their home, to allow them to relocate, has already been rejected.
          Read more

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Sat, 12 Mar 2011
          Report flagged issues
          By Chris Morris
          Debate over Dunedin’s half-million-dollar alleged leaky home has continued this week. Chris Morris reports. The Dunedin City Council was warned about leaky home faults in a half-million dollar house in Dunedin, but signed off on the house anyway – the very next day.
          Read more

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Sat, 26 Mar 2011
      DCC building fees information closer
      By David Loughrey
      Long-awaited information on building consent fees in the city – fees the building industry claims far outstrip those of other centres – may finally help shed some light on the issue. Since last year, industry figures have been claiming Dunedin City Council building consent fees are double or more than those in other areas.
      Read more

      • Elizabeth

        ### ODT Online Thu, 21 Apr 2011
        Comparing building consent fee costs
        By David Loughrey
        The building industry may finally be about to get a detailed response to its concerns about the cost of building consent fees in Dunedin. Dunedin City Council city environment general manager Tony Avery this week said a report providing an “apples with apples” comparison between Dunedin’s consent fees and those of other New Zealand centres was being put together by a consultant.
        Read more

  9. Our family recently arrived from Australia and bought a Dunedin Home in December 2010. We didn’t know what a leaky home was but now after a few months research and lodging a claim with the WHRS we have found that some of what we have learnt may help fellow Dunedin residents. Here is a little of the information:

    Of the estimated $11.3 billion cost (both economic and transaction cost) of the consensus estimate of 42,000 failures of homes due to weathertightness throughout New Zealand, 69% of the cost is estimated to be borne by the home owner. The 2009 PWC report stated that the reasons for this are that the home owner bears the transaction costs, failures after the ten year longstop are the owners responsibility, many failures will have gone unrealised and some owners built the house or failed to mitigate damage.

    A leaky home should not only be looked upon as a cost to the owner, ratepayer and taxpayer. A leaky home is also a dangerous home. It is a matter of time before somebody is killed. For example, our home has a large two story window that is ‘far from normal’ and has never been compliant. The window poses a threat to our family and we are awaiting the structural engineer’s assessment. We have begged that the Council help us as the Council knew the home leaked and had faults before the CCC was issued (a very odd and sui generis situation). However, the Council dollars are put before human health and safety.

    When the Hunn Report into weathertight homes was released in 2002, various recommendations were made. These included the dissemination of information about leaky homes to the public. We have been told by builders and valuers that the Dunedin City Council were warned in early 2000s by an expert that the city had many leaky homes. I would like to ask if the Dunedin City Council followed the Hunn recommendation? Did the Dunedin City Council make an effort to inform the public about Leaky Homes?

    The Dunedin public need to know that a leaky home is a defective home. Most people we speak to are surprised because they think leaky homes are an Auckland thing.

    Most monolithic clad homes fail and many will think that it is only a flat roof or only untreated timber. However, a leaky home is actually poor workmanship and even a steel or treated timber frame will eventually deteriorate. A leaky home is hidden within the walls that rot/corrode from the inside out and ‘fool’ the inspector’s gadgets.

    Dunedin weathertight failures (leaky homes) are less likely to be discovered than those in more humid climates. This is because drier climates slow deterioration (PWC Report, 2009). Our home in Glenleith is an example of this. An Auckland expert recently said to us that the home would not have lasted until now in Auckland where the climate is humid. (Our home is a leaky home that is nearly ten years old).

    In addition, the timber, New Zealand Oregon will ‘hold up’ longer. The WHRS assessor estimated an eighteen year life for the timber. This is the timber commonly used in the lower South Island.

    The Weathertight legislation requires a home within the ten year longstop that leaks and has damage from the leak. Therefore, it is my opinion that the ten year longstop is not long enough for homes in Dunedin. Ten years might not be enough for a leaky home in the South to show its colours.

    Changing the ten year longstop for a leaky home will take a concerted effort from the lower South Island but will help those who are already outside of the longstop. 25% of these home owners may be retired (WHRS website). (It is important to realise that leaky homes can belong to anybody and can be modest dwellings belonging to those of modest incomes.)

    We have spoken to many builders in Dunedin and they assure us that they have built plenty of Dunedin leaky homes. Therefore, it is time that the Territorial Authority (or somebody with authority, anybody!) declares that there are leaky homes in Dunedin.

    Maybe, it is time that the city addressed the issue and began a movement like the Neurosurgery movement. Otherwise, many hard working Dunedin ratepayers and other lower South Island residents will lose their homes whilst the building and real estate industry laugh all the way to the bank. If anybody knows of anybody who is willing to take this on then please let us know.

    Leaky Home Owners, Dunedin.

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Fri, 15 Apr 2011
      ‘It’s as bad as it gets’
      By Chris Morris
      Michael Beazley and Deborah Wai Kapohe received a phone call from a Department of Building and Housing representative yesterday, confirming their house was a leaky home and in need of full re-cladding.
      Read more

      • Elizabeth

        This is starting to sound ridiculous… sadly, a lot of Dunedin families live in one room for winter, most usually they don’t have any opportunity to carry out diligence on an expensive house they might end up buying… did we say diligence?

        ****

        ### ODT Online Sat, 4 Jun 2011
        Leaky home family in one room for winter
        By Chris Morris
        A Dunedin family living in a half-million-dollar leaky home are hunkering down for winter in a single room, surrounded by thermal drapes to keep warm. Deborah Wai Kapohe said she and husband Michael Beazley, together with their two children, had built the nest inside a downstairs living space.
        Read more

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Mon, 6 Jun 2011
          Trade skills shortage beginning to bite
          By Dene Mackenzie
          A skills shortage is starting to bite in the South as employment agencies and employers struggle to find qualified staff. Otago building contractors contacted confirmed there was a shortage of skilled labour, particularly carpenters. The Government was encouraging the hiring of apprentices but those apprentices had to be supervised by a skilled trades person, and they were in short supply. So far, Dunedin contractors were not competing on price for skilled staff but that could change when the Christchurch rebuilding contracts were signed. The Christchurch temporary housing contracts seemed stalled because of the lack of builders. Otago-Southland Employers Association chief executive John Scandrett said the association had for many months received wide-ranging comments of concern around regional skilled labour shortages.
          Read more

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Sat, 18 Jun 2011
          Cold comfort harm
          By Kim Dungey
          Cold, damp houses have been linked to everything from asthma to depression. Yet many of us will spend this winter in them, perhaps wondering how – with rising petrol and food costs – we will ever afford improvements. Kim Dungey looks at a significant problem and what the Government is doing about it.
          Read more

          HEAT LOSS
          • A typical New Zealand home without insulation loses 30% to 50% of its heat through the roof, 18% to 24% through the walls, 21% to 31% through the windows, 12% to 14% through the floor and 5% to 9% through air leakage.

          • Insulate your ceiling first, then under the floor. Walls and windows are both relatively difficult and expensive to insulate in an existing house and are usually left until you are renovating. Install wall insulation if you need to remove wall linings and put in double glazing when replacing windows.

          • The minimum recommended R-values for existing homes in the South Island are R1.4 bulk insulation under the floor and, in ceilings, an R3.2 blanket or R4.0 segment insulation where there is 0mm-75mm of existing insulation, or R2.4 blanket insulation where there is 75mm-120mm of existing insulation. It’s good to install more if you can.

          ****

          18.6.11 ODT Online: Warming up from the inside

          Warm Up New Zealand: Heat Smart is a government programme to insulate existing houses and provide some funding towards “clean” efficient heating. Anyone who owns a home built before 2000 can get 33% off the cost of ceiling and underfloor insulation, up to $1300. Once their home is insulated, they can get $500 towards a clean heating system.

          18.6.11 ODT Online: Culture shapes heating choices

          Denial of pain and discomfort is part of the New Zealand culture and might make us more tolerant than others of being cold indoors.

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Wed, 22 Jun 2011
          Design key to maximising sun: architect
          By Chris Morris
          Better designs making the best use of the sun – rather than a blanket ban on south-facing homes – are needed to make Dunedin’s chilly housing stock more ecologically friendly, an award-winning Dunedin architect says. Architectural Ecology Ltd director Tim Heath, of Dunedin, was responding to a suggestion from Cr Fliss Butcher that the construction of new south-facing homes should be banned in Dunedin.
          Read more

        • Elizabeth

          An odd letter of reply by Fliss Butcher to Tim Heath in Friday’s (24 June) ODT print and digital editions. Do read it, people. Somebody is not fully in charge of faculties.

          Further, signed herself off as “Cr Fliss Butcher”. I’m pretty sure that practice has been outlawed; Fliss Butcher does not speak for Council when she writes a letter to the editor.

          ODT nicely titled the letter as “Cr says I’m not naive with housing idea” (page 14)…
          :D

        • Elizabeth

          So when a city councillor proposes a draconian ban on the construction of all new houses other than those positioned facing north into the sun, it should prompt citizens to wonder what might be next on the green agenda.

          ### ODT Online Mon, 27 Jun 2011
          Editorial: Facing up to castle location
          It is unlikely, even in hilly and chilly Dunedin, a claim could be substantiated for a historic philosophy of house construction based on the position of the sun. Any modern student of colonial-era architecture and house construction, wandering the urban streets of the older city, could not but be impressed with the determination of property owners, subdivision developers and local councils to ignore the effects of the elements.
          Read more

  10. Phil

    A terrible situation for you and your family to be in. Not a fun time. I think it was around 2004 that changes were made to the Building Act, specifically to address the issues around monolithic clad houses. It’s now accepted that water will penetrate the outer shell, with provision made to drain away water and mositure before it reaches the structural and internal layers. If they’ve got it right, and they build correctly, these things shouldn’t happen again. None of that helps you, mind.

    The overall problem was a real mess. A poor building standard coinciding with the ill-fated private building inspector scheme. Local Authorities claimed they weren’t responsible for the private inspectors (which I view as total crap, they were agents for councils) and both the local authority and private inspectors claimed that they were only following the government rules of the day. Pass the parcel. I can see there’s a lot of squirming going on within DCC at the moment. I wouldn’t be surprised if they try to claim that they were correct to sign the building off as compliant in 2005 (?), despite it not meeting the requirements of the Building Act at the time, because it would have met the requirements of the Act at the time Building Consent was issued in terms of weathertightness. A thin and weasely excuse, and not in the spirit of what local authorities are supposed to be about. That’s Building Control for you.

  11. Anonymous

    Noting that in order to produce this comparison, the DCC had to employ the services of a consultant, which appears to be the preferred mode of operation these days.

    Public analysis of the differences between that consultant’s report and the two other independent reports would be of great interest.

  12. Phil

    They needed a consultant in order to figure out what the actual cost of a building consent was in Dunedin ? That was the original request to the department from Council. Not to start comparing with other councils. The fact that they went straight into that mode suggests something to hide. Do they think that the people in the Master Builders Association are not clever or experienced enough to be able to compare like with like around the country ? Apparently. The delay sounds more like an excuse to fix things before anyone finds out they’ve been scammed.

  13. Anonymous

    By contrast, for a passive house, an R-value of 40-50 is typical for North America or Europe.
    European WINDOWS typically have R-values of 7 in passive homes i.e. twice as much insulating value than the recommended for WALLS in NZ Homes.
    So far behind.

  14. While I entirely agree that the required NZ level of insulation is too low, it is much colder in US/North America. Quick back of envelope calculation suggests that Dunedin would require about 25 and Mosgiel 30 R-value for similar effect. Realistically 10 for metro Dunedin and 15 for Mosgiel would be pretty good — the returns really start to diminish past that point.

  15. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Thu, 14 Jul 2011
    Council may pay 25% of repairs to leaky homes
    By Chris Morris
    The Dunedin City Council will consider signing up to a $1 billion package requiring it to pay a share of leaky home claim settlements in future, a council manager says. Council chief building control officer Neil McLeod said yesterday the council had already indicated it agreed “in principle” with the Weathertight Homes Resolution Services (Financial Assistance Package) Bill.
    Read more


    Report – PEC – 06/09/2011
    (PDF, 1.3 MB)
    Building Control Fees and Interim Review

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Wed, 7 Sep 2011
      Leaky home deal support
      By Chris Morris
      Dunedin city councillors have thrown their support behind the Government’s $1 billion leaky home package, amid concerns the discovery of more problem homes could be on the horizon in Dunedin. Councillors at yesterday’s planning and environment committee meeting voted to join the Government’s financial assistance package. Their decision is subject to full council approval later this month.
      Read more


      Report – PEC – 06/09/2011
      (PDF, 87.5 KB)
      Leaky Homes Financial Assistance Package

      • Elizabeth

        ### ODT Online Fri, 6 Jan 2012
        Family fears another winter in leaky home
        By Chris Morris
        A Dundin family living in a leaky home face the possibility of a second winter in “hell” unless parties, including the Dunedin City Council, agree to a mediated settlement soon.
        Read more

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Fri, 27 Jul 2012
          Council tight-lipped over leaky home settlement
          By Chris Morris
          The owners of a more than half-million-dollar leaky home in North Dunedin have reached a settlement with the Dunedin City Council after more than a year fighting for “a way out”. Council staff have declined to discuss details of the agreement, including whether a mistake has been acknowledged or if public money was spent on the deal.
          Read more

        • Elizabeth

          ### IDT Online Sat, 28 Jul 2012
          Leaky home deal brings ‘closure’
          By Chris Morris
          The family at the centre of a leaky home settlement with the Dunedin City Council say they are thankful their fight is finally over. It was confirmed on Thursday the owners of 36 Leithton Close, Glenleith – Deborah Wai Kapohe and Michael Beazley – had reached a settlement with the council after nearly 18 months fighting for “a way out”. Details of the deal remain confidential, but the settlement had brought “closure” to the family, the couple said in an email to the Otago Daily Times yesterday.

          The couple, now understood to be living in the North Island, also said it had been “important to us” that Dunedin people were alerted to the existence of leaky homes in Dunedin.

          Read more

        • Elizabeth

          DCC not wishing to disclose use of public monies, again. Dunedin: Cull’s Council Bermuda Triangle of lost facts and figures.

          ### ODT Online Fri, 14 Sep 2012
          Leaky home sold to main builder
          Council says its agreement confidential
          By Chris Morris
          The principal builder of a Dunedin leaky home has bought the property as part of a confidential settlement with its former owners it has been confirmed. However, other details of the deal – including how much the settlement has cost the Dunedin City Council – remain suppressed. The house at 36 Leithton Close, in Glenleith, was owned by Deborah Wai Kapohe and Michael Beazley who blamed the council and other parties for leaving them with a leaky home.
          Read more
          http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/225816/leaky-home-sold-main-builder

  16. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Fri, 2 Sep 2011
    Dunedin home building companies optimistic
    By Allison Rudd
    Dunedin building companies are optimistic new homes are back on the agenda for property seekers. Most of the nine building companies contacted this week reported significantly more inquiries in the past two months and more customers serious about building, putting it down to a combination of the traditional spring surge, continued low interest rates, a steadier economic outlook and interest from former Christchurch residents.

    The council proposes to increase charges on developments which place extra demand on existing infrastructure. If implemented as proposed, the changes could net the council an additional $34 million over the next decade.

    Read more

    ****

    Comments on building fees at DCC Draft Annual Plan 2011/12

    Comments on development contributions at Dunedin City Council’s rock and its hard place

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Wed, 7 Sep 2011
      Move to reduce consent fees welcomed
      By David Loughrey
      A Dunedin City Council move to reduce building consent fees – fees that are significantly higher than other areas – is a good first step, the Master Builders Federation says. But the federation’s Otago president, Mark Ward, said the local authority had shown behaviour the private sector could not get away with.
      Read more

      Report – PEC – 08/02/2012 (PDF, 235 KB)
      Change to the Building Control Fee Schedule

      • Elizabeth

        ### ODT Online Thu, 8 Sep 2011
        Building consents cause of frustration
        By Allison Rudd
        The Dunedin City Council has given no promises it will be able to process building consents more quickly. Under the Building Act, building consent authorities are expected to process consents within 20 working days. The city council was achieving, or almost achieving this timeframe earlier in the year, but since June has been a long way off the target.
        Read more

        • Elizabeth

          Errol Chave’s letter to the editor published today in print and digital editions of the ODT (page 10):

          Consent Fees
          “The Dunedin City Council is to be congratulated in managing to reduce by 20% the consent fees for works in excess of $20,000 (ODT, 8.2.12). The May 2011 “Schema” report commissioned by council showed the fees were more than twice the level of other significant authorities. Prospective home builders and the industry at large look forward to the next round of significant reductions.”

        • Elizabeth

          Dunedin City Council
          Media Release
          Changes to Building Consent Fee Structure Effective 5 March 2012

          This item was published on 09 Feb 2012.

          The DCC’s Planning and Environment Committee approved changes to the building category-based fee schedule for charges under the Building Act 2004. These changes will take effect from 5 March 2012.

          Deposits, payable on application of building consents, are minimum charges based on the expected reasonable cost relative to the building category and estimated value of work. The balance of costs will be invoiced on a time basis and are payable before further work is done.

          The new fee schedule is attached and is also available from the DCC’s Customers Services Centre or http://www.dunedin.govt.nz/building-control-forms

          Contact Chief Building Control Officer, Dunedin City Council on 477 4000.

          Building Control Fees Schedule, effective 5 March (PDF, 104.0 KB)
          Approved changes to the building category-based fee schedule for charges under the Building Act 2004. These changes will take effect from 5 March 2012.

          DCC Link

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Sat, 17 Mar 2012
          Flood of consents will cause some delay
          By Allison Rudd
          People who lodged building consent applications with the Dunedin City Council last month have been warned to expect processing delays after a rush of last-minute applications to beat new building regulations which came into effect on March 1. During February, 240 applications were submitted, including about 150 in the final week of the month, council chief building control officer Neil McLeod said this week. The total was 83 more than the corresponding month last year.
          Read more

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Thu, 28 Jun 2012
          Consents processed by company after backlog
          By Debbie Porteous
          A private Auckland firm processed a batch of building consents for the Dunedin City Council this month to help clear a backlog built up over several months. Council staff say the backlog resulted from the large number of consent applications received in the last week of February.
          Read more

      • Elizabeth

        ### ODT Online Wed, 8 Feb 2012
        Consent fee changes expected to lower costs
        By David Loughrey
        A long-running dispute between the Dunedin City Council and the city’s building industry has resulted in changes to the way the council charges consent fees, changes expected to lower the cost to the industry. But Master Builders Federation Otago president Mark Ward has questioned why fees appeared to again go up in this year’s council’s draft budget.
        Read more

        Report – PEC – 08/02/2012 (PDF, 235 KB)
        Change to the Building Control Fee Schedule

  17. Pedant

    20 working day statutory requirement anyone?

  18. Phil

    Remember that they use the “stop clock” method, Pedant. Every time they require more information, they stop the clock. So the 20 days is purely their internal processing time, not the length of the application. Some departments tend to exploit this loophole (not looking at anyone, PLANNING) by sending out requests for information one at a time, instead of sending out one request for multiple items. Buying themselves more time. Not much that one can do about that.

  19. Phil

    WTF ??? I thought that they hired 13 more Building Inspectors specifically for the increase which never happened, meaning that they had 13 inspectors sitting around on their hands waiting for just such an occasion as this.

    • Elizabeth

      Phil, reluctantly the only way it seems we can crack the council machine for information on what it’s actually doing is by official information request. Not sure The Sun is motivated to know what the questions are…

  20. Anonymous

    They are all in ChCh

  21. Phil

    So the Dunedin Building Inspectors are all in Christchurch, at the expense of the Christchurch ratepayer. Resulting in the Dunedin ratepayers receiving an inferior service. I understand the greater need in Christchurch at present but surely the question should be asked as to why the Dunedin inspectors didn’t return back to carry out the core duties and why Christchurch didn’t use those available resources from Auckland.

  22. Anonymous

    You’re thinking like a business person in the private sector. That reality does not pertain to the bureaucrats and Stadium Councillors at Dunedin City Council who are blowing other people’s money.

  23. Hype O'Thermia

    Ratepayers’ money, none of our business how they spend it, right?
    Not saying they shouldn’t pay reparations for shoddy inspections & permits granted, but they should be straight with all of us. What was that word Greater Dunedin Debt used before the election? Transparency, that’s the one.

  24. anonymous

    ‘In what is being hailed a landmark case, a leaky Takapuna hotel and residence has won its case against its local council. […] “Now the owners of offices, factories, churches, hospitals, motels, hotels, schools and all other buildings may sue councils in respect of their negligent inspection and certification of buildings in order to recover damages for necessary remedial work.”‘

    When the Stadium Councillors push through the Big Ugly Glassbox for the Stakeholders, council and therefore the Dunedin City ratepayer better hope none of the inspectors get grease on their hands as an incentive to overlook any ‘minor’ construction workarounds.

    ### Stuff Last updated 17:54 11/10/2012
    Landmark leaky building case won
    By Catherine Harris
    In what is being hailed a landmark case, a leaky Takapuna hotel and residence has won its case against its local council.
    The Supreme Court released a decision today saying the former North Shore City Council owed a “duty of care” to ensure the Spencer on Byron development complied with the building code.
    The 249-residential unit complex, 200 of which are leased to a hotel, was certified by the council but later found to have defective cladding.
    Read more

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