Christchurch City Council CEO Tony Marryatt receives the Accreditation certificate from Andrew Minturn (Adviser, BCA Accreditation & Registration).
Christchurch City Council, which issues the most building consents of any Council in New Zealand, has achieved accreditation as a Building Consent Authority.
The Council was yesterday presented with its certificate of accreditation by the Department of Building and Housing. The Council becomes an accredited Building Consent Authority following a long audit process involving its Environmental Policy & Approvals and Inspections & Enforcement Units.
Last year, the Council issued over 8500 building consents with a value over $1 billion and has already approved $460 million of buildings in the past five months despite the effects of the global economic downturn.
While the Provincial and City Councils have been approving building works in Christchurch for the past 150 years, recent changes to the Building Act now requires that Councils must achieve accreditation as a Building Consent Authority to be licensed to issue consents and inspect buildings.
Paying homage to the standards maintained by previous authorities, including the Provincial Councils of the past, the Manager Environmental Policy & Approvals for the Council, Steve McCarthy says they were very effective at maintaining high standards when “you consider all of the remaining heritage and older buildings in Christchurch City”. “The character of the City is depicted by these buildings,” says Mr McCarthy.
“However, the recent need for accreditation was borne out of an increasing sophistication in the industry. This lead to Councils needing to be more consistent nationally in evaluating the methods and products being used. One of the aims for this across-the-board consistency is to make sure that there are no substandard building standards and practises,” he says.
To address issues nationally around leaky homes and inconsistent practices from area to area, the fact is that acceptable building solutions and our building code are now very comprehensive.
Accreditation ensures that Building Consent Authorities issuing consents maintain very rigid standards, he says. "Our customers can therefore have faith that the buildings in the City meet or exceed the national standards."