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National to put six-month time-limit on resource consents for 'medium-sized' projects like new subdivisions, PM Key says

National to put six-month time-limit on resource consents for 'medium-sized' projects like new subdivisions, PM Key says

There will be a maximum six month time limit for processing resource consents for medium-sized projects like new subdivisions, under the second phase of Resource Management Act reforms announced by Prime Minister John Key today.

Councils that did not meet that timeframe would be penalised 1% of the application fee per day the consent was late.

There were around 1,600 'medium-sized' projects such as subdivisions, new retail developments and regional infrastructure processed in a year, Key said. These projects were ones that required notification.

Delays in processing resource consents were a huge frustration for businesses trying to expand, invest and create jobs, Key said in a statement.

“This is good news for businesses and for our economy because it means notified consents for medium-sized developments are processed quickly," Key said.

“It comes on top of National’s first phase of reforms, which reduced costs, uncertainties and delays for those building large national infrastructure and small non-notified consents,” he said.

National’s next phase of reforms would also address the problems identified in the wake of the Canterbury earthquakes.

“Councils should have to consider natural hazard risks such as liquefaction prior to approving new subdivisions,” Key said.  

National would also introduce changes to streamline the multiple planning processes of the Resource Management Act, Land Transport Management Act, and Local Government Act.

“We want to build on the work from the Technical Advisory Groups on urban design, so we do the planning only once and then get on with the work," he said.

(Updates with penalty)

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Dreadful news for the socialists...all their hard work building up a costly process aimed at creating work for pointy heads going up in will they react to this prospect of real jobs being created more quickly and killing off their voting fodder....I expect Annette will be spitting tacks...not sure of Goofy and cunny will understand the implications!

some of this propaganda is rather disingenious

one of the main reasons late consent numbers have dropped is due to MUCH lower council consent workloads, rather than any policy National has introduced

Have the Much lower workloads resulted in much lower staffing levels...or much lower salaries...?

They give all their work to 'consultants' anyway.  Their main objective is to obfuscate, complexify and obstruct any consent as much as they can - the longer they can spin out the consenting process the more they get paid. 



Just found out the council fees for the resource consent for our house renovations will be $ a chargeout rate of $128 ph.

Then we can look forward to being gouged further when it comes to the building consent I guess.....

And we wonder why it costs so much to build a house in NZ.


didnt you have to get a Noise Consultant Report , Traffic Impact Study, and  Tireti O Waitangi blessing this time ?

Silly time don't ell them about your reno work. The extortion is nationwide and takes place with govt approval so the councils can grab enough loot to feed the staff taken on in the bubble. Have you noticed how all the hourly rates have shot past the hundred dollar mark....faster than a speeding gst.

As you wonder new builds are a rare event. No wonder the chch rebuilds are not taking place. Only fools expect the rotting house rebuilds to happen.

A new basic box costs about $220K to gun nail together...gst is 15% on top...council fees another few grand, plus blowing out to one thousand a year plus the EQC gst on top...

Then the valuation is based on the total...and you pay rates, plus gst on top. That's gst on rates that are on top of sick is that?

I  feel your pain, Kermit.

Been married for nearly three years now. In the first year, my wife was dead keen to buy a house.

Why right now, I asked? We've barely got enough for a deposit, even for a city apartment.

Because everyone back home (China) has their own house, and I'd be really happy if they don't judge us for not owning one too.

But you know the difference between NZ and China, I said. In China you know that there are hardly any building codes for single or two-level dwellings, especially in the medium and small towns, and they get made using fairly cheap local materials (although concrete is becoming more common now), and quite a few of the neighbours and extended family pitch in to help construct the whole thing. We can't do that here in NZ, I said. Environmental issues to consider, someone to draw up the building plans, registered tradespeople to do electrical wiring, plumbing, gas lines, council approval, can't just use any old building materials, etc. That's partly why NZ houses are difficult for a young couple like us to get in NZ. Not that I'm begrudging registered tradespeople their fair wages, I said. Perhaps we could buy some cheap land miles out of town, and build and live in a "gottage". Even that'd cost a bundle.

There was silence on her part.

We continue renting...

Actually, she has come to accept the situation very gracefully, once she understood the NZ situation in more detail. Her parents' generation, who all built their own abodes with family/neighbour help, took slightly longer to understand.

Anyhow, keep your head up, Kermit. It's good to live in your own house :)

Last year we wanted to move our kitchen from one side to the other.  Auckland Council building permit fees was $3,500 and 6 weeks waiting  (OMG WTF) !  I've found out later that we didn't even need one due to the changes on Schedule 1 of the Building Codes.  And yet they still insisted us to apply for one..

Plus I went in to see the Council 3 times and walked out with 3 different answers! Great script for the next Monty Python movie..

Yet another bandaid.

Fran Wilde on TV tonight said the same - it's a fundamental re-write of planning legislation that is needed.  The RMA was initially enacted in 1991 - that's 20 years ago.  Surely given it's needed amendment every year since then, it would occur to someone in power that it plain isn't working.



All of which surely suggests that the primary problem is with those who have ever shared cabinet collective responsibility.

Start by voting their political parties out of power.

Brilliant Hugh - I enjoyed reading that.

Unfortunately, Key himself is no fixer with a grasp of public policy issues. He is doing a wonderful job as a sort of Governor General / General Public Relations Officer - and he is at his limit with the Tourism Ministry.

Classic, true, and to the point.

The question I have is - who are the individuals in the National Party capable of doing this? Who in there have a brain and some guts?

Come on Hugh, manage your expectations. Forget 'AND' and be grateful for anyone qualifying with an 'OR'.

Advice to Cabinet...think first....then act.

GST up to 15% final nail in coffin for building sector as those on the edge dropped off the consent cliff.

GST on new builds and all building related materials to be cut to 10% midnight tonight. Jolt to building sector results generating an extra 10000 new jobs by xmas in the regions and revitalising the suppliers sector. Taxes on wages and the gst rise as spending grows. Property market prices for used homes begin to fall allowing more young families to enter their first home and vacate the renters, leading to a decline in the govt billion dollar subsidy paid out every year to landlords as they are forced to drop the rents to keep people from building new................ Bollard ordered to enforce banks to keep mortgages below 80% of valuations.. has generated a savings boost and helped reduce the price of those used homes.


My advice to the public is hold off on the new builds and the renovation work because GST will be cut to 10% by Dec first...if not sooner.


Good luck to them.

A couple of years ago I subdivided our section into three sections.  There were no issues at all with infrastructure, neighbours, land use etc - everything was clearly compliant & no problems were identified at any stage.

The process took 10 months sitting at the Council after they received the application, & was only completed after constant pestering.


Come on now Hugh - you know better than most that streamlining the approval process would cut the cost of building and put a banana skin under the whole housing market.  What government wants that?

Days to the General Election: 24
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