LTCCP Day 3. Highlights
Wednesday, May 18, 2011 at 12:36PM
Bill Barclay

Building Control

As advised earlier, two additional enforcement officers are to be appointed under the 2011/2012 Annual Plan. This was to ensure a more active follow up on reported infringements of codes and regulations.

There was somewhat contradictory discussion at today’s LTCCP meeting on this issue with the Mayor and Deputy Mayor in particular suggesting a more relaxed attitude towards prosecutions, while Cr. Wells and Judicial Chair pulled towards the more active option for infringements of medium risk and above - towards ensuring the letter of the law is followed in effect.

Cr. French is clearly of a mind to help make the unsafe safe rather than seek to institute proceedings, demonstrating a softer touch in other words. He did not demonstrate a great understanding of Council liability issues, in referring to his Police prosecuting experience.

They all seemed mollified by the culpability assessment described by Enforcement Manager Jaqui Ellis, though the Mayor still hankered after soft-peddling on those who, for instance, stumble into turning sheds into liveable units “in ignorance rather than arrogance”. A strange position indeed that seems to reflect having a bob both ways, or that in building control, politics wins every time.

The gripes of builders who claim to have been persecuted by building control, or those who claim inordinate delay in the issuing of permits appear to hold the ear of the Mayor. Though it was interesting to note that the much criticised head of Building Control – Sam Napia, came under very limited cross-examination. It seems that his job is safe – contrary to threats issued during the election.

Three important facts that emerged today were:

1.  On line building consent facility will be available by July this year for uncomplicated consents.

2.  There are just eight active weathertight claims in ths District - an indication as to the effectiveness of past building control measures. 

3.  95% of consent applicatiions are dealt with inside the 20 working day limit.

Cemeteries

Staff recommended the postponement of the Mercury Bay Cemetery "for a number of years in accordance with the Council direction to align the annual rate increase to CPI". Another sacrifice that may have brought about a different attitude had Cr. McLean been present - the purchase of land 6 km. south of Whitianga at Kaimarama was his legacy from the last term of Council, and further delay with no doubt cause his considerable concern.

The other items dealt with today - Community Health and Safety, Parks and Reserves, and Public Conveniences had nothing contentious that I could see, so I took a break!

LTCCP Day 4 is next Monday.   

 

 

 

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