Council Looking at Increasing Building Fees


February 12, 2020 - 60 views

Waitaki District Council’s Building Services Department are looking at increasing their Fees and
Charges.


In a typical year the Building Team process over 600 building consents and conduct over 5500
inspections along with all the other work that comes with being a Building Consent and Territorial
Authority.


What do the increases mean for you? For the average Ratepayer it means nothing, except it will
allow us to limit the impact on next year’s rates. For the property developer, building owner, new
home builder and most renovators, it will mean an increase in consenting and inspection fees. With
our costs only representing typically 1.5% of the total cost of a new house build we still believe we
are providing a value for money service.


One group of people who will being paying more are those who are non-complaint or those who
present poor quality applications. And the fact is this group is a big part of the reason for the
proposed fee increase. In the last 12 months we have seen a significant increase in non-compliance
and a rise in examples of very poor workmanship. At Waitaki District Council we think it is only fair
that those who cause the most work pay the most.


Just like everything else, our costs continue to rise, the demands from Central Government impact
the way we do business and place further financial pressure on the system along with training our
staff and competing in the market place for quality, customer-focused team members and anyone
who’s building or in business today will be experiencing some of the same stresses.
Finally, in order to be a Building Consent Authority we have to be accredited by the Ministry of
Business Innovation and Employment. This comes with a huge cost and our estimates showing the
direct and indirect costs are about $200,000 per year.


A package of changes to Building Department Fees and Charges will be presented to Council for
approval and industry feedback that will change the way we conduct our business and address the
private/public funding gap. To accompany this, a new guidance document is being developed to
explain what we charge for and how applicants can keep their cost down.


We’ll keep everyone updated as we work through this problem and feedback from the industry will
be vital to any decision we make.

Anyone who this planned fee increase will affect is asked to give us
their input by emailing building@waitaki.govt.nz these responses will be collated and go into the
report being prepared for councillors.

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