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3516 posts

Uber Geek
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Topic # 242779 13-Nov-2018 23:24
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If you ever needed proof that council expenses and paperwork are out of control, there you have it. I don't see how the above costs could possibly be justified. Both in relation to wasting ratepayer money, when there are lots of more important things that need funding. And that such consent expenses also fall onto the private sector and central government. As such costs are a "parasite tax" on things like new schools, hospitals, roads, virtually any other physical infrastructure that is provided by central government. As well as extra costs that get added onto the price of new homes, as well as indirect price increases since marginal projects simply never happen. So developers of the remaining projects are able to command higher prices.


Consider the above in relation to Kiwibuild. Assuming that the 100,000 houses get built as promised. If consent fees per house could be reduced by just $1,000. That is a saving of $100million over the whole project. So very significant savings are possible.

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5369 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 2129457 19-Nov-2018 14:46
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Consent fees are a significant barrier to progress.  They have become a de-facto (possibly deliberate) obstacle to development. When we got consent for a simple set of outside stairs, the consent fees cost 50% more than the stairs.  The inspector added zero value.  Nothing changed as a result of his involvement, except our bank balance.


IMO this behaviour is driven by councils' desperation to find non-rate sources of revenue.  This has lead councils to treat permitting and consenting departments as cash-cows - except it's the applicants that get milked.


570 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 2129528 19-Nov-2018 15:23
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For a development we were proposing, the council required as to undertake an acoustic impact assessment for a section (which we also owned) located behind the one we were developing on. This section is next to a busy highway so noise levels are high.


When I asked what options we would have if the study showed there was a negative impact on the amenity of the section from the noise generated, the council officer said we could either 1) accept the impact by signing a form, or 2) mitigate the noise through additional acoustic fencing etc. I told the council officer that we would chose option 1, so on that basis was there a point in conducting the study? The answer was that we must commission the study first, even though we would certainly chose option one.


The $8500 study showed that the development would have no impact on the adjacent section, given that the noise from the highway far exceeded that generated by the development we were proposing.


In addition to the fee above, the council charged an additional $175/hr to evaluate the results of the study.


I have many more examples like this, as I am sure others on this forum have.



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