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andrewNZ
2327 posts

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  #2048556 3-Jul-2018 20:43
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The council did exercise discretion by not searching for non compliant tree houses.

Once involved, there is only one option.
When councils start choosing what parts of the law to apply, people take legal action.




Electrician.

 

Location: Dunedin

 

 


andrewNZ
2327 posts

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  #2048561 3-Jul-2018 20:55
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How about considering the alternative headline and resulting thread.


"Council ignores non compliant tree house, child falls to death."

Why didn't the council order this removed, it was clearly non compliant.




Electrician.

 

Location: Dunedin

 

 


 
 
 
 


Delphinus
483 posts

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  #2048562 3-Jul-2018 21:06
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andrewNZ: The people involved at the council did not want to be a part of any of this.

They were asked to look at it, so they did. A law exists and they are obligated to enforce it.

The person enforcing it thinks it's as crazy as everyone here, but you can NOT ask a council to ignore laws.

 

Just grant an exemption as they are allowed to as it's unlikely to endanger people or buildings. 


Fred99
11147 posts

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  #2048565 3-Jul-2018 21:09
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IANAL.

 

I think DCC has misinterpreted the legislation / Building Act they reference:

 

 

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires, building—

 

(a)

 

means a temporary or permanent movable or immovable structure (including a structure intended for occupation by people, animals, machinery, or chattels); and

 

...

 

 

I can't see anything at all there (following the highlighted "and") that would define the tree house as a "building", and it doesn't need a building consent, code compliance certificate etc.

 

I think they've made a mistake.

 

(If it was a "building" but for other reasons wasn't required to have consent, then it would still need to meet building code - but AFAICT, it's not even a "building" as defined - so that's not relevant)

 

Edit:

 

Oh FFS - from schedule 1 of the building act:

 

28 Private household playground equipment
Building work in connection with playground equipment if—
(a) the equipment is for use by a single private household; and
(b) no part of the equipment exceeds 3 metres in height above the supporting
ground level.

 

So the handrail is the problem.  That's nuts.


Bung
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  #2048643 3-Jul-2018 22:01
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What is nuts is that a deck, platform etc needs a Building Consent if you could fall 1.5m but playground equipment is 3m. Regardless any structure has to comply with Building Code.

I'm wondering how old the children were. As a child I remember the tree fort full of 10-12yr olds next door who thought it very clever to throw fire crackers and smart remarks over the fence when Mum was hanging out the washing. That structure was demolished around them.

froob
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  #2048658 3-Jul-2018 22:36
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I really feel for the council staff involved. I’m sure they don’t want to pick a fight over this sort of thing, just to get it in the neck from the public. Dealing with these situations is just part of the council’s role in building compliance. The media reporting on this sort of thing can be quite one-sided, which doesn’t help.

The height issue is a bit of a red herring. Schedule 1 exemptions just mean a building consent isn’t required. The structure must still comply with the building code, consent or not, so it makes little difference to the outcome here.

The real issue is whether or not treehouses like this should have to comply with the building code. You can almost guarantee that most don’t in some respect or other, and it would be bizarre actually applying for consent for something like this. On the other hand, if you make an exception for treehouses (or playhouses more generally), you can imagine that suddenly all manner of back yard buildings will be claimed to be “treehouses”.



Wheelbarrow01
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  #2048663 3-Jul-2018 22:51
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Slap a couple of ATV wheels underneath it, attach a drawbar at one end, register it as a homebuilt trailer or caravan, attach the number plate and voila - it is no longer a building but a vehicle, which you can park anywhere you like on your own property. If that happens to be up a tree then so be it.

 

When council visits again claiming it's not a vehicle as it can't be moved, simply shake the tree.


 
 
 
 


nakedmolerat
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  #2048671 4-Jul-2018 00:24
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i don't know why everyone is upset with the council? they're just following the rules. to pick and choose which rules to follow is dangerous.

i would just be mad with the neighbor that call the council in the first place!





mattwnz
16857 posts

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  #2048677 4-Jul-2018 02:06
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nakedmolerat: i don't know why everyone is upset with the council? they're just following the rules. to pick and choose which rules to follow is dangerous.

i would just be mad with the neighbor that call the council in the first place!

 

 

 

Isn't that a 'head in the sand' approach though? So if nothing is reported, there aren't any problems? The thing is that the rules exist for a reason, probably health and safety. My experience is that I find that councils aren't generally proactive, and require the public to report things, even problems  that council staff would drive past and see everyday, but they possibly turn a blind eye to? But why do we have these rules, if that is the attitude?

 

But I think the real problem here is whether a tree house should actually be considered a building, and whether there should be exemptions for treehouse, and whether councils are all applying the rules in the same way. Different councils inteprate things differently. It actually sounds like it is a problem with the law, so sounds like it is a government problem to fix.

 

The neighbor apparently were only asking about the rules , and it ended up being reported at the same time, but that doesn't sound like that was their intention. When someone phone up a council they do often ask for your contact details to log it in their system. 


tdgeek
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  #2048685 4-Jul-2018 07:09
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Fred99:

 

IANAL.

 

I think DCC has misinterpreted the legislation / Building Act they reference:

 

 

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires, building—

 

(a)

 

means a temporary or permanent movable or immovable structure (including a structure intended for occupation by people, animals, machinery, or chattels); and

 

...

 

 

I can't see anything at all there (following the highlighted "and") that would define the tree house as a "building", and it doesn't need a building consent, code compliance certificate etc.

 

I think they've made a mistake.

 

(If it was a "building" but for other reasons wasn't required to have consent, then it would still need to meet building code - but AFAICT, it's not even a "building" as defined - so that's not relevant)

 

Edit:

 

Oh FFS - from schedule 1 of the building act:

 

28 Private household playground equipment
Building work in connection with playground equipment if—
(a) the equipment is for use by a single private household; and
(b) no part of the equipment exceeds 3 metres in height above the supporting
ground level.

 

So the handrail is the problem.  That's nuts.

 

 

Much like the recession plane rule. If the roof is ok but the guttering exceed the plane, they let it go. If the roof marginally exceeded the plane, they let it go. In both cases its non compliant, but common sense is used


nickb800
2476 posts

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  #2048691 4-Jul-2018 07:19
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tdgeek:

 

Fred99:

 

IANAL.

 

I think DCC has misinterpreted the legislation / Building Act they reference:

 

 

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires, building—

 

(a)

 

means a temporary or permanent movable or immovable structure (including a structure intended for occupation by people, animals, machinery, or chattels); and

 

...

 

 

I can't see anything at all there (following the highlighted "and") that would define the tree house as a "building", and it doesn't need a building consent, code compliance certificate etc.

 

I think they've made a mistake.

 

(If it was a "building" but for other reasons wasn't required to have consent, then it would still need to meet building code - but AFAICT, it's not even a "building" as defined - so that's not relevant)

 

Edit:

 

Oh FFS - from schedule 1 of the building act:

 

28 Private household playground equipment
Building work in connection with playground equipment if—
(a) the equipment is for use by a single private household; and
(b) no part of the equipment exceeds 3 metres in height above the supporting
ground level.

 

So the handrail is the problem.  That's nuts.

 

 

Much like the recession plane rule. If the roof is ok but the guttering exceed the plane, they let it go. If the roof marginally exceeded the plane, they let it go. In both cases its non compliant, but common sense is used

 

 

Rules around recession planes generally come from the district plan, which is produced by the council itself and typically has codified discretion around protrusions like gutters or even eaves - so they are applying the rule when allowing something to exceed the plane. Building Act is handed down by govt with no say from the council - although there is scope discretion in some fields


MikeAqua
6063 posts

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  #2048710 4-Jul-2018 08:32
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Replace handrails with some sort of netting?  or reduce height of handrails to 2.99m above ground.

 

I do like the idea of turning it into a trailer.





Mike


Sounddude
I fix stuff!
1850 posts

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Vocus
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  #2048760 4-Jul-2018 09:33
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andrewNZ: How about considering the alternative headline and resulting thread.


"Council ignores non compliant tree house, child falls to death."

Why didn't the council order this removed, it was clearly non compliant.

 

As a parent, who built a treehouse. The Council would be the last people I would be blaming.


Wiggum

1199 posts

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Inactive user


  #2048762 4-Jul-2018 09:41
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Lets forgetting about council bylaws/building acts etc for a minute..

 

I'm unsure how removing the treehouse will make the kids any safer. Climbing the tree poses more of a danger!!!

 

Its stupid that council is so focused on rules/regulations instead of just using some common sense. The building act allows them to do just that.


Davy
193 posts

Master Geek


  #2048771 4-Jul-2018 09:51
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andrewNZ: The council did exercise discretion by not searching for non compliant tree houses.

Once involved, there is only one option.
When councils start choosing what parts of the law to apply, people take legal action.


But they didn't need to get involved, and they are under no obligation to respond to whiny neighbours.

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