Urban development

6.2 Building and development control

Māherehere tāone, whanaketanga wāhi tuku-ihotanga, wāhi tūmatanui

We ensure developments do not harm the environment and building works are safe and comply with the Building Code

What we do

Building control and facilitation (building consents)

Development control and facilitation (resource consents)

Earthquake risk mitigation – built environment

Our building and development control activities contribute towards us beingTop

People-centred – They promote built form and safe open spaces that welcome and engage people and encourage them to stay. They tell our stories and reflect who we are and the things we care about, helping us understand ourselves and each other.

Connected – They connect people with places and make them easy to find and functional.

Eco-city – They promote intensive development rather than sprawl into green spaces and encourage the greening of streets, buildings and places. They promote walking and riding on buses and bikes.

Dynamic central city – They promote accessible and safe places where people want to live, work, and play, and where they can meet to share events and ideas. They encourage a built form and urban culture that reflects the energy of diversity the people, and they shape a place where ideas, innovation and difference can be expressed and supported.

New Zealand Historic Places Trust, Victoria University of Wellington and the Council partnered in a pilot project to model options available to building owners in the Cuba Precinct. This was very successful and we intend to build on the information gained.

Key projectsTop

During the year:

Earthquake risk mitigation

In conjunction with WREMO and GNS we undertook 26 Community and Business seminars, to better inform them about earthquake risk and the need for personal preparedness. Over 1400 people attended these sessions and the feedback received was very positive.

What it costsTop

Operating Expenditure ($000) Actual
6.2.1 Building Control and Facilitation1        
Expenditure 12,276 11,663 (613) 11,286
Revenue (7,839) (7,660) 179 (6,755)
Net Expenditure 4,437 4,003 (434) 4,531
6.2.2 Development Control and Facilitation        
Expenditure 5,300 6,033 733 5,373
Revenue (2,368) (3,005) (637) (2,487)
Net Expenditure 2,932 3,028 96 2,886
6.2.3 Earthquake Risk Mitigation - built environment2        
Expenditure 355 1,022 667 422
Net Expenditure 355 1,022 667 422
Capital Expenditure ($000) Actual
6.2.3 Earthquake Risk Mitigation - built environment3        
Expenditure 2,193 2,397 204 948
Unspent portion of budget to be carried forward N/A 622   N/A
  1. Over budget as a result of the one-off impact of restructuring costs.
  2. Under budget due to expenditure occurring later than expected.
  3. Under budget due to $200k savings on Mayor's Office relocation and delays on other projects due to resource constraints.

How we performedTop

We measure our effectiveness by monitoring the timeframes for providing services (such as the issuing of building consents and LIMs).

We aim to ensure any development is of high quality, and complies with the District Plan and resource consent conditions. To gauge our performance, we monitor the rates of customer satisfaction with the service we provide and timely issue of contents and certificates.

We work to mitigate the potential impact of earthquakes to protect the safety of Wellingtonians. Progress is measured through the number of earthquake-prone building assessments we have undertaken, and the proportion of notifications that are not challenged.

To measure the timeliness of our legislative compliance processes and related services

Building consents (%) issued within 20 working days

Result: 99.7% (target: 100%; 2011/12: 96%; 20010/11: 94%).

Source: WCC Building Consents and Licensing

Code Compliance Certificates (%) issued within 20 working days

Result: 97% (target: 100%; 2011/12: 98%; 2010/11: 99%).

Source: WCC Building Consents and Licensin

Land Information Memorandums (LIMs) (%) issued within 10 working days

Result: 100% (target: 100%; 2011/12: 100%; 2010/11: 100%).

There was a 21% increase in the number of LIMs issued from last year and the percentage of property sold in Wellington that had LIMs issued was 43% - an increase from 39% last year.

Source: WCC Building Consents and Licensing

Resource consents (non notified) issued within statutory timeframes (20 working days)

Resource consents (non notified) issued within statutory timeframes (20 working days).

Source: WCC Development Planning and Compliance

Resource consents (%) that are monitored within three months of project commencement

Result: 99% (target: 90%; 2011/12: 91%; 2010/11: 90%).

Source: WCC Development Planning and Compliance

Subdivision certificates (%) – Section 223 certificates issued within 10 working days

Subdivision certificates (%) – Section 223 certificates issued within 10 working days.

Source: WCC Development Planning and Compliance

Noise control (excessive noise) complaints (%) investigated within one hour

Result: 98% (target: 90%; 2011/12: 99%; 2010/11: 98%)

Source: WCC Development Planning and Compliance

Environmental complaints (%) investigated within 48 hours

Result: 98% (target: 98%; 2011/12: 99%; 2010/11: 98%).

Source: WCC Development Planning and Compliance

To measure the satisfaction of the services we provide

Customers (%) who rate building control services as good or very good

Result: 70% (target: 70%; 2011/12: 59%; 2010/11: 43%).7

Source: WCC Building Consents and Licensing Customer Experience Survey 2013

Customers (%) who rate development control services as good or very good

Result: 53% (target: 70%; 2011/12: 45%; 2010/11: 64%).

We have maintained our very high levels of performance regarding timeframes. We have received positive feedback from applicants on our solution based and helpful approach. In terms of compliance, we have had successful prosecutions and as a result have we received positive feedback regarding the Council’s willingness to maintain public confidence in our planning controls.

Source: WCC Development Control Services Customer Satisfaction Survey 2013

To measure the standard of the services we provide

Building Consent Authority (BCA) accreditation retention

Result: Retained (target: to retain status; 2011/12: retained; 2010/11: retained).

Source: WCC Building Consents and Licensing

To measure our progress on earthquake risk mitigation

Potentially earthquake-prone buildings assessed

Potentially earthquake-prone buildings assessed.

We completed 866 assessments. This was more than the 700 assessments required in order for the Council to achieve the target of completing 85% of the total number of known buildings that require assessment.

Source: WCC Earthquake Resilience

Earthquake prone building notifications (section 124) (%) that are issued without successful challenge

Result: 100% - there were 326 notifications8 issued and none were challenged (target: 100%; 2011/12: 100%; 2010/11: 100%).

Source: WCC Earthquake Resilience

Earthquake-strengthened Council buildings – programme achievement

Our earthquake risk mitigation work programme of assessing buildings of pre-1976 construction has seen a total of 4239 buildings assessed since the beginning of the programme in mid-2009. 612 have been declared earthquake prone, of which 134 are heritage, and 757 are left to assess. We expect to complete this programme of assessments in June 2014.

Strengthening work at Begonia House, Rugby League Park Stand and Colonial Cottage has been completed and the buildings are no longer earthquake prone. The unused toilets at Brooklyn Community centre have been demolished and the site reinstated.

We are on target with our earthquake programme of strengthening Council-owned buildings. Planning has begun for the construction on the Wellington Town Hall and on stage one of the Civic Administration Building. In addition we will strengthen Tawa and Brooklyn libraries, Thistle Hall, Truby King House and begin initial work on the Band Rotunda. The Portico will be demolished by the end of the year. Further investigative work will be undertaken on the Opera House before a strengthening proposal is developed for the Long-term Plan.

Source: WCC Earthquake Resilience

To measure uptake of the Financial Assistance Package (FAP)

Weathertight houses – Financial Assistance Package (number of claims accepted and number of remediations claimed)

There were 49 claims accepted and 23 remediations claimed. There is no target for this measure.

Source: WCC Financial Planning

7This year the method of assessment has changed to a 10-point scale evaluation using an online post-issue survey within a short time from issue. All answers are linked to a specific contact with the department, as opposed to a general overview over time. This now aligns with other methods of satisfaction research being undertaken throughout the Council both in scale and methodology. Next year's results will be an overview of a full year's results gathered weekly, therefore using a much greater sampling size for increased accuracy.
8The number of notifications is not likely to have a direct relationship to the current number of earthquake-prone buildings as the list can fluctuate due to buildings being strengthened, demolished or owners supplying additional information to change earthquake prone status.