Creating consenting efficiency
12 October 2021
Consentium, the Kāinga Ora Building Consent Authority, has recently celebrated its six-month milestone and is already exceeding expectations.
The Consentium team provides building consent services for Kāinga Ora for public housing of up to, and including, four levels. It is New Zealand’s first nationally accredited and registered non-Territorial Authority BCA.
Consentium aims to work collaboratively with build partners to provide efficient consenting and inspection services nationwide, assisting Kāinga Ora in its broader goal of providing more homes to New Zealanders in need.
The team was officially recognised for its work by the Building Officials Institute of New Zealand (BOINZ) in August when Consentium won the Innovator of the Year Award at the BOINZ Excellence Awards.
Building Consent Authority director Anna McCrossan says she is delighted to see the team achieving its goals, as well as receiving recognition.
“Consentium was established about 18 months ago but only began operations as a registered BCA in March. Since then, it has consented 810 public homes and completed 1750 inspections.
“The team currently processes a building consent in an average of 11.5 statutory days, that’s just over half the 20 statutory days required under the Building Act.”
Consentium has also been meeting its target of completing inspections within 24 to 48 hours of a booking. By engaging early with design partners, the team aims to reduce the need for requests for information (RFIs), and this work is tracking well overall.
However, the team is continuing to work with a handful of design partners on application quality issues, which represent half of the RFIs issued. In addition to this, consents being transferred from councils to Consentium represent a higher proportion of RFIs, something which is expected to reduce over time.
“The feedback we’ve been getting from our build and design partners has been really positive,” Anna says. “Having said that, we are always keen to hear any suggestions for how we can make our service even better.”
Home Construction Auckland Project Manager Isa Te Koeti says she has been impressed with the efficiency of Consentium processes.
“The inspectors are knowledgeable, helpful and collaborative. They work as a team with our guys onsite, which makes the entire project run more smoothly.”
Consentium is also committed to playing its part in helping to grow a skilled consenting workforce. The team has invested in training and upskilling of staff to an appropriate level of competency.
Recently, Consentium initiated a graduate programme working with major tertiary institutes, with the intention of hiring five graduates by February 2022.
Page updated: 12 October 2021