Faster consenting with remote inspections

The Government is progressing a requirement for building consent authorities to use remote inspections as the default approach so building a home is easier and cheaper, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says.

“Building anything in New Zealand is too expensive and takes too long. Building costs have increased by 41 per cent since 2019 and data from Stats NZ shows that it takes around 569 days on average for a home to be built – and that’s not even including the time to get a consent in the first place.

“A constant frustration getting in the way of building is the cumbersome consenting system and building inspections which are carried out to ensure a build is compliant with the building code.

“Inspections are typically in-person which can lead to long delays as builders are forced to wait sometimes for weeks for a spot to be available which often means building work must stop in the meantime.

“Remote inspections offer significant productivity gains that make it easier and cheaper to build. However, the use of remote inspections is currently inconsistent across the country, with some councils being reluctant to use it.

“That’s why the Government is progressing work to make remote inspections the default approach across New Zealand. Some of the key benefits include,

  • Lowering costs by removing the need for inspectors to travel to site. This is particularly important in congested cities and in rural areas with large travel distances.
  • Reducing delays by enabling more inspections per day and allowing inspectors to work in other regions remotely to support a region with greater demand.
  • Reducing transport-related emissions.
  • Better record keeping and documentation meaning more quality assurance for homeowners.
  • Reducing the time wasted by increasing flexibility for both inspectors and building professionals on the day of inspection.

“The Government will release a discussion document in quarter three of 2024. There will be an opportunity for councils and the sector to provide feedback about the best approach.”

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