Follow the podcast on
I can see why we have resource consent issues in this country and it’s virtually impossible to get anything done. We’re experiencing it first hand at the moment with the Auckland Council.
We put in a building consent to build a pool, a very straight forward pool, not building hydro slides and dive boards and turreted pool houses with fancy gates.
Just a pool and the obligatory pool fence. We had an engineer draw up the specs and submit it to Council, routine procedure, nothing to see here. Then, to our surprise, the Council comes back a couple of weeks later and says not only do we have to apply for building consent to build a pool, but now also a resource consent.
And all the standards that come with meeting resource consent. Obviously we query this – there must be some mistake, we’re not building a house or a garage or a building or a dwelling, it’s a puddle in a backyard. A pool surely cannot be subject to all the rigmarole of resource consent. So I ring up the Council planner one afternoon to have a chat and find out exactly what’s going on.
Well that’s my first mistake - I rang in the afternoon, Auckland council planners are closed, they have a voicemail saying their work hours are 8.30am til 12pm. If you don’t catch them in the morning, you don’t catch them. So after a few back and forth emails, I schedule a call back from her, and yesterday morning she calls back.
Apparently, Auckland Council decided a couple of years ago, to make a definition change to resource consents, to include pools as buildings if they’re over 25,000 litres. Which, unless you want a paddling pool, is most pools.
So putting in a pool, is now subject to the RMA, the Unitary Plan, and all the standards included in that. Why did Council decide to do this? Who would know, is it just a money grab? Accompanying the new resource consent application we must file, is the resource consent deposit fee, of $4,000. Added to that will be the billable hours spent processing it. Bear in mind we've already paid just under $3,000 for a building consent fee.
So the Council will be $7,000 up before a shovel even hits the ground for the pool. And I thought the pool was the expensive bit. Here’s the rub, when I ask what it is they now require from us as far as resource consent application goes, given this new $4,000 price tag, guess what they need? Nothing new. We re-submit the same drawings and files we’ve already submitted, just with the new fee.
The council is going to take its time and ours, processing two consent applications, with the same material, the same info, the same exact details, but process it twice, just so we can dig a hole and put some water in it. The layers and levels of bureaucracy in this country are stark raving mad aren’t they?
Is it any wonder nothing gets done and people are struggling to build anything? You can imagine my husband’s response to all this when I relayed it back to him. “Cancel the pool,” he said, “I’d rather buy a Ferrari.”
Take your Radio, Podcasts and Music with you