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Environment Minister, (Hon) Nick Smith has released the results of the biennial RMA survey of local authorities. Once again Waitaki District Council is near the top of the statistics with 98% of consents processed on time.
Council CEO Michael Ross noted his “pride and delight” with the Planning Unit’s performance over a challenging last twelve months which has included the appointment of new staff and implementation of a new software system. Mr Ross explained “the only glitch earlier this year was processing three consents in just over 20 working days. This was during a time when we were down two planners and we had two consultants helping out.” In line with the Resource Management Act (RMA) Discount Regulations, the three applicants were refunded 1% of their total cost for each day over time. This amounted to less than $80 for all three.
Council’s Planning Manager, David Campbell, noted the changes to the RMA in 2009 had resulted in a higher standard of applications. Mr Campbell explained that the Council seeks to ensure that when an application is lodged it will go through the process smoothly. Mr Campbell continued, “there is no point accepting a substandard application, only to go back and forth with the applicant to get it right”. The Council’s (now full strength) Planning Unit is available to meet with applicants to go through their applications prior to lodgement. Further details of the results can be found at the Ministry for the Environment’s website:
For more information, contact the Planning Unit on 433 0300