Growing Places e-newsletter

Here’s the latest information about building consents and resource consents from Waikato District Council.

 If you wish to receive this via email, you can subscribe here.

Team update

Building Consents team:

Housing inspections are currently at a moderate level. Our Building Team are also focusing on swimming pool inspections. Under Government legislation, local authorities must inspect every pool in their district once every three years. 

We are now receiving 86% of building consents in a digital format, which we’re hearing is saving you money and time. If you are unsure on how to submit digitally, please contact our friendly staff at council on 0800 492 452 and ask for the building desk to get some guidance.

Resource Consents team:

The Proposed Waikato District Plan was notified on 18 July so our Resource Consent Team are busy helping customers understand how this might influence their consents - in particular, for those rules with immediate legal effect. 

We are saying farewell to Victor Wong (Land Development Engineer) and Peter Henderson (Land Development Engineer Team Leader). Victor will be working for a consulting firm in Hamilton and Peter is taking up an engineering position with Auckland Council.  We have also said farewell to two of our Intermediate Planners who have moved on to new roles, Kimberley Freeman and Yuto Tsuchiya, and Mychelle Tomsett is preparing to go on a 1 years’ leave. Keryn Bond has been promoted into an Intermediate Planner role and we’re currently finalising recruitment for the other planner vacancies. 

 

Staff Profile: Will GauntlettWill Gauntlett

Will Gauntlett joined Council in January 2016 and has the privilege of leading of our Consents Technical Team. The teams manages a number of critical tasks that sit around the edges of the resource consent processes;  development contributions, post subdivision approvals, the management of our land hazard database, as well as the planning and engineering reviews of building consents. Will enjoys the variety his role offers between leadership, business improvement and working with customers. Will has done a lot in his short time here to ensure the team members remain engaged and are recognised as professionals both internally and externally.

Will is also one of our two Local Controllers appointed to lead WDC's emergency management response during a civil defence emergency.

Previously Will worked for the Ministry for the Environment in Wellington in the Freshwater Implementation department and was also MfE’s key coordinator with the wider government Natural Resources Sector. Both roles had a strong focus on building customer relationships. Prior to that, Will worked at the Waikato Regional Council and, in his most recent role there, he was consenting and monitoring large-scale industry.

Outside of work Will enjoys spending time with friends and family and playing social sport. Will and his wife are currently in the middle of renovating their home in Hamilton East.

Processing statistics

Here are the final stats for our 2017/18 financial year.

Fast-tracking infrastructure in Te Kauwhata

What's happening: fast-tracking infrastructure in Te Kauwhata 

Council will be accelerating significant infrastructure projects in Te Kauwhata, thanks to an interest-free loan from the Government.

A new wastewater treatment plant with the latest membrane bioreactor technology will be built, along with associated pipes so that the wastewater discharge can be diverted out of Lake Waikare.

There will also be extensive upgrades to the town’s water supply infrastructure and some local road upgrades.

These upgrades are designed to bring forward the construction of 1,190 houses by three to five years earlier than scheduled in Council’s Long Term Plan. These 1,190 dwellings are already planned within the Te Kauwhata Structure Plan, however the infrastructure upgrades will allow for these dwellings to be delivered earlier. The improved infrastructure will also facilitate an additional 1,600 households within the Lakeside Residential Development in the next 10 years.

Te Kauwhata is recognised as a key part of a growth area in the North Waikato/South Auckland sub region. The population of the town is projected to grow from 1,770 to 10,898 by 2045.

In summary:

  • The interest-free loan of $38 million comes from the Government’s Housing Infrastructure Fund.
  • The loan will be combined with $34.2 million from Council’s Long Term Plan
  • The interest-free loan is expected to reduce interest costs by approximately $18 million over the ten year period.
  • The current infrastructure (wastewater, water supply and roads) just wouldn’t cope with predicted growth
  • This money allows us to future proof the infrastructure
  • It means new houses able to be built sooner
  • The population is expected to grow from 1,770 to 10,898 by 2045.
  • The projects are expected to generate an additional 314 jobs during the construction phase, and 123 jobs within retail and business in Te Kauwhata.

Process focus: Changes to fees and charges

Our Long Term PLan process has been completed for the next three years (to 30 June 2021) and, as part of this process, there are some changes to our fees and charges.

These came into affect on 1 July. Here is some important information you need to know:

Noteable changes in the Resource consent area are as follows:-

  • Lodgement fees will be required for Engineering Plan Approvals
    • Charges for 223 Certificates are changing  - the charages will be based on the number of lots created
    • Lodgement fees for subdivision consents have also changed to reflect the number of lots being created
    • There are changes to the fees for assigning road numbers and providing RAPID number plates.
  • All lodgement fees and other fixed charges have increased and the charge out rates for our Technical Staff has also increased.
  • Building fees have gone up slightly. There are no new fees.

Please Note: Council will not commence processing your consent application until the appropriate Lodgement Fee has been paid.  During the course of processing your application interim accounts may be sent out for payment prior to the releasing of the decision.

A final reconciliation will be carried out on all applications at time of final billing. When this is done for subdivision consents the appropriate 223 Certificate charge will be applied and for Land use consents the appropriate monitoring charge will be added.  These charges need to be paid on the final account. Prior to signing a 224 certificate all processing costs will be required to be paid along with any applicable Development Contributions.

View all the new fees and charges

Changes to be aware of

You are invited to help shape our Waikato District Blueprints

We are taking a new approach to town master planning to help conduct more detailed planning across the entire district in this growth climate. This new approach is called Blueprints or Local Area Blueprints.

The term ‘master planning’ may be familiar, but the term Blueprint may not. The concept of Blueprints has been pioneered by Kobus Mentz of Urbanismplus Ltd in New Zealand to help manage growth impacts and integrate community aspirations into Councils plans, policies and strategies to determine a holistic and strategic approach with clearly defined priorities and outcomes.

The Blueprints will contain ‘Master Plans’ however these will be referred to as ‘Town Centre Strategies’. This is because a master plan can often misinterpreted as a fixed design, whereas Town Centre Strategies are designed to be flexible and adaptable.

The Blueprints address growth, infrastructure, social, community, environmental, economic and transport issues. At a local level (Local Area Blueprint or ‘LAB’) these are more detailed and specific to the place. At district-wide level these are articulated as networks. In combination, they serve as a strategic tool with which the Council, informed by the community, can determine a holistic and strategic approach with clearly defined priorities and actions.

We are inviting you to attend a workshop on the following dates:

 Township Date and time Venue
 TuakauWednesday 15 August, 6:30pm - 8:30pm Tuakau Memorial Hall 
 Te KauwhataMonday 6 August, 6:30pm - 8:30pm Te Kauwhata Rugby Club
 HuntlyTuesday 7 August, 6:30pm - 8:30pm Riverside Rooms
 MeremereWednesday 8 August, 6:30pm - 8:30pm Meremere Hall
 Pokeno and MercerThursday 9 August, 6:30pm - 8:30pm Pokeno Community Hall


Your knowledge and ideas about your community’s aspirations and needs, now and in the future, will help us shape liveable, thriving and connected communities and will be key information for your Local Area Blueprint. This is a chance for you to share your future wants and needs for your community, not for us to rely on those that do attend to bring your collective view. Your first-hand thoughts on what you want your town to be are vital. e.g. if you want to see more libraries, parks, police or other social services, you need to come along to the public workshops and tell us just that so that we know that it is important for you.

If you have any questions about the Blueprints, please bring these along to your closest workshop, or visit www.waikatodistrict.govt.nz/blueprints. We are currently working on the content and this will be updated frequently as the Blueprint project progresses.

New standardised forms across the region, to make things easier for you

We've been working with other councils in the Waikato region to see how we can make things easier for you.

The most notable change is that the Resource Consent application form has been standardised and is now a combined form for subdivision and land use consents.  You will start to see this form being rolled out across Councils within the Region from the 1 August 2018. 

This means that you will be able to pick up a form from any Council within the Waikato (excluding Taupō and Otorohanga) and apply for your resource consent using the same standardised form.

Please note some Councils may have a specific supplementary pack that will also need to be completed and submitted with your resource consent application form for an application to be accepted as complete. 

Waikato District Council has a supplementary pack containing additional forms for payment, development contributions, and the NES for Assessing and Managing Contaminants in Soil to Protect Human Health (NESCS).  There are separate packs for land use and subdivision applications as the information requirements for NESCS and development contributions varies slightly depending upon the type of consent you are applying for.

Although the new forms will be live from the 1 August 2018, if a previous (old) form has been lodged with a resource consent application, Council will still accept the old form. 

It is essential the applicable pack is completed and submitted as part of your application, as this will ensure a complete application is received and we can start processing your application.  Should you have any questions about this, please do not hesitate to contact our Duty Planner Service.

Waikato Regional Council stormwater guidelines

Waikato Regional Council has developed two guidelines: “Waikato Stormwater Management Guideline” and “Waikato Stormwater Runoff Modelling Guideline”.  These guidelines were released in early July 2018.

The guidelines replace the use of existing Auckland Council guidelines in the Waikato Region.

The target audience for these guidelines comprises territorial authorities, developers, consultants and council staff.  The guidelines will help inform the design, construction and operation and maintenance of stormwater management systems for existing developed areas and for proposed new growth to avoid, remedy and mitigate potential downstream effects on the region’s waterbodies.

There will be a short transition period - but the expectation is the guidelines are now live and should be consulted and used.

View the new guidelines

The new Waikato guidelines:

  • Are more up to date than the Auckland Council guidance that are being used.
  • Are more applicable to the Waikato Region.
  • Recommend a low impact design approach to managing urban stormwater, which is in keeping with national and international best practice.
  • Are more scientifically valid for use in the Waikato than the Auckland Council guidance they replace as there are simplifications in the Auckland Council runoff modelling guideline based on Auckland calibration that are not applicable outside of Auckland. 
  • The Waikato regulatory framework (Vision and Strategy, RPS, Healthy Rivers) support a step change in how stormwater is managed to ensure that waterways are protected and enhanced into the future.

NEW Regional Infrastructure Technical Specifications

The Regional Infrastructure Technical Specification (RITS) replaces the Hamilton Infrastructure Technical Specifications. Our Council resolved to adopt the RITS on 9 July 2018.

View the RITS document

Prior to the RITS, each council had its own infrastructure technical specifications, many under the umbrella of the Hamilton ITS (HITS). The result was different standards having to be met across the Waikato region.  The purpose of RITS is to provide a single regional guide and specifications for building public infrastructure. The RITS sets out the standards for design and construction of public infrastructure within the following councils’ boundaries:

  • Hamilton
  • Hauraki
  • Matamata-Piako
  • Otorohanga
  • South Waikato
  • Waikato
  • Waipa
  • Waitomo

The RITS is our new Engineering Code of Practice and is a means of compliance with the District Plan engineering and utilities requirements. 

Although alternative methods will be considered at the time of making an application, and will be evaluated as part of the resource consent process, using the RITS will help ensure the process to gain your resource consent and comply with conditions is quicker and therefore less costly.

You can start using the RITS now but if you have projects already underway with designs relying on the HITS, we are providing a transition period for you until 1 November 2018. After  this the RITS will be the default requirement for resource consents.

Swimming pool

Helpful tips and reminders

Here are some tips and reminders that we hope will make it easier for you when you are working with us, or when you are compiling an application.

Making sure you're working from the right Geotech report

Please ensure the latest (WDC approved) version of a subdivision geotechnical completion report is used for your building consent application. Often you’ll need to do further geotechnical investigations at building consent stage as the subdivision geotechnical reports are often not lot-specific. In some areas the subdivision report will outline the potential settlement risk in relation to liquefaction and at building consent stage an engineer must address the foundation/structural design and its resilience to the potential liquefaction.

Reminder: Please use a file sharing site for your applications

If you’re submitting your resource consent or building consent application electronically, please use a file sharing site like One Drive or Dropbox – it speeds up the process a lot at our end (which is good news for you!) and reduces the likelihood of emails being blocked because of the size or type of attachments.

Watch out for the water meter!

Please don’t cover or obstruct water meters when you are working on a property.  These are usually located near the boundary of a property and covered by bright blue lids. They are read every six months – the exact timing of the readings depends where they are in the district.  These need to be clear for safe access by the contractors who read the meters.  If the blue meter lids are covered the meters may be damaged. If an estimate reading has been taken on a meter and it is subsequently covered, it can potentially affect a customer’s water billing or liability if any damage is done to the water meter at the time of the build. Should you have any queries please email waters@waidc.govt.nz.

Tips and tricks for development contributions 

When applying for a resource consent or building consent for a tiny house or a minor dwelling there are gross floor area limits for the charging of Development Contributions.

These Limits are:

  • Tiny dwellings 0.00m2 to 30.00m2.
  • Minor dwellings 30.01m2 to 70.00m2.
  • These limits are absolute. A tiny dwelling is charged at a 0.25 of a household equivalent unit (HEU) and minor dwellings are charged at a 0.5 HEU.
  • Water, wastewater and stormwater charges are waived if no separate connections are required. For example, if you are connecting to the services already supplied to the main dwelling on site.
  • Please have a look at your DC Advice Notices as soon as you get it because you only have 10 working days in which to file a reconsideration request.
View more information about development contributions

Common Further Information Requests (FIRs) on Building Consent Applications

FIR table October 2018

Common reasons CCC are failing - July 2018

  1. The required documents listed and specified in the Building Consent have not being supplied.  Some examples of this are where a PS4 for a wastewater or stormwater system or both cannot be supplied because the appropriate engineer was never called to inspect the system on site.  Restricted building work also requires Record of Works from all Licensed Building Practitioners. The application for CCC must also be completed and signed.  
  2. The work or construction has not been completed as per the building consent. All work shown in the building consent must be completed unless the building consent is amended to remove items not completed.
  3. Smoke alarms have not been fitted where applicable in new houses, additions, wood burning heaters.    
  4. Wet areas such as bathroom and laundry not having impervious surfaces to walls, ceiling and floors. 
  5. Toilet pans and laundry tubs not securely fixed. 
  6. Mechanical extractor fans not connected or working in kitchen and laundry areas if required.
  7. Stormwater from roof has not been connected to an approved system. Usually not completed on stand-alone sheds.
  8. Hot water temperature from a hot water cylinder not able to be tested due to the power not turned on or connected. 
  9. Items that are required as part of the consent for final signoff but the area of work is yet to be completed.
  10. Historic consents over 5 years old. The age of the consent affects the durability requirements of certain building elements, for example cladding. 

We’d love to get your feedback

We’re interested in what you think about this newsletter so we can improve it over time. Click here to provide feedback.