Hurunui fast tracks earthquake related consents

The Hurunui District Council is fast tracking earthquake related building consents to help facilitate speedy and effective repairs for property owners in the district.

Environmental Services Manager, Judith Batchelor says, while Hurunui was lucky to escape relatively unscathed following the two large shakes in September and February, there are still a number of properties in the district that sustained damage.

Around 400 claims have been lodged with the Earthquake Commission by Hurunui ratepayers, the majority of those relating to issues with chimneys.

“The Council recognises those people impacted need to be able to get on with their lives and wants to do what it can to help out.

“Properties need to be made weathertight and warm as quickly as possible if our residents are to feel safe and secure in their own homes with winter approaching. Those who may have also had to temporarily move out until repairs are also keen to return home as soon as they can.

“Expediting the process to install replacement heating and facilitate repairs is one way we can help make that happen.”

The Council is generally required to issue a consent within 20 days of it being lodged, assuming all the right information was provided.

In order to speed up the process, Judith Batchelor says the council’s building team will be prioritising earthquake related consents, especially those relating to weathertightness and heating, with a view to finalising all the paperwork as early as possible.

This includes a guaranteed three day turn-a-round for all earthquake related wood burner consents (as long as all the information is provided at the time of application.)

It is the only authority making that guarantee in the region.

“It is important our residents, and especially households with occupants who are sick, elderly or young children, will be warm over winter. We know a number of homes in our district suffered chimney damage during the September shake in particular, and need to install a new form of heating as soon as possible. They don’t need any additional delays through consent hold ups.”

Fletcher Construction is responsible for ensuring clean heat sources are available to earthquake impacted residents in Hurunui, as part of the winter heating scheme, and to ensure all homes are made safe and secure.

Judith Batchelor says the Council is working closely with them to ensure all consents relating to claims of this nature that come to their attention from EQC are processed in an efficient and timely manner.

“Most of this work in the Hurunui area that will require a building consent will mainly be chimney repair, new home heating appliances, repair/ renewal to foundations and cladding.

 “We are undertaking to ensure this work is turned around as quickly as possible and we have access to outside help if and when the need may arise.”

For further information contact:

Judith Batchelor

Environmental Services Manager

Hurunui District Council

P: 03 314 0102