NZ engineer speaks to construction practices in Nepal

Nepal is reeling from a 7.8 magnitude earthquake, which has caused widespread devastation – including a death toll of close to 4,000 and rising. The small nation’s isolation complicates relief efforts, with many remote areas still unable to be reached days after the shake hit. Consulting engineer Dr Richard Sharpe has written a piece featured…

Striking a balance in the consenting process

Christchurch City Council has come under further criticism from developers for pedantic consenting processes slowing the pace of the rebuild (see Radio NZ article here). This brings to light the inherent conflict that exists between consent departments and builders/developers – being the need to ensure compliance without unnecessarily increasing costs of development. There is rarely…

Leaky apartment owners face multiple rounds of repairs

Last Thursday was the inaugural meeting of the Auckland branch of the Body Corporate Chairs’ Group, a group formed to assist those owners administering thousands of units across the city (to read more about the group, click here). According to Chairwoman Lyn Gillingham,  leaky apartments were a main topic of discussion, with many owners undertaking further repair…

Big projects planned for Auckland…CBD

A map has recently been released by Auckland Council’s City Centre Integration team showing 48 planned Council projects over the next 10 years. These projects span across both public and private sectors with the hopes of making Auckland a bigger economic player and more liveable city. Among these projects are an Albert St upgrade, new…

$150 million complex to be built in Christchurch CBD

An office and apartment complex valued at over $150 million will be built to replace Christchurch’s old police headquarters and King Edward barracks in the city’s CBD.   With up to four commercial buildings, walkways, a carpark building and a row of apartments, the development will take up the entire riverside block between Hereford, Cashel and…

Diversifying the social housing sector – new details released

The Government yesterday released further information regarding its controversial new social housing plans. In a new, more diverse approach, the social housing functions that are currently provided by Housing New Zealand (HNZ) will be separated out. HNZ Zealand and Community Housing Providers (CHPs) will simply provide houses, with the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) purchasing…

Action needed to reduce housing imbalances

In a speech to the Rotorua Chamber of Commerce, Reserve Bank Deputy Governor Grant Spencer urged greater attention be given to reducing housing market imbalances that are presenting an increasing risk to financial and economic stability. In particular he said that: “Irrespective of the mix of demand and supply-based factors, the longer the excess demand…

Leaky building payouts: unlocking the funds

The media reported yesterday on the Spencer on Byron development’s fight over the distribution of a $20.5 million leaky settlement win (find the NZ Herald article here). There is speculation it will take months if not years to resolve the disputes, during which time the settlement funds cannot be used to get remedial works to…

The risks in cutting DIY corners

A recent High Court case highlights the costly consequences that can be incured when you do DIY work. In Jerard v Auckland Council [2014] NZHC 2493 a couple inteded to build a house and did the preparatory ground work themselves. However, they never obtained a building consent for this work. They later engaged a builder…