PHOTO: Photo: 123rf

Hundreds of builders are calling on the construction minister to reduce long delays for building consents, saying the bottleneck hurts productivity and threatens to destabilise companies.

A letter on behalf of 670 builders has been penned to several MPs calling for urgent intervention in the process of councils processing building consents.

The Combined Building Suppliers Cooperative (CBS) has written to the ministers of construction, housing and local government – Poto Williams, Megan Woods and Nanaia Mahuta.

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CBS chair Carl Taylor said in Christchurch consents were taking about 57 days, rather than the standard 20.

He said the delays were causing major impacts to residential construction productivity.

“A lot of these small businesses are in the position now where they’re either having to lay their staff off, mainly because of the down tools because they can’t start projects. Or they’re having to lend their guys out to other building companies, purely just to keep them on.

“And the risk is if they are lending them out to other building companies, there’s a risk that they may not get them back.”

He said the group wanted MBIE to intervene.

“Back in 2013 the Christchurch City Council lost the accreditation to issue building consents for very similar circumstances… so we’re asking MBIE to relook at that again, so that our members and the rest of the construction sector can actually continue to work with the huge amounts of work that we’ve got in front of us.”