The impact of Omicron is being felt across Tāmaki Makaurau, affecting some Auckland Council services, including aspects of our building consents work, requiring us to adapt and prioritise.
General Manager of Building Consents Ian McCormick says that while the council has taken all prudent steps to prepare for Omicron, building consent processing, inspection and certification services are beginning to feel the impact as Omicron cases surge across the region.
“This impact is likely to increase as case numbers peak in the weeks to come,” he says.
Building inspection services
The council’s building inspection team is well practised at maintaining industry health and safety protocols and has recently been registered as ‘critical workers’ under Ministry of Health guidelines.
“This enables our inspectors to continue to work even if they become a close contact to a positive case, as long as the required Ministry of Health rapid antigen testing (RAT) regime is maintained and they do not test positive.”
“In the event that case numbers amongst our team increase, for lower-risk work we may contact you to discuss substituting your booked inspection for a producer statement from an agreed expert.”
“This will be at the discretion of our team leaders managing work allocations. As part of this decision, team leaders will consider inspection type, work complexity and the results of previous inspections.”
The council’s advice is not to assume we will accept a producer statement in lieu of an inspection and to ensure you have prior approval to avoid potential rework.
“We do have the capability to deliver remote inspections. We have several staff dedicated to this channel and this may be a viable alternative to an on-site inspection,” says Mr McCormick.
Consenting and certification services
The council’s consenting and code compliance finalisation services are other areas that are likely to be adversely impacted as Omicron case numbers rise.
Despite this, Mr McCormick says that customer need and consent amendments associated with works in the construction phase will continue to be prioritised.
“Over the course of the Omicron outbreak, the council has worked collaboratively with the building industry to ensure that the impact of the pandemic on customer services is minimised. This will continue,” he says.
What you need to know
Visit aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/covidnotices for daily updates on the status of council facilities and services.
Find out more about building consents at our website.
Find out more about Auckland and Auckland Council’s services at the Red Traffic Light setting here.