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GoShift – simplifying the building consent process

Posted: 21 March 2016

More than twenty councils around central New Zealand have signed up to GoShift – a programme to standardise and simplify the building consenting process.

GoShift is a partnership between councils to improve performance, consistency and service delivery across the building consent system. When completed, it is expected to save between $2 and $4 million a year by reducing building consent application times.

The programme is led by Wellington City Council with the support of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).

The first obvious sign that GoShift is up and running will be the introduction, during the next few months, of simplified and standardised building consent application forms across all participating councils. Other parts of the consent process, such as approvals and inspections, will be standardised during the following six to 12 months.

MBIE General Manager Building System Performance Derek Baxter says MBIE is supporting the councils’ joint efforts because they’ve taken a solid leadership position on something they have the ability and mandate to change for the better.

“GoShift councils have committed to making it easier for their building customers to do business with them, by reducing the complexity of their processes and sharing them with other councils,” he says. “Customers will have consistent building consent experiences, no matter which council they are dealing with.”

“One participating council has had, up to now, 26 different kinds of consent application forms. GoShift will reduce that to just two.”

Nelson City Council Chief Executive Clare Hadley, who chairs GoShift’s Programme Control Group, says GoShift will mean builders and other operators who may work in several local authority areas will not have the hassle of interpreting a range of often-confusing and contradictory forms. “It’s about councils sharing services to be more efficient and provide better services to their customers.”

The GoShift project is being resourced from within existing budgets in the participating councils and with in-kind contribution of expertise from MBIE, as it is considered important the change initiative does not add further cost to the system it is trying to improve.

GoShift is being developed in conjunction with Wellington City Council’s digital work management programme (DWM) which aims to put the whole building consent process online. This work is still in the design phase but, when it goes live, will enable GoShift to go to the next level, offering the full range of building consent services online.  Building units at other councils have indicated they are watching with interest, intending to adopt a similar approach once the system is proven.

Key GoShift benefits are:

  • standardised and aligned processes (eg forms, templates, checklists) across participating councils
  • shared online services, data and resources
  • a single, best practice quality management system.

Expected cost savings include:

  • between 5-15% from sharing resources
  • between $2 and $4 million a year saved by reducing consent application times.

Standardised and aligned processes are also expected to improve the quality of applications and enable long term sector change.

This information is published by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Chief Executive. It is a general guide only and, if used, does not relieve any person of the obligation to consider any matter to which the information relates according to the circumstances of the particular case. Expert advice may be required in specific circumstances. Where this information relates to assisting people: