Auckland's building inspection authorities are alarmed at the shoddy workmanship they're seeing on construction sites around the city, with around a third of building inspections failing.

The council has appointed a person full-time to investigate complaints Inspectors were coming across a litany of non-compliant practices, such as electricians putting wiring through building wrap, breaking the weathertight seal of the house.

The council building inspection team was working closely with industry groups such as Registered Master Builders and Certified Builders (of which Platinum Pacific are members) to address the issues. The two key prongs of its strategy were providing more training, and developing quality assurance tools for use on site.

The biggest problem was reaching the workers who weren't members of any industry organisation. Registered Master Builders chief executive Dave Kelly said the organisation had been working with Auckland Council to develop a quality assurance approach which offered builders an incentive to invest in their people and processes. The industry groups could deal with their own members, but the councils were left to try and take complaints against the independents who were causing a lot of the problems.

The current Licensed Building Practitioners scheme only demonstrated that builders had technical knowledge, and "To be honest that's not really a quality mark, it's a minimum entry.

Certified Builders chief executive Grant Florence said his group applauded the actions of the council, and that many of the issues were because the sector was trying to fill skills gaps in any way it could. "The industry's been telling anybody who would listen that we've got a skills shortage in Auckland. We forecast that probably two-and-a-half years ago. That's just a function of the boom-bust cycles that the construction industry in New Zealand seems to get itself all bound up in."

However he also called for better enforcement of the Licensed Building Practitioners regime.