Concern about shoddy building work in Auckland has prompted the appointment of a full-time council investigator to lay complaints with professional licensing bodies.

Auckland Council have laid 22 complaints over the past year with a government board empowered to fine or suspend licensed practitioners such as designers, carpenters, roofers or foundation specialists. With another 39 complaints being finalised, a quality assurance auditor had been appointed to streamline the process as well as a two-member elite building inspection team to advise on how to remedy seriously faulty work.

"We had been coming across so many examples of substandard work and incompetency issues with LBPs [licensed building practitioners] and some engineers that we've ended up having to create a role to do investigations," said building control chief Ian McCormick.

He said one large new home in West Auckland was so poorly built it would probably have to be demolished. "It was completely out of level - one end of the floor slab was 30cm higher than the other end," he said. A roof was already on the building, although its walls had yet to be lined, but his inspectors did not think it was salvageable.

But Mr McCormick said the problems emanated from just a small proportion of the industry, and there may be a case for some self-certification subject to strong auditing procedures and liability insurance to give the community confidence in builders signing off non-critical work.

He said the council supported much of a report issued on Tuesday by the Government's rules reduction taskforce. "We're not talking about reducing the quality of the work, but certainly think there are opportunities to make it easier for customers to get building consents and engage with us."

Source: NZHerald