‘Exceptional’ NRC consent processing recognised
Environment Minister Amy Adams has congratulated the Northland Regional Council for processing 100 percent of its 400-plus resource consent applications within legal timeframes during 2012/13.
The council's performance is detailed in the Ministry for the Environment's biennial Resource Management Act survey report for 2012/13, which highlights New Zealand councils' implementation of the act's key processes and gives an overview of their performance.
In a recent letter to council chairman Bill Shepherd, Ms Adams records her pleasure at the council's 100% processing record and congratulates it.
"The government is creating a resource management system that is more certain, less costly and enables growth, while protecting core environmental standards which are critical to New Zealand," she writes. "Your council's excellent performance in processing consent applications on time contributes to the achievement of this goal."
Councillor Shepherd says the survey shows the council processed 436 consents during 2012/13 and he and his fellow councillors are pleased that such a positive result had been achieved, not only for the organisation, but more importantly for those making consent applications.
He notes that – largely due to legacy of the difficult economic conditions that had impacted on Northland in recent years – the number of consents applied for and processed overall was significantly fewer than a record 1284 processed during the previous biennial survey for 2010/11. (During that busy period – which had included significant work to replace consents for hundreds of farm dairy effluent discharges – the council had nonetheless still managed a very impressive 99% compliance rate.)
Of the 17 regional council/unitary authorities surveyed nationally, the NRC was one of six to achieve the 100% rate for 2012/13, with other regional bodies/unitary authorities recording rates from 88 to 99%.
Councillor Shepherd says the regional council also carries out its own regular internal reviews of its processing to ensure good practise and is confident it will continue to provide an effective and customer-orientated service in future.