Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Christchurch - Strangled by CCC staff

The old, traditional delivery areas of Local Government - roads, bridges, hard services such as drainage, sewers, water - are doing just fine.

But the regulatory areas such as planning and consents are simply getting in the way of everything. Spatial Planning is a failed concept - the RMA was meant to gauge proposals by reference to their effects, not their zoning. But it was captured early on by the zonerators and old-school town planners, and has never recovered.

Arguably, this crew have, by strangling land supply and imposing lengthy, adversarial processes on developers, designers and builders, added multiple layers of cost to homes, businesses and the local economy.

And the tightening of residential construction certification (DBH's Licensed Building Practitioner scheme) is another well intentioned but costly exercise: consider that of the 90% of Chch houses which are fine to carry on living in, fully 2/3 were put up by (shock, horror) completely uncertified people! Gadzooks! How can they now live with themselves?

Against this background of staff who blindly pursue failed techniques, causing cost wherever they cast their gaze, impervious to the time value of money, secure in their little fiefdoms, and protected by layers of certification, professional guilds and stroppy unions, how is a call to 'unity' amongst Councillors going to make the slightest scrap of difference?

We're living 'Yes, Minister' - and compulsorily paying through the nose to fund this incredible debacle.

And folk wonder why the pedestrian option - vote with yer feet and escape the CCC and its parasitic staff - is increasingly attractive?

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