Public consultation opens today on the draft Dangerous and Insanitary Buildings Policy 2019. Have your say at www.tauranga.govt.nz/dib-policy by Thursday, 10 October 2019.
The Building Act 2004 requires local councils to have a policy to manage buildings that could be dangerous or insanitary for their occupants, neighbours or passers-by. Buildings are any structure intended for occupation, so this includes houses as well as commercial and industrial buildings. Tauranga City Council is reviewing its policy and requesting public feedback.
The content of the policy is largely dictated by the Building Act, and most of the changes council is proposing are to reflect changes to that act. Some other changes are to make the policy more transparent about how council identifies and manages dangerous and insanitary buildings.
Proposed changes include:
- removing any reference to earthquake-prone buildings, as this is now covered under the Building Act 2004
- including ‘affected buildings’ in the policy. These are buildings that pose a risk to building users and passers-by because of their proximity to a dangerous building (a new requirement of the Building Act)
- clarifying that council uses external sources/complaints to find out about potentially unsafe buildings (as opposed to inspecting each building in the city on a regular basis – considered an inefficient use of resources)
- stating that council gives consideration to any special, traditional or cultural aspects of heritage buildings if they are assessed as dangerous or insanitary
- spelling out the priority council will give in dealing with dangerous and insanitary buildings: those posing urgent risk to life, health or property first.
More on the draft changes and why council proposes to make them is available at www.tauranga.govt.nz/dib-policy along with the full draft bylaw, an online submission form, and – for those less interested in policy changes – information on what to do if you have concerns about a building and what council can do about it.
Paper copies are also available at the customer service centre at 91 Willow Street and in libraries.
Consultation closes at 5pm on Thursday 10 October. Council will use the community’s feedback to propose a final revised policy for adoption by Council in December 2019. Once adopted the new policy will replace Council’s current Earthquake-prone, Dangerous and Insanitary Buildings Policy.