Second or subsequent Certificate of Public Use for Commercial Buildings under the Building Act 2004.

What is being proposed?

The Invercargill City Council proposes to introduce a new fee for the second or any subsequent Certificates of Public Use (CPU) for Commercial Buildings  issued under the Building Act 2004 (the Act).  The proposed fee is $5,000.

Why is this fee being proposed?

The motivation behind the new fee is public safety. 

The Act has the following purposes:

(a)     to provide for the regulation of building work, the establishment of a licensing regime for building practitioners, and the setting of performance standards for buildings to ensure that—

(i)                  people who use buildings can do so safely and without endangering their health; and

(ii)                buildings have attributes that contribute appropriately to the health, physical independence, and well-being of the people who use them; and

(iii)               people who use a building can escape from the building if it is on fire: and

(iv)              buildings are designed, constructed, and able to be used in ways that promote sustainable development:

(b)   to promote the accountability of owners, designers, builders, and building consent authorities who have responsibilities for ensuring that building work complies with the building code.

To minimise risk to both the building owner and to the Council, it is important that all building work is completed and a Code Compliance Certificate is issued.  A Code Compliance Certificate is the only document issued by the Council as a Building Authority, that confirms that the building work undertaken complies with the Building Code.

The Act provides for the use of Certificates of Public Use (CPU) for Commercial Buildings.  A CPU is a document that allows the operator of a building to use the building pending final sign off of the Code Compliance Certificate.  It is primarily concerned with safety systems to be sure that the public can use the building safely and in the event of fire can evacuate.

The Council recognises that there are some circumstances in which it is appropriate that a building is open to the public prior to a Code Compliance Certificate being issued, and that a CPU is the appropriate process for this.  The CPU allows public use of a building while the final stages of construction is completed. If a building has not been issued a Code Compliance Certificate and does not have a current CPU, it should not be being used.

Currently, a number of buildings in the Invercargill City District are operating on a CPU.  Council wants to encourage building owners to finish the necessary building work and apply for a Code Compliance Certificate.  Council considers that the new $5,000 fee will actively encourage building owners to complete building work and apply for the Code Compliance Certificate.  This will better ensure public safety and reduce the risk faced by both Building Owners and the Council.

* 1. Address

* 3. My submission is as follows:

Please note: Submissions received on the proposed fee change will be made available to the public as required by the Local Government Act 2002 and subject to the Local Government Information and Meetings Act 1987. This will include the names and address of submitters.