By Robyn Bristow
Building is booming in the Hurunui district.
Last week the building department received 30 building consent, the highest number ever in one week, helping push building consents up by 30 percent to date this year.
Building team leader Kerry Walsh says last year there were 148 consents issued from January 1 until now. This year 191 consents have been issued for the same period.
“We are in full swing and indications are it is not going to slow down any time soon,” he says.
The increased activity has meant having to employ more staff to cope with processing the consents and the increased number of building and Codes of Compliance inspections.
“There is a big lump (of consents) coming through and we need staff to process them,” says Mr Walsh.
He says the buoyancy is not only attributable to the rebuild following the 2016 November earthquake, although there were indications with the numbers of consents for dwellings, that many had settled with their insurance companies.
Most of the increased activity is in Culverden, Rotherham, Waiau, Cheviot and rural areas surrounding these towns where the quakes had their biggest effect.
Mr Walsh said for the first 12 months after the quake there were consents for alterations and emergency repairs. However, it now appeared people had cash to spend indicating they had settled with their insurance companies.
Consents were wide ranging with quite a number for wood burners to replace fires damaged in the quake.
Of the 30 received last week, about six were earthquake-related, however not everyone had taken the opportunity to indicate this on their applications.
“If they do indicate it is a quake-related consent we try to push them through and fast track them,” he says.
Mr Walsh says while consents were up 30 percent, the value of the spend was about the same as the previous year.
“I guess we will go back to normal at some point. But at the moment we are certainly going ahead which is good and it is great to see people getting back into their houses.”