Outsourcing the Whole Consent Processing Function

Some council’s have contracted out the full resource consent processing function, usually in conjunction with a wider range of regulatory functions, such as building control, dog control, planning enforcement and noise control. This has been achieved through either a transfer of functions to another local authority or by delegation to a contractor.

A robust decision-making approach is required if you are considering outsourcing the entire processing function. Consider:

  • undertaking a full strategic assessment and risk appraisal, including clarifying the significant management requirements

  • reading the Office of the Auditor General’s report on contracting out Contracting out local authority regulatory functions — Office of the Auditor-General New Zealand (oag.parliament.nz) and following the 'good practice' advice

  • consulting with councils that have tried this option, and the contractors in those locations to establish what worked and what did not

  • obtaining legal advice to ensure correct RMA and LGA processes are followed, particularly for consultative procedures and delegations

  • clarifying legal liabilities and insurance requirements.