Review into Tauranga City Council’s actions in failed Bella Vista development

Published: 26 March 2019

The Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment (MBIE) has today released its review into how the Tauranga City Council performed its building control functions with respect to the failed Bella Vista development.

“MBIE’s review concluded there were a number of reasons for the Council’s failure to perform its regulatory functions with respect to the Bella Vista Development, but the common theme was the Council’s failure to follow its own normal building control processes for this development,” said Lead Advisor Paul Hobbs who led MBIE’s review.

“MBIE found Council management intervened in normal process, assigning the development a single point of contact, meaning concerns about the development were not escalated appropriately.”

The review also found Council did not:

  • enter conditions on building consents or follow through on the need for third-party verification of compliance;
  • manage departures from building consents in accordance with the proper pro­cedure;
  • use enforcement powers to stop or require reme­diation of non-compliant building work when this was observed; and
  • maintain proper records.

“The circumstances leading to the failure of the Bella Vista development appear to be an isolated incident and MBIE did not find evidence to indicate there is a systemic issue. MBIE also notes the Council has already made process improvements to prevent similar failures happening in the future.

“Despite this, these failings still had serious implications for those families who made the Bella Vista development their home.

“As such, MBIE requires Council to revise and submit to MBIE a number of updated policies and procedures, and ensure staff are enabled to carry out their obligations with regards to accepting, monitoring, and enforcing building consents.

“MBIE will revisit the Council within the next six months and requires the Council to provide a further update on progress within 12 months, where we expect to see the Council’s continued improvement in the performance of their building control functions.

“MBIE will also share findings of the review with other Buliding Consent Authorities and the wider sector, so others can take action to improve their own building control functions with what was learned from the Bella Vista development review,” Mr Hobbs said.  

The full report is available on the Building Performance website(external link).

Last updated: 26 March 2019