Thank you for taking the time to contact us.

As a customer, you have a right to make comments or raise concerns, and to be heard by us.

Your feedback is important, allowing us to give recognition where exceptional service has been provided, and giving us opportunities to learn and improve our services.

Feedback and compliments

We appreciate hearing about the good things that we do – so please feel free to share your feedback and compliments or any suggestions for improvement with us by completing our online feedback form.

Raising concerns or making a complaint about building control

We take all concerns and complaints seriously. They can be related to:

All complaints are recorded and actioned in a timely manner.

If your complaint is in relation to

  • council facilities (eg council owned buildings, reserves etc), or
  • other council functions (eg rubbish, roading, rates), or
  • you're unsure who to contact

please get in touch with our customer services team via contact us or on 0800 SELWYN.

All complaints are recorded and actioned in a timely manner – see details below for more information on our complains process.

Complaint definition

A complaint is defined as dissatisfaction that can’t be resolved at first point of contact – eg

  • the standard of service you have received, and/or
  • a failure in our processes or procedures, and/or
  • the way you’ve been treated, and/or
  • a raised issue that hasn’t been resolved.

A concern resolved at the first point of contact is not regarded as a complaint and will be treated as a business as usual enquiry or discussion.

If your concern isn’t resolved, it may (depending on the situation) be

  • escalated, or
  • recorded as a complaint for investigation.

How our complaints process works

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Contact the staff member you have been dealing with in the first instance - they will try to resolve the matter straight away if they can

Note that some issues may need to be escalated - you will be advised if this is the case

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If you're not satisfied with the outcome or want to make a formal complaint please use our online feedback form

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We will let you know within 5 working days of receiving your complaint who will be dealing with it and the expected timeframe

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An investigation is carried out*

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You'll find out the outcome of the investigation within 20 working days (or advised if that will take longer where the issue is complex)

* Note – you may be contacted during the investigation if further details are required

Making a complaint

To make a complaint or share your issue about out services - please complete our online feedback form. Alternatively you can contact us by phone or drop in and see us at 2 Norman Kirk Drive.

You will need to supply the following information

  • date the incident occurred
  • nature of your complaint
  • supporting information (as relevant) – eg aim to provide  
    • any useful background information that will help fill any gaps in other information
    • details of other parties involved in your build who are relevant to this complaint
    • a timeline of activities that led up to you raising your complaint
  • your name and contact details – to enable us to respond to you (your details will be kept confidential)
  • your preferred method of communication

The better the quality of information that you can provide to us, the more efficient we can be in helping you with your complaint or issue.

Resolving your concern or complaint

Please contact the staff member you have been dealing with in the first instance – they will try to resolve the matter straight away if they can.

If they can’t resolve your concern or complaint

  • they will escalate it, or
  • it may be recorded as a complaint for investigation.

Support for complainants

  • We encourage you to seek support from a family member or friend when submitting a complaint.
  • Please let us know if you need assistance with translation or interpreting so that we can assist with this.
  • If you are acting on behalf of the complainant, please let us know from the start and confirm details for communication about your complaint.

Complaint investigation

You will be advised in writing

  • if your complaint is allocated for investigation within 5 working days of receipt of your complaint or your concern being escalated for investigation,
  • the reference number, and a summary of the issue, and
  • the name of the person investigating your complaint.

Complaints will be

  • prioritised according to risk and urgency,
  • allocated to someone with the authority to resolve it, and
  • handled by our team with sensitivity and impartiality (note – complaints about staff members will be escalated and resolved by the appropriate people leader).

You may be asked for further information to allow us to investigate your complaint through a fair review process.

Our aim is to resolve complaints within 20 working days. We’ll keep you informed of progress during any investigations as needed and advise if we need longer to complete the investigation if the issue is complex.

There is no charge for handling complaints.

Unacceptable actions by complainants

We recognise that there may be situations leading up to a complaint where people respond out of character.

However our employees and contractors will not tolerate abusive behaviour, verbal or otherwise in carrying out their work.

If during the handling of an issue or a complaint we find the that your behaviour is unacceptable or inappropriate, we will stop with your enquiry or investigation of your complaint and advise you why. We won’t continue with your enquiry or complaint until we reach agreement with you on what is appropriate behaviour.

Where we consider that your complaint is frivolous, habitual, vexatious, or another formal process has commenced around your complaint then we may refuse to investigate it. You will be advised if this decision is made.

You can escalate your complaint or appeal the outcome if you disagree with our decision during or at the conclusion of our investigation.

Appealing the outcome of your complaint

You can apply to the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment for a determination if

  • you are unhappy with a decision made, or
  • choose to use an alternative route to settle your issue or dispute.

You may have already asked for an opinion or advice from the Ministry about the same question. A determination is different in that the Ministry takes a detailed look at the matter and makes a legally binding decision.

Determinations provide a way of solving disputes or questions about

  • the rules that apply to buildings
  • how buildings are used
  • building accessibility.

A determination can be about building work that is planned, partly done, or completed.

In most cases a person applying for the determination disagrees with the council about decisions the council has made about a building.

However, a determination can be applied for by

  • the council, or
  • a neighbour who is affected by building work.

If you're still unhappy with the outcome of your complaint, you can appeal and request a review of the decision. Appeals must be made in writing explaining why you disagree with the decision.

Avenues for formal complaints - Licenced Building Practioners (LBPs)

The Building Practitioners Board (the Board) is an important part of the Licensed Building Practitioner (LBP) scheme. Anyone can complain to the Board about the conduct of an LBP.

To be able to make a complaint about an LBP you need to ensure that

  1. The person you are complaining about was an LBP when the conduct occurred
  2. The conduct you are complaining about falls within one or more of the ‘grounds for discipline’ listed in section 317 of the Building Act 2004
  3. You can provide sufficient proof to support your complaint
  4. Your complaint is made on the approved form

The Board cannot hear complaints regarding payment disputes and commercial or contractual disputes, including employment disputes.

The complaint process and forms

If the trade person is not LBP registered, and the work involved is restricted building work, a complaint can be made to the Occupational Licensing Team (OLT) at the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment.

Avenues for formal complaints - other trades

For plumbing, gas fitting, drain laying, electrical, engineering and architectural work there are respective registration bodies who can deal with any issues or complaints as follows

Alternative resolution options

There are various routes available to you should any issues happen with your build. Often the most successful way is to resolve it yourself through communicating with the people involved.

A good place to check your rights is to check the details of your contract – which should have clauses covering problem resolution process.

There are also consumer protection options available through the Building Act, Construction Contracts Act, Consumer Guarantees Act and Fair Trading Act.

You can also use third parties to help resolve issues through mediation, arbitration and adjudication. This could include taking a dispute through the Disputes Tribunal or courts.