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Academic year: 2023



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11f Requirements of council staff considering enforcement action 17 12 Options for dealing with confirmed cases of illegal activity 18. Therefore, a complaint may arise where an individual alleges that council staff have failed to take action in relation to a report alleging illegal activity activity claims. Ensuring timely responses to reports alleging illegal activities and decision-making related thereto is timely.

All City employees who handle reports of illegal activity are responsible for enforcing this policy.

Responsibility to concerns about unlawful activity

Decisions about actions to be taken by the council are made at the discretion of the council. In accordance with the Council's Consumer Complaints Procedure, Council staff will not reveal the identity of a complainant if the complainant requests that their personal details remain confidential, as required by privacy legislation. Any complaints relating to the council's handling of reports alleging illegal activity will be recorded separately and dealt with in accordance with the Council's Complaints Management Policy and Procedures.

Council staff will respond to any complaints about the conduct of compliance officers in accordance with Council's complaint management policy and procedures and the Code of Conduct.

Investigation alleged unlawful activity

Some reports will raise several issues, some of which will require the involvement of the council and some of which will be personal to the parties. If there is insufficient information in the report to undertake a preliminary assessment, further information may need to be sought from the person who made the report or an inspection undertaken. In this case, staff will accept the report and advise that no further action will be taken as no new information has been provided (unless the person has previously been advised that no further response will be received).

Any decision not to investigate an allegation of unlawful activity is recorded and the reasons for that decision are clearly stated.

Taking enforcement action

The Board may also require a person subject to possible enforcement action to seek professional advice in relation to issues of concern to the board for assessment of whether further action is required. f) Requirements of council staff considering enforcement action. Enforcement action will not be taken solely as a response to the behavior of an individual such as persistent demands or threats. Council staff will at all times adhere to the council's internal approval processes before commencing any enforcement action.

Council staff will take steps to ensure that any enforcement action is taken against the correct person or organisation.

Options for dealing with confirmed cases of unlawful activity

Taking legal action

Given the costs of legal action, the council will not take legal action unless there is a reasonable prospect of success before a court. Has the Council contributed to the owner acting on a reasonable expectation that no action will be taken. In the absence of aggravating circumstances, the Council should be less inclined to proceed with legal proceedings if the illegal activity could have been carried out lawfully if consent had been given.

If enforcement action would cause particular difficulties for an individual and the impact of the illegal activity is otherwise not serious, the Council may consider taking informal action or taking no action at all.

Enforcement options available

If the person accepts their mistake, the public good may not be best served by prosecution, especially if the work has been remedied. If the legislation allows the specific issue to be resolved by obtaining relevant approval, such as development consent or an amendment to section 96, it may be appropriate to allow a reasonable period to seek approval before enforcement action is taken. If there is a question of non-compliance and that matter can be easily remedied by an action on the part of the person, there is a less compelling case for enforcement.

Violations affecting the health, safety and well-being of residents or the community warrant positive and effective remedial action. If enforcement actions would cause particular difficulties for an individual and the impact of the unlawful activity is otherwise not serious, the Board may consider taking informal action or taking no action at all.. to resolve disputes without litigation.. to ensure that the Council consider all problems and available avenues b) Sentence reports. In such cases, there is clearly a major, and likely ongoing, compliance problem that may need to be addressed through other administrative measures.

The notice of intent may provide that the statements are to be made to the person giving the order or to a nominee on a designated date, such date as is reasonable in the circumstances of the case. Any legal proceeding must be approved by the Investigation Officer Manager and the Group Manager, after which approval is required to be sought and obtained from the Chief Executive Officer. Civil enforcement action may be taken with respect to an alleged violation of a planning or environmental law. In the above cases, the Council also has the option of prosecuting, seeking a fine in the local court or through Class 5 proceedings in the Land and Environment Court.

It is critical that when hearing a case through local court or class 5 proceedings in the Land and Environment Court the Council collects sufficient evidence to prove each of the elements of the crime and that the evidence is admissible in form . Issued for unauthorized works that should not remain, where there is a threat to public health and safety, works that are carried out without permission.

Shared enforcement responsibilities

Penalty Notice Issued for minor unauthorized works that do not affect the amenity of surrounding neighbors and there is no ongoing risk to public health or safety. Generally, when the violation is one-off and the violation is significant enough to require deterrence of further illegal activity. For example, an unauthorized pergola that does not shade or cause loss of solar access/view, a residence without a certificate of occupation (where there are no safety risks).

Examples include, renovations carried out without consent, unauthorized works on a heritage site, installation of a shed that would not be allowed to stand. Issued when a building structure has been compromised and is likely to pose an immediate threat to public health and safety or work is being undertaken without permission.

Role of council where there is a private certifier

Role of Councillors in enforcement



Other resources

Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (2014), Commonwealth Prosecution Policy: Guidelines for Making Decisions in the Prosecution Process.

Annexure ‘A’

Anything that could cause damage or injury to persons or property must be marked as urgent and immediately reported verbally to the officer who takes action. If the complainant calls back and wants to cancel their CSR: Add a note to the request stating the customer's comments. The "problem location" associated with the Environment and Planning CSR is always the private property address and not the complainant's address.

Contact details may need to be obtained from the customer when the result of a CSR ends in prosecution, i.e. when you are convinced that the customer's name is not in the system, add the customer name 'UNKNOWN' with address C/-THSC . Include the default name requirements: title, first name, last name, address, and contact number in the notes.

Pathway is the source of the Council's name and address register and the NAR officer at Rates maintains the data, the 'UNKNOWN' entries report is run and the client name is generated and the claim attached to the name. Sufficient detail must be included in the CSR for the NAR officer to generate a name. Council field officers (rearers, inspectors etc.) are expected to be proactive and record their own customer service requests when out and about; they have the technology and capabilities and are aware of this expectation.

If you receive phone calls from officers in the field, please ask for the reason why they are not logging them themselves. There may be a good reason and if there is - provide the customer service - we want to be helpful.

Annexure ‘B’

Issuance of approvals and permits for RV parks, including approval of additions, approvals of on-site sewage management systems for installation and operation, approvals of solid fuel heaters and fireworks.

Annexure ‘C’

Annexure ‘D’

The type of action chosen will depend on the degree of risk and impact of the non-compliance. The type of action taken will be proportionate to both the risk and seriousness of the breach. This response is appropriate depending on the nature of the complaint and the extent of any non-compliance.

Court attendance notice For multiple serious breaches and/or where there has been a history of non-compliance and penalty directives/notices have not been complied with, the matter will be referred to the Council's Corporate Counsel for consideration of commencing proceedings. The Council's officer will consider a number of factors in selecting the compliance action. On expiry of the time limit provided under the Order, the Council officer may refer the matter to the Council's Corporate Counsel for consideration of commencing proceedings for non-compliance with the Order.

The type of action taken will be proportionate to both the risk and severity of the breach. Where there is a history of serious critical failures / non-compliance with the Food Standards Code of a food business. If notices/orders, etc. have been previously issued and the critical failure issue persists, the matter will be referred to the Council Legal Service Department for consideration of initiating proceedings.

For continued failure to comply with prior notices/directions and/or cases resulting in significant environmental damage, the matter will be referred to the Council's Legal Services Department for consideration of the initiation of proceedings. A penalty notice may be issued for a subsequent failure to comply with the time limits within 28 days of receiving the warning. Where there has been a history of non-compliance with previous enforcement actions for the same or similar offences, the matter will be referred to the Council's Legal Services Department for consideration of commencing proceedings.

Under the Public Health Act 2010, the Council has a responsibility to take appropriate measures to ensure compliance with the requirements of the Act. Penalties/legal action may be initiated if prior history of non-compliance or significant lack of system maintenance. Where there has been an extensive history of serious non-compliance and notices/orders etc have previously been issued, the matter will be referred to the Council's Legal Services Division for consideration of commencing proceedings.


Related documents

The following range of enforcement options are available to staff in response to detected offending: Education and Incentive 4 New Zealand Law Commission