Consents rise spurs benefits

The number of houses being built in Queenstown and Wanaka is increasing, which is having positive effects on Lakes Environmental's financial report.

Yesterday, councillors at Queenstown Lakes District Council's finance and corporate committee meeting heard that Lakes Environmental's six-month report was ''a vast improvement'' on the corresponding time last year.

Since that time, more services had been made available online, costs had been tightened and there was a ''slow but steady increase in consent volumes'', Lakes Environmental chairwoman Anne Urlwin said.

Lakes Environmental chief executive Hamish Dobbie said the number of houses being built was increasing ''on both sides of the hill''.

In the chairman's half yearly report presented to the council, Ms Urlwin said financial performance for the half-year was a net surplus before tax of $162,435, which was ''a pleasing improvement'' on the previous corresponding period's $56,489.

''Revenue for the half-year to December 31, 2012, was $3,692,040 compared to $3,523,580 in the same period last year.''

Although a fixed-price regime for resource consents had not yet been adopted, Lakes Environmental was hopeful this would occur.

The outlook for the remainder of the financial year was for consent volumes to continue at similar levels to the first half, Lakes Environmental predicted.