FAQs - Building Consent Questions


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FAQs - Building Consent Questions

  • Most building and some demolition work requires a building consent. This includes alterations, additions and new work. However there is some building work that the Building Act 2004 allows to be undertaken without a building consent.

    See the Building Amendment Act 2013 Schedule 1 for further information about building work that does not require a building consent.

    Go to the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment for further guidance about building work that does not require a building consent.

  • Not until the building consent has been issued.

  • Yes, nearly all plumbing and drainage work requires a building consent, however some minor work is exempt but must be carried out by an approved person

    Go to MBIE website for further information

  • Yes

  • Sometimes. Fire alarm and detection systems for commercial and industrial buildings all need building consents. So too do sprinklers and similar firefighting systems. However for smoke alarms in detached dwellings and dwellings with vertical separation only, a building consent is not required. You will need to provide smoke detectors throughout your house if you do any building work, even installing a solid fuel heater.

  • All swimming pool fencing needs a building consent.

    Most swimming pools will require a building consent, however the Building Act 2004 does allow for some pools to be exempt from a building consent, provided they meet the requirements.

    Go to MBIE's information on exempt building work guidance for tanks and pools

  • You should get two building consents. One is for the removal of the building from the original site.

    The second is to cover its placement on the new site. You may also need a resource consent.

  • Some small buildings such as garden sheds and other buildings can be built without a building consent under the Building Act 2004, provided they meet the requirements of the exemption. For more information on the exemptions and the requirements go to MBIE's website.

    View the exempt building work guidance for detached stand-alone buildings on the MBIE website

  • Yes, the Building Act 2004 allows for some sleepouts to be built without a building consent provided they meet the requirements of the exemption.

    View MBIE's exemption building work guidance for single story detached buildings

  • This is dependent on the intended use of the container and whether the container has been altered in any way. Council recommends that you submit an enquiry to the Duty Builder providing as much detail as possible and they will be able to help you get an accurate answer for your particular situation.

  • The Building Act 2004 does allow some retaining walls to be built without a building consent provided they meet the requirements of the exemption.

    Go to exempt building work guidance for support structures and retaining walls on the MBIE website

  • Fill out the application form for building consent, complete the application checklist, attach the plans and specifications and lodge them at Council offices.

    Good plans and specifications detailing all of the work will be required. It is important that fully detailed plans are provided. Your project will be delayed if that is not the case.

    Go to About Building Consents for more information

  • Building Control has 20 working days to grant the building consent however it is often quicker than that. However that time will be extended if the information supplied with the application does not cover the entire job or is incorrect, and more information is then requested from the Applicant or Agent.

    It is very important to lodge good plans and specifications. Delays will occur if poor plans and specifications are provided.

  • The fees vary depending on how big the project is, where it is located and how many inspections are needed.

    Go to the Information on Building Services Fees page for more information

  • No. This information must be available under Section 44A of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 (LGOIMA). If you are building a new house, or making significant alterations to your existing house, you must apply for a building consent. Building consents contain information such as the applicant's name, address, and the type of building work being undertaken plus plans and specifications. All of this information must be released to any person on request.

    The information is available to the public on Council's web pages.

  • Any person undertaking building work without first obtaining the appropriate building consent and the owner of the property involved have committed a breach of the Building Act 2004.

    It is possible that you will be asked to remove the unauthorised building work or prove that the building is safe and sanitary. This option may include applying for a Certificate of Acceptance (for the existing unauthorised building works) pursuant to section 97 of the Building Act 2004

    A 'Notice to Fix' will be issued by Building Compliance regarding the unauthorised building work.

    You may also receive an Infringement Notice for carrying out building works without first obtaining a building consent, which includes an instant fine.

    The person and owner of the property may face prosecution in the District Court if the 'Notice to Fix' is not complied with.

  • There are too many items to list here, but there is an application checklist available which has to be lodged with each application.

    Go to the building consent/PIM/amendment - paper forms page to see checklists

    For a more detailed description go to the appropriate building services website page

    Council strongly recommends that you seek the help of a suitably qualified design professional to help you with your building consent information.

  • If the work was done prior to January 1st 1993 then no action can be taken by Council unless the work is dangerous or insanitary. If dangerous or insanitary conditions exist they should be fixed as soon as possible.

    A building consent may be needed for this work and if so the building should not be used whilst it remains dangerous or insanitary. If the work was done after July 1992 then a Certificate of Acceptance may be applied for but proof will be required that all work complies with the NZ Building Code.

    Go to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment for more information about Certificates of Acceptance

    If the Building Consent is not issued and is still being processed on the property you have just purchased and you wish to go ahead with the proposed work, you will need to provide the following:

    • Written advice that you are the new owner and wish to proceed with the work. Council’s preference is that a new Building Consent application form be completed for the work and forwarded onto the person processing the job. Include:
    • Details of all people involved. Proof of ownership e.g. a Copy of the Record of Title or copy of the Sale and Purchase Agreement.
    • A covering letter outlining what is to happen with fees to date.

    If the Building Consent has been issued, proceed as above and request inspections as per the inspection schedule.

    Any work already undertaken that is non-complying becomes the responsibility of the new owner.

  • If you no longer want to proceed with the building work once the building consent has been granted, the owner of a building may cancel an application for a building consent at any time prior to commencement of the work.

    Depending on the timing of the request, there may be either a refund or a charge for additional fees, as costs to date will be charged.

    Requests to cancel must be in writing or by email and in the name of the Applicant.

    See information regarding Code Compliance Certificates on the MBIE website