Building and resource consents.

If you’re planning to do building work, you may need to apply for resource and building consents first.

Before you start a building project:

1. Find out which consents and permissions you need
Depending on the type of project you’re planning, you may need one or more consents or permissions from the Council before you can start work.

The two main consents are:
• resource consent – this is a written decision from the Council about something that may affect the environment or your community – for example, building a deck close to a property’s boundary
• building consent – this confirms that proposed building work complies with the Building Code.

You may also need other permissions from the Council – for example, vehicle access approval if you’re building a new driveway.

2. Get professional help
Most people will need professional help to design their project and apply for consents. Find out who to hire and when.
You can also discuss your proposal with us before you submit a resource or building consent application – this is recommended for large or complex projects.

3. Understand the costs involved
The fees we charge to assess consent applications depend on the type and scope of the work you’re proposing. Before you can estimate what your consents will cost, you’ll need to have some initial plans prepared.

4. Prepare your application
Before you’re ready to apply, you may need to do things like:
• request copies of documents about your property
• prepare plans and supporting documents
• talk to your neighbours if they could be affected by the work.

5. Apply for your consents
If you need both resource and building consent, you should apply for your resource consent first.

6. After you apply
It can take up to 20 working days for us to process your resource or building consent application. Resource consents that affect neighbours or the community can take a lot longer.
You may also be asked for more information while we’re assessing your application, which can add to the time it takes for us to process it.
7. While work is under way

Once your consent is issued, you can start work. During this time, you’ll need to do things like:
• let us know that work has started (and who’s doing it)
• make sure required inspections and monitoring are carried out
• collect documents and certificates from your tradespeople.
Once all building work is finished, you also need to apply for a code compliance certificate to show that the work meets the Building Code.

 

Consents and permissions you might need

Resource consent

You’ll need resource consent if your project does not comply with the rules of the District Plan.If you need resource consent, you should get it before you apply for any other consents or permissions.
+Building consent
You need a building consent for all work that affects the structure of a building, and all plumbing or drainage work other than simple repairs.

+If the land is subject to natural hazards

We can’t grant a building consent for new buildings or major alterations on land with natural hazards if doing the work would make the situation worse.

+If you’re changing the use of a building

For example, changing a home to a workplace like a daycare centre – you need written permission from the Council, even if no building work is involved.

+If you’re altering an existing building

If you’re applying for a building consent to alter an existing building:
• the entire building must comply with the current Building Code requirements for escape from fire and, if required, access and facilities for people with disabilities
• the rest of the building must not be made less compliant with the Building Code because of the work.

+If you’re creating or changing a driveway or kerb

If you’re creating a new driveway or doing work that will affect the existing driveway or kerb, you’ll need vehicle access permission.

+If the work will encroach on the legal road

Some topography means you may sometimes need to use the road for your car deck or garage, or structures such as steps, fences or walls.

The above consents apply to the following:
Build or demolish a deck
Build or demolish a retaining wall
• Install a fireplace or solid fuel heater
• Do drainage or plumbing work under $5,000
• Build or demolish a garage
• Remove a chimney
• Build a house
• Subdivide property
• Carry out earthworks
• Run a business from home
• Put up a sign on your property
• Use road reserve for private purposes
• Open an early childhood centre

+Carrying out noisy building work

There are certain rules around when construction noise is allowed to take place in residential areas, including the Central Area zone of the city.
You’ll need to:
• check the hours and days noisy construction work can take place
• consult with any neighbours who could be affected by the noise.

+Development contributions

You need to pay a development contribution to the Council if you are subdividing land, building new residential accommodation or a commercial, retail or industrial space.
Development contributions are a payment made to the Council that pay for the impact that new developments have on services and infrastructure, such as water supply and waste water.
Projects that might require a development contribution include:
• new houses, flats or apartments
• subdivision of land
• adding a new unit/dwelling, including an extra kitchen or kitchenette to an existing dwelling
• adding to the gross floor area of a commercial building
• converting some or all of an existing residential dwelling into commercial space, or vice versa
• new retail, commercial or office space or warehouse buildings.

When you don’t need to pay

Development contributions may not be required if:
• the Council has imposed a condition for a financial contribution on a resource consent for the same purpose
• the developer has made a private agreement with the Council to provide network infrastructure upgrades or reserves in lieu of paying a development contribution
• the Council receives funding from a third party.

Fees
Council staff will work out how much you need to pay when your development is assessed for its building consent, resource consent or service connection.
The fees are calculated based on where the development is located and the number of equivalent household units (EHUs) created by the project.
You pay one EHU for each:
• residential development with more than one bedroom – for example, a house, an apartment or a self-contained unit
• allotment of land within a fee-simple subdivision
• 42m2 of floor area in a non-residential development.
If your residential development will have only one bedroom or is a studio, the fee will be 0.7 EHU.

EHU credits
In some cases, you may be able to get EHU credits to offset against what you need to pay.
For residential developments, a credit only applies if there is an existing dwelling that you are either:
• demolishing and rebuilding – you get a credit for the existing dwelling on the same site
• changing from a one bedroom dwelling to a multiple room dwelling – you get a 0.7 credit for the existing dwelling, and will need to pay the difference of 0.3 EHU.
For commercial developments, credits are based on the number of square metres. They will only apply if you are:
• demolishing some or all of an existing building and rebuilding on the same site (if you are demolishing a residential building, there is a maximum of 1 EHU credit per residential dwelling)
• altering an existing commercial space into multiple residential units.
Contest your assessment
If you want to contest the Council’s assessment of:
• a residential development, you can request a remission hearing
• a commercial development, you can do a self-assessment then request a re-assessment.

How to pay

1. Get an estimate from the Council
The Council will assess whether you need to pay a development contribution and send you an estimate when you apply for a:
• resource consent (for fee-simple subdivisions)
• building consent
• service connection.

2. Complete the work
Once you have completed the work and you apply for a code of compliance certificate, a section 224(c) certificate or a consent for a service connection the Council will calculate the final development contribution amount and send you an invoice for this amount.
You won’t get your code compliance certificate and/or your section 224(c) certificate until the development contribution has been paid.

+Extending the specified life of a building

A building with a specified life only has a set period of time in use, and must be altered, removed or demolished at the end of that period. It’s usually used for buildings that are temporary – for example, a site office or portacom.
The original building consent will state the building’s specified life.
You can request an extension of life to use the building for longer if it:
• has been altered in accordance with the condition stated in the building consent
will comply with the section 112 of the Building Act 2004.

You must let us know by email or letter if you want to extend the life of a building you own. You will need to state why you want an extension and how long the extension should be.

+ Certificates for public use

If you want members of the public to be able to access all or part of your building while building work is ongoing, you need a certificate for public use (CPU).
If you want members of the public to be able to access all or part of your building while building work is ongoing, you need a certificate for public use (CPU) to show that the building can be used safely.
To get a CPU you’ll need to:
• restrict access to the area of the building where building work is happening – for example, by putting up barriers or closing part of the building
• have a safe way for members of the public to access the building without passing through the building work
• have functioning and commissioned specified system
• keep building materials and any tools out of sight.
Note: If you don’t have a CPU, you could be fined up to $200,000 – and then a further $20,000 each day until you get a CPU, close the building to the public, or a code compliance certificate is issued.
Example

If you’re adding an outside extension to a public restaurant, and members of the public can use another door and eat inside safely while the work is ongoing, you could apply for a CPU to remain open while the building work is done.

How to apply

Once your application is submitted, the process takes up to 20 working days.
You can apply for a CPU at the same time as you apply for a building consent.
You may need to provide supporting documents and plans with your application that show how members of the public will use your premises safely – for example, an engineer’s report or certificates concerning specified systems.

Your premises is inspected
To book an inspection, phone the Building Inspections
Note: As the availability of our inspectors can vary, we recommend booking in advance to avoid delays.
If we are satisfied the premises are safe for the public to use, a CPU will be granted.
If your premises does not pass the inspection, you’ll receive a report that will tell you what needs to be done or what extra information must be provided. You may need to book a follow-up inspection.

+Rights of way

A right of way is a form of easement that gives you the right to pass over another person’s land. This could include using a neighbour’s driveway, or being able to use a narrow portion of their property as a footpath to your house.
A right of way is a form of easement that gives you the right to pass over another person’s land. This could include using a neighbour’s driveway, or being able to use a narrow portion of their property as a footpath to your house.
If we grant an easement, it doesn’t change who owns the land – just how it can be legally used.

How to apply

1. Talk to the landowner
To be granted a right of way, you must first get the landowner’s agreement.
2. Engage a surveyor and lawyer
Right of way applications are usually made by cadastral surveyors and legal professionals. They are the only ones who can complete this process with Land Information New Zealand (LINZ).
3. Prepare your supporting documents
As part of your application, you must provide in writing:
• your details
• your agent’s details (if using an agent)
• the property owner’s details
• the details of the person who will pay the application fees
• what the right of way is for
• a current record of title (less than 3 months old).
You’ll also need to provide a scheme plan, which must show:
• the location of the proposed right of way
• the purpose of the easement
• the ‘burdened owner’ (the land on which the easement is to be located)
• the ‘beneficial owner’ (the land which benefits from the right of way).

+Buildings with specified systems

If you own a building with specified systems – like sprinklers and automatic doors – you’re responsible for making sure they are regularly inspected and maintained.

+Buildings with specified systems need a compliance schedule

It is a building owner’s responsibility to make sure their building is safe for people to occupy.
All buildings with specified systems have a compliance schedule that shows when those systems must be inspected and maintained.
Specified systems include things like:
• fire and smoke control systems like sprinklers and fire separations
• automatic doors and windows
• emergency power and lighting systems
• lifts, escalators and cable cars
• air conditioning and mechanical ventilation systems.
A compliance schedule is a document that shows:
• all a building’s specified systems
• when they need to be checked and maintained to ensure they’re safe to use.
Inspecting and maintaining specified systems
Inspecting and maintaining specified systems must be done by an independent qualified person (IQP).
Annual building warrant of fitness (BWoF) checks
Every year you must supply building warrant of fitness (BWoF) documents that show you’re meeting the requirements of your compliance schedule.

+Making changes to a specified system

If you make any changes to a specified system, you must update your compliance schedule.
Note: Make sure your building’s tenants are aware of the requirements of your compliance schedule – for example, which walls are fire separations and must not be altered, and which paths are fire escapes and cannot be blocked. A building consent is required for any alterations or tenancy fit-outs that will affect the building’s specified systems.

+Building warrants of fitness (BwoFs)

If you own a building with specified systems like automatic doors, lifts or sprinkler systems, or your home has a cable car, you must renew its building warrant of fitness every 12 months.

A building warrant of fitness is an annual check that the specified systems in a building have been maintained for the previous 12 months. Any building with a compliance schedule needs a BWoF – this includes most commercial buildings, and homes that have cable cars. It’s the building owner’s responsibility to make sure their building is safe to use and their BWoF is up-to-date.
1. Inspect and maintain your specified systems
To meet BWoF requirements, a building’s specified systems need to be inspected and maintained by an independent qualified person (IQP) throughout the year as stated in the compliance schedule.
2. Keep your compliance schedule up-to-date
If you make any changes to your specified systems throughout the year, you must update your compliance schedule.
3. Complete the BWoF forms each year
Your BWoF documents (Form 12 and Form 12A) are due each year on the anniversary of receiving your code compliance certificate.
The building warrant of fitness form is completed by the building owner or their agent. It states that the building owner has fully complied with the inspection, maintenance and reporting requirements of the compliance schedule for the previous 12 months.
The form also asks for the building’s:
• location
• lawfully-established use, including the number of occupants per level
• owner
• date of original construction
• highest fire risk category (if applicable).

+BWoF audits

The Council carries out audits from time to time to check that owners of buildings with BWoF requirements are meeting their obligations.
You can be audited:
• as part of the Council’s programme of regular reviews
• if you have a history of submitting your BWoF late
• if we’re investigating a dangerous building.
If your building is going to be audited, you’ll receive a letter from us letting you know about the audit and the proposed time.
The audit includes:
• a walk-through of the building to visually confirm the installed specified systems are on the compliance schedule
• checking inspection and testing records and log books
• making sure that the BWoF certificate is correctly displayed.
We also check for any current or outstanding building consents to see if they affect the building’s compliance schedule.

+Compliance schedules for new buildings

If you’re building or renovating a building that will contain specified systems, you’ll need a draft compliance schedule to get your building consent.
Draft compliance schedule for building consent
You need a draft compliance schedule to apply for building consent for a new building that will contain specified systems.
The draft compliance schedule should include:
• design features of the specified systems
• proposed procedures for inspection, maintenance and reporting on the specified systems
• the performance standard each system is supposed to meet for the life of the building.
Issuing your compliance schedule
Your compliance schedule and statement will be issued with your code compliance certificate.
When you apply for your code compliance certificate, you may be asked to provide documents like:
• installation certificates verifying specified systems meet the requirements of the building consent and relevant standards
• evidence the systems can perform to the standards in the building consent – for example results of tests
• third party verification from accredited inspectors for fire alarm and sprinkler systems.
Requirements in the first 12 months
You must display your compliance schedule statement somewhere in your building where it can be seen by all the building’s users – for example, the entry foyer or reception area.
Your first BWoF is due 12 months after you receive your compliance schedule statement. This must show that you’ve been meeting the inspection and maintenance requirements of your compliance schedule throughout the first year by engaging with an independent qualified person (IQP) and keeping a log book of inspections.
Note: Be aware that the compliance schedule requirements may not be covered by a system’s 12-month warranty.
Once you have your first BWoF, you must display that instead of the compliance schedule statement.

+Find or register as an IQP

To meet the requirements of your compliance schedule, you’ll need an independently qualified person (IQP) to inspect and maintain your building’s specified systems.
A building’s specified systems must be inspected and maintained by an independent qualified person (IQP). An IQP must be qualified to inspect the specified systems they are verifying. At the end of each year, each IQP you’ve engaged submits a certificate of compliance to show you’ve met the requirements of your compliance schedule. This forms part of your BWoF. You must keep reports from your IQPs with your compliance schedule for at least 2 years.
This includes records of:
• inspections and tests
• preventative maintenance
• faults found
• repair work.