Avoid the stress involved in building a home or altering your existing home by working with your Council. A Building Consent (previously known as a building permit) is generally needed to do any structural alterations or new work. This includes plumbing and drainage.

Consult with Council staff early about your project to avoid delays and unnecessary costs later on. Council staff have the experience, willingness and ability to help you get a Building Consent for your project and to ensure that the building will comply with the standards set by the New Zealand Building Code.

It is advisable to get a professional to help with your plans if you are not skilled in this area (refer to therestricted building work and licensed building practitioners information page) . Should your plans comply with the Building Code you will be issued with a Building Consent without delay.

Council staff will inspect the job as it progresses and if the plans are adhered to, a Code of Compliance Certificate will be issued on completion of the work. This certifies that all the requirements have been complied with and that you can start using the building. Select your builder and advisor carefully.

Work Not Requiring a Building Consent

In December 2010 there were some changes made around the work allowed to be done without a building consent. By law, most work needs to be completed by a registered professional and all work needs to meet the standards of the:

  • Building Code
  • Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Act 2006
  • Electricity Act 1992
  • Resource Management Act 1991

Some building works do not require Building Consents. Very briefly these are:

  • routine maintenance
  • power poles
  • dams – please contact the Regional Council, who have jurisdiction for all dam building consents
  • any mast or pole less than 7 metres high
  • any retaining wall less than 1.5 metres high that does not support any load
  • any wall or fence less than 2 metres high
  • any tank or pool at ground level that holds less than 25,000 litres, and above ground tanks of lesser capacity
  • the construction, alteration or removal or any tent or marquee that has a floor area not exceeding 100 square metres if that tent or marquee is, or has been, for private use for a period of not more than one month.
  • any platform or bridge less than 1 metre above ground level

As the above is only a brief outline of the ‘exempt building schedule’ owners should contact one of Council’s Building Control Officers for clarification, particularly if they have any doubts or concerns or refer to the following form:

When you apply for a building consent you need to supply detailed information, documentation and a fee based on the value of the project.
If insufficient information is supplied or the application (form 2) is not completed it will be returned to you.
Please note a full description of the proposed work is required in the application form eg: if the application is for a new house with a solar water heating system and a free standing fireplace please state this.

If you wish to make an alteration to an existing Building Consent you can apply for an amendment; there may be a charge for this.
For building consents issued from 31 March 2005, the Building Act 2004 requires that the building must comply with the issued building consent. It is therefore important that significant variations from the approved Building Consent are recorded by the issue of an amendment to the Building Consent.