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Understanding Building Consent






A building consent(BC) is the written authorization from the Council to conduct building work, confirming that it is expected to meet the Building Code as long as it adheres to the submitted plans and specifications.



BC cannot be given after the work is completed. In such cases, you need to apply for a Certificate of Acceptance, but it's not guaranteed and you may be asked to demolish the work. If you make changes to the design during construction, you must apply for an alteration to the Building Consent. This should be avoided if possible, as it can lead to extra costs and delays. It is the building owner's responsibility to arrange inspections. If someone else is handling it, like a builder or architect, make sure they are conducting the inspections.




When do you need a Building Consent?


You generally need a Building Consent for most building work, unless it falls under the exemptions listed in Schedule 1: Exempt Work. You have two options: 1. Apply for the consent yourself, ensuring your application meets the Building Code requirements and includes all necessary documentation.

2. Have your architect/designer or builder handle the application for you. However, it's a good idea to double-check their submission to avoid missing information.

Examples of work that usually require a building consent include:

  • Structural building projects like new constructions, additions, alterations, sheds, and re-piling.

  • Plumbing and drainage work.

  • Installing heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems.

  • Site preparations for buildings.

  • Retaining walls taller than 1.5 meters or those near a building or driveway.

  • Fences higher than 2.5 meters and swimming pool fences.

  • Building swimming pools.

  • Decks elevated more than 1.5 meters from the ground.

Remember, it's important to follow the regulations and obtain the necessary consent to ensure a smooth and compliant building process.


Important Information: Building Consent Time Limit:

If you don't start the work within 12 months (or the specified time limit by the Building Consents Authority, usually the Council), the building consent will expire. You can ask for more time if needed. Code Compliance Certificate (CCC) Responsibility:

It is your responsibility to ensure you have a Code Compliance Certificate, unless stated otherwise in your contract. If your CCC application is rejected, make sure your builder is available to fix any issues. Without a CCC, you may encounter problems in the future. Builder's Defects Obligation:

Builders are now required by law to fix any defects within the first 12 months, no questions asked. Development contributions must be paid when any of the following are granted:

  1. Resource consent.

  2. Building consent.

  3. Consent to connect to a service by the local authority.


Be aware of the cost above and it will be chased by the council until you make the payment otherwise you cancel the consent itself !!

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