For all changes to the approved plans and specifications (i.e. amendments or variations), it is important that these changes are approved in writing by the owner and the designer before submitting the altered plans to Council, and before any changes are made to the building. You need to check with your local Council as to whether or not Council approval is needed for these changes. This depends on whether the change is minor or major.
If the change is considered MINOR all that may be required is a handwritten and signed letter saying what you plan to do and a copy of the plans or specifications with these changes written/drawn on them. If the changes involve restricted building work you will also need to supply a Certificate of Design Work from the designer.
If it is a MAJOR change then you will need to fill in a new Building Consent Application and provide all the associated plans and documentation. A major amendment is treated as if it is a new building consent application – as required by the Building Act 2004.
For examples of minor and major amendments, see the Building System Performance (MBIE) website.
Changes to consented work needs approval
- It is strongly advised that any amendments or variations (changes) are approved in writing by the owner and the designer before the altered plans are submitted to the Council, and before any changes are made to the building. In the event of the changes causing building failure, a designer can walk away from any changes to their plans that they did not approve.
- Check whether or not the amendment is a major or a minor amendment: MBIE guidance
- Complete the appropriate application form and submit it to the BCA
- Application for a major amendment – this is treated as if it was a new building consent application as required by s45(4), Building Act 2004
- Application for a minor amendment or a handwritten signed letter saying what you plan to do and a copy of the plans or specifications with the changes written/drawn on them.
Major Amendments – legal requirements under the Building Act 2004
All major amendments must be approved before any related construction begins. Failure to do so will mean that the work is not covered by the building consent or the CCC. To carry out construction that does not comply with the approved and consented documentation is illegal and there are consequences for those that choose to do this.
- 14C Responsibilities of owner-builder
- 14E(2) (a) Responsibilities of builder
- 40 Buildings not to be constructed, altered, demolished, or removed without consent
- 42 Owner must apply for certificate of acceptance if building work carried out urgently
- 44(1) When to apply for building consent
- 45(4) (a) (b) How to apply for building consent
- 89 Licensed building practitioner must notify building consent authority of breaches of building consent
- 96(1) (2) Territorial authority may issue certificate of acceptance in certain circumstances
- 164(1) (a) (2) (a) Issue of notice to fix
- 166(1) (a) (b) Special provisions for notices to fix from building consent authority
- 168 Offence not to comply with notice to fix
- 317(1) (d)(da)(i) and (ii) Grounds for discipline of licensed building practitioners