The Building Act 2004 allows for any person to apply for a "Certificate of Acceptance" for any work that has been completed without a Building Consent. This however, is only applicable to work carried out after the inception of the Building Act 1991 (1 July 1992). A Certificate of Acceptance must be applied for on the appropriate form which is available from your local Council.
For any work completed without a Building Consent and prior to 1 July 1992 there is no process available through Council for acceptance or qualification of this work. Where such building work is the subject of a condition for a building report in a sale and purchase agreement, then you will need to obtain the services of a qualified person from the private sector.
If you build without a Building Consent you may also have trouble selling the building or obtaining insurance. If the building is damaged or destroyed because of a fault occurring in the unauthorized work, an insurance company could legally refuse to pay you.
A COA may also be issued when urgent work was required in order to protect lives or serious damage to property and there was no time to obtain a Building Consent. See Urgent Work (FAQ's) and Certificate of Acceptance page.
Please Note: A COA can only cover work that is visible - where the work can be inspected and can be seen to be compliant with the Building Code, e.g. it cannot cover work hidden behind internal or external claddings.
Certificate of Work (CoW)
From 1 March 2012, this form must accompany your building consent application, and includes the names of the licensed building practitioners supervising or carrying out your work. For more information, go to Licensed Building Practitioner page, and see the MBIE guidance on Certificates of Work for engineers, builders, BCA's and insurance companies.
This is a certificate that allows a public building or part of a public building to be used by the public prior to building completion and the issue of a Code Compliance Certificate. The building must have a granted building consent and the owner is still obligated to apply for a CCC at project completion. To apply for a CPU use the CPU application form. For more information, see CPU page and go to the MBIE website.
Can I change my garage into a sleepout? This is a 'Change of Use' and will probably require a Building Consent in order to meet the requirements of the Building Code in relation to habitable buildings. It will need to meet performance criteria of structure, fire safety, insulation, moisture control, lighting and ventilation along with any other Code requirements. Resource Consent may also be required. Talk with a Building Officer at your local Council about what you plan to do, and what will be required of you.
Can I change the use of my commercial property? The requirements may differ from one type of use to another, but written notice needs to be given to the Building Consent Authority and a Building Consent will likely be required.
The Code Compliance Certificate confirms that the completed building work has been built in accordance with the approved Building Consent documents. The owner must apply to the Council for the CCC using the required form. A CCC is issued by a Building Consent Authority.
What do I need to have finished before I get my CCC? Any issues that have been identified in previous inspections have been addressed prior to the final inspection. All wet areas need to be finished, ground levels need to be finished, all exterior levels need to be finished and all exterior areas need to be painted. The building has to be finished to a show room standard. The Building Officers also ensure all required documentation for your project is received and complete, including Producer Statements, memoranda, as-laid drainage plans, and energy certificates. They assess your project against the CCC Decision & File Checklist to do this. If you have any other questions please contact a Building Officer at your local Council.
I have had a final inspection and I needed to get some things done. I have now finished the work required, but some time has passed, can I get another inspection? Yes, but depending on the length of time that has passed, the inspection may need to be a full inspection not just a recall for the items that needed correcting, as the building needs to be up to a current standard and not what needed to be finished five years ago.
Documents published by the Building and Housing group, MBIE to help people comply with the performance standards of the Building Code. There is one Compliance Document for each of the Building Code's 35 clauses. Compliance Documents contain Acceptable Solutions and Verification Methods, and provide one way of establishing compliance with a particular clause of the Building Code. The full list of Compliance Documents are available from the Building Performance (MBIE) website. See also Compliance Schedules & BWOFs.
See Commercial Buildings.
A Compliance Schedule is issued by a Building Consent Authority and lists the inspection, maintenance and reporting procedures for specified systems such as lifts, automatic sprinklers, automatic doors, air conditioning, fire alarms and other safety features. These systems ensure a building is safe and healthy for members of the public to enter, occupy or use. This is only required if you need a Building Warrant of Fitness for a commercial building. See Compliance Schedules and Building Warrant of Fitness for a list of the types of safety systems that require a Compliance Schedule. Also see IQPs and Commercial Buildings.
Compliance Schedule details
Details of the specified systems (safety systems) must be provided with any building consent application where there are specified systems associated with the building. These details must include the performance standards and the proposed inspection, maintenance and reporting procedures for the specified safety systems in the building.
Please download and complete in full, the appropriate form(s) for each kind of specified systems relating to the building. Compliance Schedule Detail forms
Concerns or Complaints
You have the right to appeal any decision the Building Consent Authority (Council Building Unit) has made, or to voice your concerns about any building control function the Building Consent Authority undertakes. A customer has the right to lodge a concern and have their concern managed. See Lodging a Concern.
On the advice of the Ombudsman:
- “Building consent information is available to any person who requests it, regardless of their reason for doing so.
- A local authority cannot withhold personal details from building consent information which it holds. It can only withhold plans or specifications marked confidential on security grounds.
- Where personal details form part of building consent information and are consequently available under the Building Act and on a LIM, it cannot be necessary to withhold such details in response to an official information request so as to protect the privacy of the person to whom they refer.
- Making personal details available in building consent information in response to a request under the LGOIMA is not contrary to the Privacy Act or the Building Act.”
Confidentiality of plans and or specifications
This is usually only granted where building security is paramount (e.g. prisons, banks). This rarely applies to private residential dwellings. If you think your project may require confidentiality, please discuss this with a Building Officer prior to building consent application.
See Contaminated Land.
Just a reminder for you designers out there, that we need levels or contours shown on the site plans. This is for use to determine compliance with the building code document E1, that is surface water. We need to know that the floor levels are above surrounding ground and that there are overland flow paths so there are no ponding issues on site.
Council's Building Control Responsibilities
The Building Consent Authority (Council) is responsible for ensuring that the proposed work meets the requirements of the Building Act 2004, the Building Code, and has been built in accordance with the approved plans. It is NOT responsible for supervising the construction site, the purchase or choice of materials or the tradespeople involved. It cannot therefore guarantee the materials or workmanship of the project. This is the responsibility of the owner/developer undertaking the work. The owner must ensure that all the requirements of the Building Code are met and that the required inspections occur at the correct stages of the project. It is the owner's responsibility to ensure that the work required for each inspection is completed prior to the inspection. The ConsumerBuild website has further information on your responsibilities.
Can I put a container on my section for storage? See the guidance document page 22 where it talks about garden sheds and check with your local Council / Building Consent Authority as to whether this is exempt from a building consent and also check with the Council Planners to see if allowable under the Council's District Plan. Some district plans do not allow containers as a storage unit.
You will require a Building Consent if the deck is more than 1 metre above the ground. For more information check out:
Now the Building Performance of MBIE (Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment). The Building Performance of MBIE manages the system that regulates building work in New Zealand and monitors its effectiveness. This includes reviewing the building legislation, the Building Code and producing documents to show how to comply with it. MBIE also monitors the performance of Building Consent Authorities (BCAs) and District and City Councils, and can investigate complaints.
Detail requirements for plans
Go to Plans and Specifications
A determination is a binding decision made by the Building Performance, MBIE to solve disputes or questions about the rules that apply to buildings, how buildings are used, building accessibility, and health and safety. Visit the Building Performance (MBIE) website for further information on this service.
Development and Financial Contributions
Councils require developers to fund the growth component of capital expenditure on new infrastructure and facilities associated with the new development. For more information refer to your Council's Development and Financial Contributions Policy available on request. See Development Contributions.
A document prepared and issued by a Territorial Authority (City or District Council) outlining how the Territorial Authority proposes to maintain and develop its district. The District Plan will set out the activities permitted on any land governed, and conditions under which these activities are permitted and which require Resource or Planning Consent. District Plan rules cover things such as noise, and the location and height of buildings. The District Plan is available on your local Council's website. See District Plans.
Documents required for a Building Consent application
You will need the Building Consent application form available from your local Council. This will include a checklist of all the documentation required before an application will be accepted for processing. This information can be downloaded here. For further information also see Building Consents - What You Need to Know, Do I Need a Building Consent, and Applying for a Building Consent.
All building work must be completed to the appropriate standards set by the Building Code. Some work, notably gas, plumbing and electrical work, must be done by a registered professional. You need to check whether or not the work you propose to do requires a Building Consent and / or a Resource Consent before you start the building project. See Do I Need a Building Consent?
Building over drains: If you are thinking about or planning a new building project, a garage, a sleep out or an extension to your house you should check to see if a Council wastewater or stormwater pipe runs through or near the area that you wish to build within. This is very important as any structures built over the pipes are likely to apply loading to the pipelines or disturb fill material around the adjacent areas. These factors could result in pipe failure and subsequent wastewater / stormwater blockages and flooding. Such incidents can affect nearby structures and cause significant damage to personal property and stress to people's day to day lives. Even if there are pipes running through the area you may still be allowed to build over wastewater/stormwater pipes if conditions are suitable. These include structural designs that meet the Council's requirements. Please check with your Council to see if they allow building over pipes.
Note: wastewater and stormwater manholes and service pipes (connections) cannot be built over in any circumstance. Adequate clearance must be allowed for maintenance activities. The distance can be determined when the depth of pipe is known. Please contact your Council Water and Waste Services to discuss any alternatives such as relocation of manholes or connections.
Steps you need to take:
- Identify the Council assets: (pipes / manholes / catchpits / service connections) that are located in the immediate area. You can do this by visiting the Council office and for a small cost receive a copy of the service plans or by accessing the wastewater / stormwater plans for the area in question of your council website if they provide this service (for HCC go to City Waters Viewer).
- Detailed Investigation: Once you have identified the Council assets that are located on your proposed building site, further investigation will be required. This investigation will accurately identify where the assets are located in relation to your proposed building site, the depth and current condition of the assets. This is done by CCTV (Close circuit TV) inspection of the pipe and by accurately marking (this is normally done by pegs from boundary to boundary) on the site the location of the pipe where it is laid and any connections attached to the pipe. You are required to contribute to the cost of this investigation. At least a week's notice is required for this service and can be requested as part of your Building Consent process. You may also apply for the CCTV inspection prior to lodging your Building Consent through your Council waste water services.
- CCTV Results & Building Structure Design: So the CCTV has been done, now what? If there are pipes where you want to build, Please check with your Council to see if they allow building over pipes. If yes, it is important that the pipe is in good condition. If not, the required repair must be carried out before any building activities commence on site. Council will endeavour to undertake any repairs to accommodate your building programme. However the Council reserves the right to carry out the repair works at a time that is suitable to the Council. Your Building Consent may be delayed until the repair work is completed. If the pipe is in good condition you will be granted permission to build over it. You will need to engage a structural engineer to design a foundation that places no loading on the pipe. The final design must be approved by Council. If piling is required, all piles must be located no less than 1.0m clear of the outside of the pipeline. All piles from 1.0m-2.0m from the pipeline must be drilled to at least 1m below the invert level of the pipeline before pile driving can commence.
- The Building Process: Once the design is approved you can then proceed with lodging your Building Consent with the Building Unit. If you have already lodged your Building Consent prior to the CCTV inspection the results of the inspection need to be obtained before your consent is processed.
- What else do you need to know? A CCTV inspection is a vital tool in minimising damage to public wastewater / stormwater networks while allowing people to build where they wish to. A CCTV inspection is required for the following:
- Where the proposed building platform is within five meters of any public wastewater/stormwater pipe.
- Where there is uncertainty regarding the location of a wastewater/stormwater asset in relation to the proposed building site.
- If unsure about whether you require a CCTV inspection please contact your local Council waste water services unit.
- For more information, see Pipes (FAQ's), Plumbing and Drainage (FAQS's), and Waste Water and Stormwater Pipes (FAQ's), or Water, Waste Water, Trade Waste & Stormwater page.
See Vehicle Crossings.
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Page last updated 2015-08-12