This section provides external links where you can view copies of relevant New Zealand legislation and information on Acceptable Solutions & Standards. We recommend that you use the NZ legislation website in order to be sure that you are using the latest version of any legislation, especially the Building Act and any Building Regulations.
Changes in Legislation
Legislative reviews and Bills
The process involved
Anyone can make a submission to present their opinion about proposed law change:
- Have Your Say: Tell select committees and Parliament what you think [PDF, 103kb] [New Zealand Parliament website]
- How laws are made
- How to make a submission
Before becoming an Act of Parliament, bills have to pass through the following stages:
Introduction – when a bill is publicly available and has a formal existence.
First Reading – the chance to debate a Bill in the House of Representatives.
Select Committee – an invitation for public submissions, and possible amendments to the Bill.
Second Reading – occurs after the Select Committee reports to the House.
Committee of the whole House – further debate on the proposed Bill, and a chance to examine the Bill in detail and make additional changes. Once the final form of a Bill is agreed, it is reprinted.
Third Reading – a summing-up debate of the Bill in its final form. The Bill is either passed or rejected.
Royal Assent – the final step before it becomes law, where it is signed by the Governor-General.
Amusement Devices Regulations 1978 (SR 1978/294) (18 December 2013)
Building Act 2004 (SR 2004/72) (Reprint – 1 January 2017)
- Schedule 1 exempts building work i.e. work that does not require a Building Consent. (Version 28 Nov 2013) Please see amendment re carports (30 May 2016)
- Building (Exempt Building Work) Order 2010 (SR 2010/431) (22 November 2010) Amendment to Schedule 1 that extends exempt building work that does not need a Building Consent. This comes into force on 23 December 2010. This has now been replaced by the 28 November version of Schedule 1.
- A Summary of the Changes to the Building Act since 2004 due to Building Amendment Act 2012 (Amendments to principal Act).
- Current guidance for Building work that does not require a building consent.
Building (Accreditation of Building Consent Authorities) Regulations 2006 (SR 2006/399) (Reprint – 1 March 2014)
Building (Accreditation of Building Consent Authorities) Amendment Regulations 2013 (SR 2013/456) (18 November 2013)
Building (Accreditation of Building Consent Authorities) Amendment Regulation 2017 (SR 2017/14) (13 February 2017)
Building Amendment Act 2013 (SR 2013/100) – passed 27 November 2013 (Reprint – 1 January 2015). Please be aware that mandatory contracts will be effective from January 2015. For more information refer to
- Press release – 21 November 2013
- MBIE – Building System Performance web page
- Essential things to know (MBIE – Information)
Building Amendment Act 2012 (SR 2012/23) (Reprint – 20 May 2014)
Building (Consent Authority Accreditation Fees) Regulations 2007 (SR 2007/102) (Reprint – 4 May 2007)
Building (Definition of Restricted Building Work) Order 2011 (SR 2011/317) (Reprint as at 4 December 2014)
Building (Design Work Declared to be Building Work) Order 2007 (SR 2007/125) (Reprint as at 24 May 2007)
Building (Designation of Building Work Licensing Classes) Order 2010 (SR 2010/43) (1 March 2010)
Building (Earthquake-prone Buildings) Amendment Act 2016 (SR 2016/22) (13 May 2016)
Building (Fee for Determinations) Regulations 2005 (SR 2005/55) (Reprint – 11 March 2005)
Building (Forms) Regulations 2004 (SR 2004/385) (Reprint – 30 March 2012)
Building (Forms) Amendment Regulations 2011 (SR 2011/418) (14 November 2011)
Building (Infringement Offences, Fees, and Forms) Regulations 2007 (SR 2007/403) (Reprint – 1 January 2017)
Building (Infringement Offences, Fees, and Forms) Amendment Regulations 2014 (2014/362) (1 December 2014)
Building Levy Order 2005 (SR 2005/33) (Reprint – 25 February 2005)
Building (Minor Variations) Regulations 2009 (SR 2009/408) (14 December 2009)
Building (National Multiple-use Approval) Regulations 2011 (SR 2011/139) (16 May 2011)
Building Practitioners (Complaints and Disciplinary Procedures) Regulations 2008 (SR 2008/304) (Reprint – 3 July 2014)
Building Practitioners (Licensing Fees and Levy) Regulations 2010 (SR 2010/44) (1 March 2010)
Building Practitioners (Register of Licensed Building Practitioners) Regulations 2010 (SR 2010/45) (1 March 2010)
Building (Product Certification) Regulations 2008 (SR 2008/360) (Reprint – 28 November 2013)
Building Regulations 1992 (SR 1992/150) (Reprint – 1 January 2017)
- The Building Code – Schedule 1
Building (Registration of Building Consent Authorities) Regulations 2007 (SR 2007/300) (Reprint as at 27 September 2007)
Building (Residential Consumer Rights and Remedies) Regulations 2014 (SR 2014/361) (1 December 2014). MANDATORY CONTRACTS. Associated with this are the following legislation:
- Building (Infringement Offences, Fees, and Forms) Amendment Regulations 2014 (SR 2014/362) (1 December 2014). Refer to schedule 1 which describes actions that are infringement offenses and the corresponding infringement fees.
- Building Amendment Act 2013 Commencement Order 2014 (SR 2014/360) (1 December 2014). (Note: Sections 4(4), 5(3), 20, 48, 56 to 60, 66, and 67(3) of the Building Amendment Act 2013 come into force on 1 January 2015).
- Prescribed checklist & prescribed disclosure statement. Please note that the Consumer protection – checklist and disclosure (MBIE – Information)
- Must be provided by the contractor to the client before the contractor and the client enter into a residential building contract if the price for the building work is not less than the prescribed minimum price of $30,000 including GST.
- May not contain any differences from the forms that are prescribed in schedules 1 and 2 of Building (Residential Consumer Rights and Remedies) Regulations 2014. In other words, do not change the content or order of content of documents if you are creating your own branded documents. For further guidance to building consent amendments see the MBIE website.
Building Societies Regulations 1989 (SR 1989/33) (Reprint – 1 April 2014)
Building (Specified Systems, Change of Use, and Earthquake-prone Buildings) Regulations 2005 (SR 2005/32) (Reprint – 12 January 2006)
Chartered Professional Engineers of New Zealand Act 2002 (SR 2002/17) (Reprint – 1 December 2014)
Consulting on protection from fire 2014 – Changes to acceptable solutions and verification method for the protection from fire and backcountry huts
Construction Contracts Act 2002 (SR 2002/46) (Reprint – 1 September 2016)
Construction Contracts Amendment Bill (SR 1997/3)
Consumer Guarantees Act 1993 (SR 1993/91) (Reprint – 17 June 2014)
Contractual Remedies Act 1979 (SR 1979/11) (Reprint – 1 January 2011)
Crimes Act 1961 (SR 1961/43) (Reprint – 7 November 2015) – relevant to the Owner-Builder exemptions for Restricted Building Work
Earthquake Commission Act 1993 (SR 1993/84) (Reprint – 1 July 2013)
Electricity Act 1992 (SR 1992/122) (Reprint – 18 October 2016)
Fair Trading Act 1986 (SR 1986/121) (Reprint – 1 March 2016)
Fencing Act 1978 (SR 1978/50) (Reprint – 1 January 2017)
Fencing of Swimming Pools Act 1987 (SR 1987/178) (1 January 2017) – Changes are to be made to the Fencing of Swimming Pool Act 1987. The Government will be introducing a Bill (Building (Pools) Amendment Bill (SR 2015/63) (8 September 2015) into Parliament to amend the Act. In the meantime, pool owners must continue to comply with the current requirements of the Act.
Fire Safety and Evacuation of the Buildings Regulations 2006 (SR 2006/123) (1 July 2013)
Fire Service Act 1975 (SR 1975/42) (Reprint – 5 August 2013)
Fire Service Commission – Gazette Notice 03 May 2012 – (Issue No. 49/1377) (3 May 2012) Notice that copies of certain applications for Building Consent must be provided to the New Zealand Fire Service Commission
Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996 (SR 1996/30) (Reprint – 15 December 2016)
Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (SR 2015/70) (4 September 2015) Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992: repealed, on 4 April 2016, by section 231(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (2015 No 70).
Health and Safety at Work (General Risk and Workplace Management) Regulation 2016 (SR 2016/13) (15 February 2016)
Health and Safety at Work (Asbestos) Regulations 2016 (SR 2016/15) (15 February 2016)
Health (Drinking Water) Amendment Act 2007 (SR 2007/92) (Reprint – 1 April 2008)
Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Act 2014 (SR 2014/26) (29 November 2016)
Local Government Act 2002 (SR 2002/84) (Reprint – 1 March 2016)
Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 (SR 1987/174) (Reprint – 26 March 2015)
Oaths and Declarations Act 1957 (SR 1957/88) (Reprint – 17 December 2016) – relevant to the Owner-Builder exemptions for Restricted Building Work
Official Information Act 1982 (SR 1982/156) (Reprint – 29 October 2016)
Plumbers, Gasfitters, and Drainlayers Act 2006 (SR 2006/74) (Reprint – 4 April 2016)
Property Law Act 2007 (SR 2007/91) (Reprint – 6 June 2015) Part 6 on special power of the court deals with common problems between neighbours:
- Subpart 1 – Accessing neighbouring land.
- Subpart 2 – Wrongly placed structures.
- Subpart 3 – Landlocked land.
- Subpart 4 – Trees and unauthorised improvements on the neighbouring land.
- Subpart 5 – Division of property among co-owners.
- Subpart 6 – Setting aside of dispositions that prejudice creditors
Registered Architects Act 2005 (SR 2005/38) (Reprint – 1 April 2014)
Registered Architects Rules 2006 (SR 2006/161) (Reprint – 12 March 2010)
Residential guidance (Repairing and rebuilding houses affected by the Canterbury earthquakes) (published on 30 May 2015) Updates and clarifications to the residential guidance on MBIE website.
Resource Management Act 1991 (SR 1991/69) (Reprint – 13 December 2016)
Resource Management (National Environmental Standards Relating to Certain Air Pollutants, Dioxins, and Other Toxics) Regulations 2004 (SR 2004/309) (Reprint – 6 November 2008)
Resource Management (National Environmental Standards for Air Quality) Regulations 2004 (SR 2004/309) (Reprint – 17 October 2014)
Sale of Liquor Act 1989 (SR 1989/63) (Reprint – 18 December 2013)
Unit Titles Act 2010 (SR 2010/22) (Reprint – 1 April 2014)
Acceptable solutions and verification methods
Acceptable solutions used to be called Compliance Documents. This changed with the amendments to the Building Act 2004.
Amendments to Acceptable Solutions and Verification methods:
Effective 1 January 2017, there have been 28 acceptable solutions and 10 verification methods have been amended. Read more…
Protection from fire – frequently asked questions update
The Acceptable Solutions and the Verification Method for Protection from Fire (C/AS1-C/AS7 and C/VM2) have been subject to an ongoing process of continuing improvement and review. Many of the improvements have been and will be informed by feedback and requests for clarification. Refer to Fire Programme for updates.
MBIE have developed a list of FAQs so that the answers to common questions can be shared openly. These FAQs are continuously updated as part of our on-going monitoring of the implementation.
- FAQs update: BC Update 162: Protection from Fire
- Interpretations: Acceptable Solution’s C/AS1 – C/AS7 interpretations
To provide feedback or recommend additions go to MBIE FAQs, contact us page.
- Standards New Zealand
- NZS 3604:2011 Timber-framed buildings: Please ensure that you are using the latest version of NZS 3604. The changes to this standard reflect changes in building practices over the last 10 years. This is a core resource that designers and builders need to be familiar with. Please check amendments to this, made as a consequence of the Christchurch earthquake findings. Refer to Code watch below.
- Also refer to MBIE guidance: Using NZS 3604 Timber-framed buildings.
- Building consent information confidentiality: Ombudsman’s opinion re Privacy Act, Building Act, and LGOIMA
- The Building Act 2004 sets out the rules for the construction, alteration, demolition and maintenance of new and existing buildings in New Zealand (MBIE website).
- Codewords – Latest issue: Our building controls email newsletter will keep you up to date with Building Performance news and information. Codewords issues are available for two years after their publish date (then archived). If the issue you are looking for is older, please contact MBIE.
- The Compliance Schedule handbook (scroll down to bottom) has been updated and is effective from 14 February 2014.
- Documenting Fire Safety Designs – IPENZ Practise Note 22.
- E2 Risk Matrix – updated guidance (MBIE website).
- Frequently Asked Questions – Protection from Fire (BCU 162).
- Guide to applying for a Building Consent (residential buildings) (PDF 3MB).
- Restricted Building Work and information on licensing categories.
Determinations (Building Act Determination)
A determination is a binding decision made by the Building System Performance of 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 System Performance (MBIE) website for further information on this service.
The Review of Liability Law: progress to date
Sapere Research Group and Buddle Findlay were asked by the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment to review the implications the current liability rule (as it relates to negligent acts) in the building and construction sector.
Sapere’s role was to assess the economic arguments for alternative rules in terms of their effect on incentives, efficiency, and underlying behaviour.
The intention of the work was to assess the merits of alternative legal rules in terms of the Government’s ultimate goal of enhanced accountability in the building and construction sector. Buddle Findlay and Sapere did not find evidence (either in law or economics) that a change to the current rule of joint and several liabilities would improve accountability. Rather, other rules for allocating liability look more unpalatable and are only likely to worsen the situation.
View the Buddle Findlay & Sapere Report on Legal update on Public Law – Joint and Several Liability (25 January 2013).
MBIE latest Cabinet paper: Building Act Review: Review of Joint & Several Liability (7 June 2016)
Law Commission releases Report on:
- Liability of Multiple Defendants and
- Government Response to Law Commission Report Liability of Multiple Defendants
- Law Commission Review of Joint & Several Liability – Issues Paper 32 (Nov 2012)
Chapman Tripp Article (03 December 2012)
IMPORTANT NOTICE: to all Designers and Builders
Significant changes have been made to the Building Code and these affect building structure (B1) and external moisture (E2) documents. Read the updated guidance on E2 on MBIE website.
In addition, new guidance documents have been introduced for barriers, reinforcing of concrete slab-on-ground floors, and building on soils subject to liquefaction. For more information, go to the MBIE website and refer to: