What happens during processing?
Before the building consent can be granted, the Building Officer must be satisfied on reasonable grounds that the provisions of the building code would be met if the building work were properly completed in accordance with the plans and specifications that accompanied the application.
Your application is assessed for compliance with the Building Code and the Building Act. The Council has 20 working days to complete this assessment. The clock only pauses if some aspect of the plans and specifications fails to prove compliance and further information is sought from the applicant (or designer). The clock starts again when the officer is satisfied that they have been provided with the information requested. At the same time as the documents are being assessed, the council checks for any issues with respect to:
If your project involves certain criteria the Council may also send a copy of your documentation to specialist consultants for review or peer review, e.g. a structural engineer, a fire engineer or the NZ Fire Service (s46, 47, B. Act 2004). During a New Zealand Fire Service assessment, the processing clock continues and they have 10 working days to provide a memorandum concerning fire escapes and access for firefighting.
Once the Building Officer is satisfied the project will meet the Building Code requirements, the Building Consent is ready to be granted. They will contact you in writing. As soon as any outstanding consent fees are paid the Building Consent can be granted and issued. The processing clock will be stopped on granting the building consent. Your designer may find it helpful to see what aspects of their designs will be assessed, see Processing Checklists.
What is granting?
Granting is the process by which the BCA records that the project has been approved and a building consent can be issued to the applicant. At the moment of “granting” the 20-day processing clock finally, stops. The building consent document (Form 5) is then issued (created) ready to be collected or sent to the applicant.
What are building consent conditions and advisory note?
Conditions are requirements imposed on your Building Consent, which is deemed necessary to ensure the compliance of the proposed building. The conditions are listed on the building consent and you must comply with these conditions. The following are allowable conditions under the Building Act 2004 and regulations:
- Section 67(2) RE: Waivers and modification
- Section 73 RE: Natural Hazards
- Section 75(2) RE: Building on 2 or more allotments
- Section 90 RE: Inspections by building consent authorities
NOTE: This can also include any third party certification that the building work complies with the plans and specifications, for example, Producer statements or memoranda.
- Section 113 (2) RE: buildings with specified intended lives
Advisory notes may also be attached to the Building Consent. This information is provided to assist you. It is important that you read and understand all these requirements prior to commencing work. If you do not understand any requirement imposed, please contact your Building Officer.
The Building Consent
Once your Building Consent has been issued, please read the document’s content, especially the conditions and advisory notes. Conditions are requirements deemed necessary to ensure compliance. Advisory notes are there to assist you. It is important to read and understand all requirements prior to commencing work if unclear contact your Building Officer.
The owner or their agent needs to book the inspections required by the Building Consent at the appropriate stages of the project and ensure that a Code Compliance Certificate (CCC) is applied for and obtained. Refer to:
When can building start?
You can start to build once you have BOTH your Building Consent and your Resource Consent (if applicable). Do NOT start building until you have BOTH these approvals.
Changes to consented work needs approval
Delayed start of construction
The building consent document has an implementation Use By Date. This date is the one year anniversary from issuing the consent. If the building work has not started before this date, the Building Consent lapses on the anniversary and cannot be used. This means that if you do intend to build, you will need to apply for a new building consent. But if you know that the project will not start by the anniversary, you can apply for an extension of time, but the application needs to be made BEFORE the 12 months is up.
Determinations (handling disagreements)
If a Building Consent is refused or you disagree with any decision the Council made, apply to the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment (MBIE) for a legal ruling called a Determination from. Also refer to determinations for similar situations on MBIE website that explains what a determination is, the process, the legal action and who is involved.
All Building Consent Authorities in the Waikato Building Consent Group hold full scope of accreditation. The Building Consent Authority (your local Council) administers the Building Act and Building Regulations by:
- Issuing Project Information Memoranda
- Processing Building Consent applications
- Granting or refusing waivers or modifications of the New Zealand Building Code
- Issuing Code Compliance Certificates
- Issuing Building Consents
- Issuing Compliance Schedules and recording Building Warrants of Fitness for buildings other than single residential dwellings
- Enforcing the provisions of the Building Act, the Building Regulations, and the New
- Zealand Building Code
- Maintaining records of building information and making them available to the public full scope of accreditation.