For all changes to the approved plans and specifications (i.e. minor variations or major 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 about approval for these changes. This may also be affected by district plan requirements.
If the change is considered a MINOR variation 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 it is a MAJOR amendment 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 variations and major amendments, see the Building System Performance (MBIE) website.
NOTE: Don’t be confused by MBIE’s terminology of Major Variation; Major Amendment is the correct terminology.
Making changes to a National Multiple Use Approval
When applying for a building consent with an issued national multiple-use approval, or for an amendment to such a building consent, changes may be made to those plans and specifications if—
- (a) the changes are permitted under the terms of the national multiple-use approval; or
- (b) the changes are minor customisations permitted by regulations made under section 402(1)(kc).
If any other changes are made to the plans and specifications, the national multiple-use approval does not apply. In which case, the applicant must apply for a building consent covering the whole building project, not just an amendment to the plans and specifications.
Building Act 2004,
- section 45B Changes to plans and specifications that have national multiple-use approval
- section 45(4) application for an amendment
- section 402(1)(kc) Regulations: general
Changes to consented work needs approval
- It is strongly advised that any major amendments or minor 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 amendment or a minor variation: MBIE guidance
- Complete the appropriate application form and submit it and the altered plans and specifications 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 variation – complete the minor variation form or provide a signed letter saying what you plan to do and a copy of the plans or specifications with the changes were 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
Last updated 2018-03-12