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Certificate of Acceptance (COA)
The Building Act 2004, section 96- 99a, 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 or from the forms pages.
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 Design Work (COW)
This form must accompany your building consent application, and includes the name of the licensed building practitioner supervising or carrying out your design work. For more information, go to Licensed Building Practitioner page, and see the MBIE Guidance on Certificates of Work for engineers, builders, BCAs and insurance companies.
Certificate for Public Use (CPU)
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 MBIE website. Also, see “When can I occupy my building“.
Change the Building Use
Change and Amendment of Plans
Code Compliance Certificate (CCC)
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.
For more in-depth information see Inspection and Certification.
See FAQ for acceptable solutions.
See Commercial Buildings.
Compliance Schedules for 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 Specified Systems, Compliance Schedules and BWOFs 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, and also state where these systems are located 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 Details 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 has their concern managed. All concerns and complaints need to be in writing. See Lodging a Concern.
Public information Refer to 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.
Containers (shipping) as storage sheds
Can I put a container on my section for storage? See the guidance document page 22 where it talks about garden sheds and checks 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.
Contours on site plans
Please remind your designer that we need levels or contours shown on the site plans. This is for use to determine compliance with the building code document E1 (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 the 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 Consumer website has further information on your responsibilities.
Decks and Balconies
Detail requirements for plans
Go to Plans and Specifications.
Determination (Building Act Determination)
“A determination is a binding decision made by 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 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 to complete and submit the Building Consent application form and applicant checklist as well as any documentation required on the checklist. See Application Forms and Checklists and Building Consents – What you Need to Know, How to Applying for a Building Consent, and Do I Need a Building Consent.
All building work must be completed to the standards set by the Building Code. Some work, notably gas, plumbing, electrical work, restricted building work must be done by a registered professional. Before you start the building project, you also need to check whether or not the work you propose to do requires a Building Consent and/or a Resource Consent as well as an owner/builder exemption for restricted building work. See
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:
These Include: Pipes, manholes, catch pits, and service connections.
You can obtain this information by either 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 from your council website if they provide this service (for HCC go to City Waters Viewer).
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 program. 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 in designing 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.