How applications are processed

For information on how a Building Consent application is processed by your local Council see below

Architect at work

How applications are processed

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.

During the processing of a building consent, the Council may request further reasonable information regarding the building consent through the request for information (RFI) process. Where a RFi is made, the Council stops/suspends counting of statutory working days in which it is required to process a consent from the day after the RFI is made. The Council will restart the counting of the statutory working days from the next working day after the requested information is received once all of the information requested in an RFI has been received and the information is sufficient and adequate to support a decision being made by the Council.

At the same time as the documents are being assessed, the council checks for any issues with respect to:

  • District Plan
  • Water, wastewater and stormwater connections
  • Roading and traffic
  • Health.

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 Fire and Emergency New Zealand (s46, 47, B. Act 2004). During a Fire and Emergency New Zealand assessment, the processing continues and they have 10 working days to provide a memorandum concerning fire escapes and access for firefighting.

Once the Building Officer is satisfied on reasonable grounds (see Section 49 of the Building Act 2004) 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 20 working day period will be stopped on granting the building consent. 

During the processing of a building consent, the Council may request further reasonable information regarding the building consent through the request for information (RFI) process. Where a RFi is made, the Council stops/suspends counting of statutory working days in which it is required to process a consent from the day after the RFI is made. The Council will restart the counting of the statutory working days from the next working day after the requested information is received once all of the information requested in an RFI has been received and the information is sufficient and adequate to support a decision being made by the Council.

for information see  Building Act 2004 section 48  or  MBIES Build Performance website

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 period finally, stops. The building consent document (Form 5) is then issued (created) ready to be collected or sent to the applicant.

Once your Building Consent has been issued, please read the document’s content, especially the conditions and advisory notes.

Conditions are requirements imposed on your Building Consent, these are 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

Advice or 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 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:

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. Ifsection 37 certificate has been issued with the building consent it will state that until the resource consent has been obtained –

(a) no building work may proceed; or
(b) building work may only proceed to the extent stated in the certificate.

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 and approved BEFORE the 12 months is up.

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. 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 (unless the dwelling has a cable car)
  • 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.

The statutory timeframe for the BCA to grant or refuse a building consent for applications that rely on a MultiProof is 10 working days instead of the usual 20.”

Please see MBIE Guidance related to MultiProof applications