Exempt Building Work

From 23 December 2010, Schedule 1 of the Building Act 2004 was amended to allow a broader range of building work to be done without a building consent.

By law all exempt building work must still comply with the Building Code and any other relevant legislation such as the Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Act 2006, the Electricity Act 1992 and the Resource Management Act 1991.

To find out what is now exempt from needing consent read the Schedule on the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment's website.

Decisions about whether any proposed building work qualifies for one of the new Schedule 1 exemptions are the building owner's responsibility under the Building Act 2004. In most cases, building owners should make such decisions with appropriate advice from their agents (design and building experts) in the first instance.


Safeguard Yourself, Your Home, Your Future Security

If you are doing repairs or alterations without a building consent we advise you seek professional advice and keep records of the work done and who carried out the work. This will assist if you come to sell your home in the future as purchasers are likely to have questions about the work and will want to know it was done properly.

  • Get expert advice.
  • Use a skilled and professional building practitioner.
  • Get several quotes for the work and ask for references.
  • Consult with your insurer and EQC where necessary. Keep records of the work done (e.g. photos) and who did it.​

Application for Exemption 

Clause (2) of Schedule 1 contains discretionary powers for territorial authorities to permit building work to be undertaken without a consent if the work is likely to be performed in accordance with the Building Code or, failing that, if it is unlikely to endanger people or any building. Clause (2) is the only item in Schedule 1 that actually requires a council assessment and decision. Such decision-making will be based on a risk assessment of the building work proposed.

Application for Building Consent Exemption


Page reviewed: 08 Jun 2020 10:21am