What is a Building Consent?
A building consent is approval from the Council to carry out building works at a specific site, ensuring that there is sanitary plumbing and drainage, that minimum fire safety standards have been met and that works are structurally sound.
A building consent is required for most building work, including:
- swimming pools, retaining walls, garages and carports, alterations and extensions, new buildings and some decks and fences
- plumbing and drainage work
- heating, including fireplaces, ventilation and air conditioning systems
- relocation of existing buildings
- change of use of buildings
Why do you need one?
Works undertaken without building consent, excluding those specifically identified in the Building Act, are illegal. They are often costly to set right and may put people‘s safety or property at risk. Illegal building works may also affect your insurance cover and/or house sale negotiations. If you are doing some work and do not know whether you need a building consent the best thing to do is ask. Call one of our Building Inspectors on (03) 440 0056 to find out.
How to apply (non-digital)
Building consent applications can be complex. Take time to fully research your project before making an application for a building consent, otherwise you may find your consent is granted but with restrictions on the work you can actually do.
Paper applications need to include:
- Building Consent application form (Form 2)
- Proof of ownership (for example a certificate of title)
- Agent authority (if applicable)
- Processing/check sheet (see below)
- Certificate of Design Work (if applicable)
- An application to construct a vehicle access to your property, if the property doesn’t already have an approved crossing. You should also apply, if needed, for a Rapid Number for a rural dwelling at this stage.
- CO3 Heating Appliance (PDF, 642.3KB)
- CO31 Sleepouts and Non-Habitable Buildings (PDF, 1.4MB)
- CO32 - Retaining Walls (PDF, 670.7KB)
- CO34 Swimming Pools and Spas (PDF, 560.3KB)
- CO5 New Dwellings and Major Alterations to Domestic Buildings (PDF, 3.9MB)
- CO6 Commercial_Industrial Buildings (PDF, 5MB)
- CO7 - Minor Commercial - Industrial Alterations (PDF, 1.4MB)
- CO8 Minor Internal Alterations (PDF, 2.6MB)
- Documents submitted must be of a high quality (i.e. digitally born, 300dpi, full colour, legible)
- If an application is submitted incompletely, it may be rejected and you will have to re-submit.
- Please ensure your value of work is correct, we use The NZ Building Economist guide to help ensure the value of work provided is correct.
- If you would like, you can generate an estimate for what your building consent will cost by using our Fee Calculator.
- Please note, once your application has been received, vetted and approved – your application will be entered into the system and an invoice will be sent to the nominated remunerator.
- Processing of an application does not begin until fees have been paid.
Work cannot start until you have a granted building consent and any other necessary authorisations (such as resource consents). You need to allow at least 20 working days to obtain a building consent when planning your project.
Requirements after a consent has been granted
A building consent is granted when we are satisfied that the project will meet building code requirements. Building work must begin within 12 months and adhere to the approved building plans. A building consent lapses if not given effect to within 12 months. Inspections are required throughout the construction process in order to secure the final Code Compliance Certificate.
You should plan to complete your project within 24 months.
How to cancel an application
If you want to withdraw an application, you can do it at any time before the work starts. Requests to withdraw/cancel a building consent must be in writing. Council will refund the fees less any reasonable charges for processing the consent to date.
Phone: (03) 440 0056