Restricted Building Work (RBW) and Licensed Building Practitioners (LBPs)
Restricted Building Work is work that is critical to the integrity of a building. It makes sure the building is structurally sound and weather-tight, that's why it can only be done or supervised by tradespeople who are Licensed Building Practitioners.
Your designer must identify all the Restricted Building Work on your job when they fill in their Certificate of Work. They'll do this when they draw up your building plans.
It's important to know that a lot of work that requires a Building Consent will include Restricted Building work, but not all. If the work to your home does not include work to the primary structure or its weather-tightness, then it is likely to not be Restricted Building Work. Below are a few examples of building work that require a building consent, but don't necessarily contain Restricted Building Work:
- Fitting new sanitary fixtures where there were not any previously (e.g. new kitchen or ensuite)
- Installation of a wood burner
- Domestic swimming pool
- Installing insulation to external walls in a home
Find out more about Licensed Building Practitioners.
The Owner-Builder Exemption (in relation to restricted building work)
Owner-builders are able to carry out or design restricted building work (RBW) on their own home.
You are an owner-builder if you:
- live in or are going to live in the home (includes a bach or holiday home)
- carry out the RBW on your own home yourself, or with the help of your unpaid friends and family members, and
- have not, under the owner-builder exemption, carried out RBW to any other home within the previous three years.
Most DIY (do-it-yourself) work is usually minor repair, maintenance or alteration work, and doesn't fall within the category of RBW. For this work nothing has changed and homeowners can continue to do this work as they always have.
RBW is work that requires a building consent and relates to the primary structure of your home, or affects its weather tightness. Building work that is in the RBW category must only be done by or under the supervision of LBPs, unless you are using the owner-builder exemption. If you are a suitably skilled owner-builder and meet the criteria above, you can carry out this work, but if you have any doubts you are recommended to hire an LBP to do this critical building work.
An owner-builder is responsible for ensuring that RBW carried out under the owner-builder exemption complies with the building consent and the relevant plans and specifications.
As the owner-builder family members and friends can help you with the RBW to your home, as long as you are not paying them to help you.
Future buyers will have access to information that shows the building work was carried out by the owner rather than an LBP.
Using the Owner-Builder Exemption
Before you can use the owner-builder exemption you need a written declaration showing that you meet the owner-builder criteria.
Statutory declaration as to owner-builder status
The statutory declaration form has to be witnessed and signed by a Justice of the Peace or someone else authorised by law do so. This form needs to be given to your local council with your application for a building consent, or before the construction of RBW on your home starts.
It is an offence under the Crimes Act 1961 to give false information in a Statutory Declaration, and it is also an offence under the Building Act 2004 to give false information.
Your local council can give you more information on the owner-builder exemption.
Legislative detail can be viewed at:
Building Act 2004
Do I still need building consent if I have a national multi-proof approval?
Yes. National multi-proof approvals are issued by Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment (incorporating the former Department of Building and Housing). A multi-proof is a statement from the DBH that a specific set of building plans and specifications complies with the NZ Building Code. Councils must accept multi-proof approval as evidence of Building Code compliance. However, a building consent is required each time you want to build a design that has been issued with national multi-proof approval. This is to enable Council to check that the approval conditions will be met on the proposed site and that the site specific features of the design [such as foundations and drainage] comply with the Building Code. Council has 10 working days to grant or refuse a multi-proof building consent.