Certificate of Acceptance


An owner may apply for to a Territorial Authority for a Certificate of Acceptance (COA) in the following instances:

​Where building work undertaken after 1 January 1993 required a building consent but one was not obtained.

Where a building consent was approved by a building consent authority other than this Council.  For example, private certifiers and a Code Compliance Certificate has not been issued.

Where urgent work as defined in Section 41(1)(1) of the Building Act has been completed without a building consent.  ‘Urgent work’ means work that is “for the purpose of saving or protecting life or health or preventing serious damage to property or ensuring a specified system is made safe”.  In the case of urgent work the owner must apply for a COA “as soon as practicable after completion of the work”.

Please note you MUST have a pre application meeting before an application for a COA can be lodged.

There is a popular misconception that applying for a COA as provided for in section 96-99 of the Building Act 2004 (the Act) will result in an owner being issued with a certificate that has similar status to a Code Compliance Certificate issued under sections 91-95 of the Act. This is not the case. A COA, if issued, is likely to cover only limited aspects of the building work that was undertaken.

Once building work has been completed we are often unable to undertake all types of inspections carried out during construction.  It may not therefore be possible to establish if all building code requirements have been met.  Therefore Certificate of Acceptances issued are limited and “qualified to the effect that only parts (if any) of the building work were able to be verified as complying with the Building ​​Code”.

A COA does not relieve the owner of the building (or proposed building) of any duty or responsibility under any other Act relating to or affecting the building (or proposed building). A COA also does not permit the construction, alteration, demolition, or removal of the building (or proposed building) if that construction, alteration, demolition, or removal would be in breach of any other Act.

The granting of a COA does not remove the need to obtain a retrospective resource consent if one is required under the Western Bay of Plenty District Plan.

An application for a Certificate of Acceptance will not be accepted where:

  • ​The work was completed before 1 January 1993 (effective date for the Building Act 1991)

  • Council has issued a building consent for the building work in question but a Code Compliance Certificate has not been issued (this is specifically excluded in the Act)

  • There is insufficient information about the project to enable the work to be assessed

Also an application for a COA may not always be the best or most economic option when Council has declined to issue a Code Compliance Certificate where a private certifier approved the building consent, undertook inspection/s but did not issue a Code Compliance Certificate. 

In some cases an application to the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE) for a determination may be appropriate.  Please refer to the MBIE determination information for further information.

Council charges a fee for the processing of an application for a Certificate of Acceptance, for further details please see our fees and charges ​​page​. ​​


Certificate of Acceptance Application - Apply via  online services page.

Page reviewed: 13 Jun 2018 9:29am