Processing Your Application
How your Building Consent is processed
Building control officers will evaluate your application to ensure it meets the requirements of the Building Act and the Building Code.
There is a requirement for some applications to be sent to the design review unit of Fire and Emergency New Zealand.
Once Council is satisfied on reasonable grounds that the requirements of the Building Act and Building Code will be met if building work is completed in accordance with the plans and specifications, you will be advised your building consent has been granted.
Building consent and associated documentation will be released once the final building consent invoice has been paid in full.
Your consent will advise the estimated number of inspections you will need, how to book inspections, and details of any specific conditions attached to your Building Consent.
A copy of the building consent and approved plans must be held on site at all times. This is the applicant's responsibility.
If your application for a building consent is refused, we will let you know the reasons why.
How long will it take to process my application?
If your building consent application is accepted for processing (meaning you have all required information), then Council has 20 working days to process your application. The clock' stops if we need to ask you for further information. The clock' starts again once when Council has received all the required information
Conditions that may be attached to your Building Consent
There are five specific conditions that can be applied to an issued Building Consent and owners and builder/developers should ensure that they understand these and their implications:
- The approved plans contain waivers or modifications to the Building Code issued by the Territorial Authority, section 67 of the Building Act. These may be subject to their own unique conditions so please check your documentation. Further guidance may be sought from the Ministry's web site.
- The Building Consent has been issued with a notification, condition, that the land is subject to natural hazards, which can mean flooding or landslips for example, see Section 72 of the Building Act. Please check your documentation and for further guidance see our Natural Hazards and the Ministry's guidance.
- The Building Consent has been issued subject to condition to allow a subdivision of the building itself, Section 75 of the Building Act. Please check your documentation and for further guidance see our web page on Sub Divisions of existing Buildings.
- The Building Consent has been issued with the condition that inspections will need to be conducted, Section 90 of the Building Act. This condition will always apply and will need to be complied with fully to ensure that a Code Compliance Certificate can be issued. Inspections may be conducted by council officers and may sometimes be required to be conducted by other professionals like civil or structural engineers. These will have to provide documentation that they have conducted these inspections and they will need to be organised and paid for by the builder/developer/owner. Please check your documentation and for further guidance check our information on inspections.
- The Building Consent has been issued with the condition that the structure has "limited life" as determined by the owner/application, section 113 of the Building Act. Please check your documentation and for further guidance see our specified intended life and the Ministry's web pages.
Requests for further information
- Council may request further information when processing your consent to be satisfied on reasonable grounds that your proposed building work will meet the requirements of the Building Act and Building Code.
- You or your Agent will be sent a letter or email requesting the information
- The 'clock' stops when Council requests further information and does not start again until further information has been received and checked. If further information is still inadequate another letter may be sent.
Checking Resource Consent requirements and other permissions
- Council check your proposed building project to see if it requires other permissions to satisfy Resource Management Act or District Plan requirements. e.g. Land use consent is required where all or part of the proposed building project does not fully comply with the relevant rules in the District Plan. A subdivision consent is required to legally divide land or buildings for separate ownership, such as new lots or sections. In either of these cases, if you have not already applied for and been granted a Resource Consent (land use or subdivision consent) we will ask you do this. Your Building Consent will be issued with a Section 37 certificate under the Building Act 2004 and Resource Consent must be obtained before building work can start.
- District Plan rules are available online or at Council's Service Centres.
- Council also checks your application for compliance with Council's bylaws and other legislation for things such as vehicle access, water reticulation, public drainage and, in the case of commercial premises, matters such as health, trade waste, building warrant of fitness and backflow prevention.
What does it mean to grant and issue your consent?
- Once we are satisfied that the proposed building work will comply with the Building Code if built in accordance with the plans and specifications provided.
- Once you have paid the associated fees and levies, we will issue the Building Consent.
How long is a building consent valid for?
- You need to start your building work within 12 months of receiving your building consent, or your consent will lapse.
- If your build is delayed you may apply for an extension of time. These are considered on a case by case basis. Requests must be made on the appropriate form and received before the expiry date.
- You have two years to complete your building work, starting from the day the consent is granted, unless you agree otherwise with Council.
- Within the two years (or at the end of an agreed period), Council has to decide whether to grant a Code Compliance Certificate or take another regulatory path.
Extension of Time Application - Apply via online services page.
What does it mean if your consent was refused under Section 50 of the building act 2004?
Your building consent application may be refused if the consent documentation does not adequately demonstrate compliance with the Building Code.
If you disagree with our decision about building work, a determination by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) can help you solve the problem.
A determination is a binding decision made by the Building System Performance of MBIE to solve disputes or questions about the rules that apply to buildings, how buildings are used, building accessibility, and health and safety.
For more information on this service:
Other Handy MBIE Guidance
Building Consent Guide MBIE: