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Applying for a Building Consent

Image for the Applying for a Building Consent page.
This page contains information on how to apply for a building consent including timeframes, information you will need to supply and links to the guidance notes and application form.
Updated: 15/06/2020 4:39 p.m.

To apply for a building consent you must fully complete the application form and submit it to us together with the required supporting documentation.

The process of preparing an application for a building consent can be extremely technical. We recommend that you seek the advice and guidance of a design professional or builder.

Use the checklist to ensure the application is fully completed as incomplete applications will not be accepted.

If your project is particularly large or complex you may benefit from having a pre-lodgement meeting with our building staff. This will ensure that anything needing clarification can be discussed and resolved before the application is submitted. 

Please contact our customer services staff to discuss this option.

Government Announcement about new Building Rules 2020

The Government has announced new rules for low risk building projects coming into effect around August 2020, homeowners, engineers and designers need to be aware that specific details are yet to come. The proposed exemptions relate to: 

  • larger single-storey detached buildings up to 30 square metres
  • carports with a maximum floor area of 40 square metres
  • awnings 
  • verandas and porches
  • outdoor fireplaces or ovens
  • flexible water storage bladders for irrigation and firefighting only, up 200,000 litres in storage capacity
  • short-span bridges on private land without public access
  • detached single-storey pole sheds and hay barns


Note: just because work is listed in schedule one and does not require a building consent, it will still have to comply with the building code and planning rules and any associated by law requirements and the like. You should also note that under the new proposals some work, though exempt, will require professional input into either design, construction, or both. As a home owner, you should also be aware to keep any records pertaining these structures to aid future property sales as council will have no record of these as no consent will be issued.

Project Information Memorandum

You may wish to apply for a Project Information Memorandum (PIM) which will give you important information about the site that is relevant to your project.

Applying for a PIM is optional, and not a pre-requisite for applying for a building consent.

If you do not apply for a PIM you will need to satisfy yourself that the project meets all of the requirements of the District Plan as well as any legislative requirements such as the National Environmental standard for potential contaminants in soils.

You can make application for a specific search for this purpose by completing the application form.  

Site Search for Potential Contaminants [156kb]

For further information, follow the link below.

Multiproof Consents

If your application has a MultiProof certificate issued by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, it will be assessed for compliance with the New Zealand Building Code by us only for those items not covered by the MultiProof Certificate.

Typically, these will be site specific items such as foundations, plumbing and drainage.

For items covered by the MultiProof Certificate, we will confirm that the project is in accordance with the certificate. You will need to supply the certificate and supporting information for the design.

Further information on MultiProof can be found on the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment website by following the link below.

National Multiple Use Approval - MultiProof (Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment website)

Completing the form

To download the guidance notes and application form, follow the links below. The documents open in a new window.

Download and save a copy to your computer first. You can then use Adobe Reader to fill it out on your computer and save it, before returning it to us.

Building Consent Application Form (AF) [1.5mb] 

Building Consent Application - Guidance Notes [156kb]

How to submit your application

In person

Applications may be submitted to our customer services team at Forum North, Rust Avenue Whangarei during our usual working hours of 8am to 4.30 pm Monday to Friday.

By post

Applications may be submitted by mail to:

Whangarei District Council
Private Bag 9023
Whangarei 0148

Applications received in via post will be subject to a check by the customer services representative who will contact you with any queries and advise of the fee to be paid.

Online Applications

We have introduced an online service for building consents which allows applications to be submitted and the consent pack issued electronically. This has, at present, a limited number of applicants who can use this facility and there are criteria for inclusion in the scheme, which can be found by following the link below.


Fees will need to be paid before the application clock is started. You may pay directly at customer services by cash, Eftpos or credit card, or use our internet banking system.

Remember at this stage this is only a deposit fee and further charges may be levied through processing.

Things to be aware of when Applying for Consent

When applying for your consent you will need to supply the supporting information and details on the items listed. This is not an exhaustive list but many applications do not cover these aspects and leading to extended processing times, extra fees charged and frustration.


We need to have a current Certificate of Title, lease agreements and the like. We not only have to be sure of who the owner is but also of any caveats, encumbrances and restrictions on the title.

If using an Agent

We need to have written proof – an email can be used – to show that the owner has/is using the agent stated in the application.

Specified Intended Life

If the building is only temporary or has a “specified intended life" of less than 50 years, the details need to be clear as to why this is. For more information see our guidance

Restricted Building Work

Most new building work will be classed as Restricted Building Work and require an Licensed Building Practitioner to either design or undertake this.

The Ministry offer good guidance on this, it includes an informative video on the subject

Restricted Building Work (Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment website)

If you are a DIY Builder

If you are a "DIY Builder" then restricted building work may be performed under a Home Owner Builder Exemption, you also have some obligations to fulfil.

These will include compiling legal declarations and keeping council informed with updated declarations if you change the restricted building work that you are performing.

There is good advice provided by the Ministry on this:

Home Owner Exemptions and Obligations (Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment website)

Will the building work results in a Change of Use?

Will the building work result in a Change of Use, if so the new use can only be started on issue of the Code Compliance Certificate – please refer to our guidance on this

If your project is using Alternative Solutions

If your project is using alternative solutions, then you must provide supporting evidence like reports or "in service history" documentation on the product as you have to prove compliance with the New Zealand Building Code. Please refer to our guidance on this:

If you are building in an area or on land subject to a natural hazard

If you are building in area or on land subject to a natural hazard – like flooding or slippage – then reports on how this/these are being mitigated are required. please refer to our guidance on this

If you are using or relocating a building

If you are using or relocating a building as part of your consent, like an old villa or maybe a new bungalow built in a factory, you need to be aware of the rules so please refer to our guidance on this

If this is a public or industrial building and you want to remain open

If this is a public or industrial building and you want it to remain open during the building work or open whilst the building work is completed a Certificate of Public Use will be required please refer to our guidance on this

Producer Statements

Producer Statements may be used as part of the design work and may also be required and stated as a condition on your Building Consent.

If these are not produced then issue of the Code Compliance Certificate can be jeopardised.

Building Consent Conditions

Your Building Consent will be issued conditions.

These will be clearly stated and must be adhered to for a Code Compliance Certificate to be issued so please read the consent and all issued documentation, please refer to our guidance on this.

Contact us

If you have any doubts or questions about the application process, or wish to book a meeting with our duty building inspector, please contact one of our Customer Service Centres for help.


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