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Building Consents

Image for the Building Consents page.
This page contains general information about building consents along with advice about whether a consent is needed or not.
Updated: 17/12/2015 11:36 a.m.

Building consents are issued under the Building Act 2004 and confirm that plans and specifications for proposed building work meet the requirements of the New Zealand Building Code. A building consent ensures that any building work is safe, durable and does not endanger health of property owners and neighbouring property. A building consent can only be issued in advance of any work taking place. 

You may also need a resource consent if your project has an impact on the environment. For more information, follow the link below.

Resource Consents

Restricted building work

Restricted building work is work which is critical to the integrity of a building by ensuring that it is structurally sound and weathertight. Select from the links below for further information.

Build it Right - Restricted Building Work  (MBIE website) Opens in a new window

Restricted building work - what you need to know [113kb]

When a building consent is needed

Most building projects require a building consent before any work is started. The consent includes not only the building work but also any work related to site preparation, plumbing or drainage. If you do not obtain a building consent before starting work, it will cause problems later in the project and could lead to anybody involved as property owners or tradespersons facing prosecution. 

Guide to the Building Consent Process (MBIE website) Opens in a new window.

When a building consent is not needed

You do not need to apply for a building consent if your project is covered by an exemption. However all building work undertaken must comply with the New Zealand Building Code

There are two types of exemptions: 

  • work contained in Schedule 1 of the Building Act
  • works that would normally require a building consent but after considering an application, we have agreed to an exemption..

Schedule 1 of the Building Act

The following are examples of exempt building works:

  • decks less than 1.5 metres above ground level
  • a garden shed less than 10sq metres, at least its height from the boundary and other buildings.
  • fencing less than 2.5 metres high
  • tents/marquees less than 100sq metres and not remaining on the site for longer than a one month period
  • car ports not exceeding 20sq metres
  • playground equipment used by a single household less than 3 metres above the ground.

Full details are contained in schedule 1 of the Building Act 2004, follow the link below.

Building Act 2004, Schedule 1 (NZ Legislation website) Opens in a new window.

Although a building consent is not needed for exempt building works, your project will still need to meet the requirements of any other regulations such as the District Plan. You must obtain any required permissions or consents before work starts on your project.

To find out about our District Plan, follow the link below.  

Application for exemptions

Complete the application form and submit it to us. Work may not start until approval has been granted. If approval is not granted then you will need a building consent before any work can start. Applications are assessed individually and we suggest you contact us for advice before submitting your application.

To download the application form, follow the link below.

Building Consent Exemption Application [70kb]

Compliance Schedules

A compliance schedule is an inventory of a building's specified systems and is generally related to commercial properties. It includes the location of systems within the building and inspection, testing and maintenance procedures for those systems. Once the systems have been confirmed, a draft Compliance Schedule is issued with the building consent and the final Compliance Schedule is issued with the Code Compliance Certificate at the end of the project. 

The Compliance Schedule can be amended at any time by the building owner or Council but usually the amendment is related to an application for a building consent.

To download the relevant application form, select from the links below.

Building Compliance Schedule Application [216kb]

Building Compliance Schedule Amendment Application [322kb]

If your building contains specified systems you will be required to issue an annual Building Warrant of Fitness.

For further information about Building Warrant of Fitness, follow the link below.

Safer Buildings

Our role as a Building Consent Authority

Council is registered as a Building Consent Authority under the Building Act 2004 and we have responsibility for ensuring that the Building Act and any other associated regulations are implemented and followed in the Whangarei district. We are also involved in a range of other activities that are building related, for example Building Warrants of Fitness, fencing of swimming pools, dangerous and insanitary buildings, earthquake prone buildings and undertaking enforcement action in connection with illegal building works.

We aim to work with our customers and are willing to offer help and advice so please feel free to contact us if you have any building related queries.

Contact us

For any technical enquiries please contact either the duty building officer or a building inspector on site.



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