Building and Property
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Safer Buildings

This page contains information about Council's activities to help make buildings safer. It includes information on illegal building works, swimming pools, Building Warrants of Fitness and dangerous, earthquake prone and insanitary buildings.
Updated: 23/06/2014 10:30 a.m.

Illegal building works

Sometimes building works have been undertaken that contravene the requirements of the Building Act. These would include:

  • works being undertaken without a building consent when one was required
  • work that has not been undertaken in accordance with a building consent when one has been issued.

Undertaking illegal building works can lead to prosecution of anybody involved in them. It is important that you contact us if you discover that illegal work has been undertaken on your property so that we can work with you to resolve the problem.

It may be possible for a Certificate of Acceptance (COA) to be issued, dependent on the type and extent of works involved. 

Certificate of Acceptance (COA)

A COA is a certificate which confirms that work done without a building consent, when one was required, meets the requirements of the New Zealand Building Code. A COA is not a replacement for a building consent and can exclude specific sections of the Building Code if we are unable to confirm that the works comply.

If subsequent remedial or further work is needed, you may then have to apply for a building consent to do it.

Please note that we are under no obligation to issue a COA and we always recommend that you obtain a building consent in advance when one is required.

Applying for a COA

Applications for a COA must be made using the appropriate form and be accompanied by plans and specifications.

To download the guidance notes and application form, select from the links below.

Certificate of Acceptance Application Form [3512kb]

Certificate of Acceptance Guidance Notes [256kb]

Processing applications

The process for assessing an application for a COA is broadly similar to that for assessing applications for building consents. One significant difference is that we will always undertake an inspection of the property as part of the assessment process.

For information about processing building consents, follow the link below.

Swimming pools

The Fencing of Swimming Pools Act 1987 defines a swimming pool as "an excavation, structure, or product that is used or is capable of being used for the purpose of swimming, wading, paddling, or bathing; and includes any such excavation, structure, or product, that is a spa pool".

All new swimming pools capable of containing more than 400mm of water require a building consent before installation. The application for consent must cover both the pool itself and the pool fence.  

We are required to undertake regular monitoring to ensure that swimming pool fences continue to comply. We are also required to proactively identify pools that are not appropriately fenced.  The purpose of these regulations is to protect children from the risk of drowning. Our monitoring team will undertake regular inspections to properties known to have pools.

For pools that are filled this will be on a three yearly basis and for those where we have been notified that the water level has been reduced to less than 400mm, this will be on an annual basis. There is a charge for this service.

To view the fees and charges, follow the link below. 

Building Warrant of Fitness (BWOF)

If your building has a Compliance Schedule, you will be required to issue a BWOF annually. A BWOF is a statement which confirms that the maintenance checks detailed in the Compliance Schedule have been undertaken during the preceding 12 months.

A building owner must ensure that a current BWOF certificate is displayed. You will also need to complete a form to certify that inspection, maintenance and reporting procedures have been fully complied with.

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

Building Warrant of Fitness Application Form [95kb]

Building Warrant of Fitness - Certificate of Compliance [227kb]

Independently Qualified Persons (IQPs) undertake the maintenance checks. Follow the link below to view the current IQP register.

Dangerous, Insanitary and Earthquake Prone Buildings

The Building Act requires us to prepare a policy setting out the approach we will take on dangerous, insanitary and earthquake prone buildings. 

To view a summary and the full version of our policy, follow the link below.


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