Buildings and emergencies

If your home or property is damaged by a major natural disaster, you can make a claim for damage repair work or apply for an exemption.

Home contents are covered by your house insurers and we suggest you get in touch with them directly to discuss your options.

General advice for damage caused by a natural disaster

  • Contact your insurer or broker as soon as possible to start the claims process.
  • Take photos of any damage and note details of valuable items. It will help speed up assessments of your claims.
  • Get essential services repaired and keep copies of invoices.
  • If your home/property has been flooded you will need to get a registered electrician to check your wiring.
  • Regard all water as being contaminated as it may have high levels of bacteria.
  • Carpet or furniture that has been flooded may need to be disinfected.
  • Make your home safe and sanitary but speak to your insurer before carrying out non-essential repairs.

Ministry advice for weather damaged buildings

In response to the cyclone Gabrielle and other recent weather event, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) have published these guides to help home owners understand what they can do to remediate damaged properties:

Flood damaged buildings - Building Performance website

Damage to wall linings (plasterboard) caused by flooding - Building Performance website

Building consent exemptions for damaged buildings - quick guide from Building Performance website

Slope Stability - Quick Guide from Building Performance website

Building consent exemptions for repairs

Some building work done to repair damage can be "exempt" from a building consent. 

That means it can be done without having to apply for a building consent, but it does require an exemption to be applied for.

An exemption helps to make sure the the right record is kept by Council that the right repair was done, in the right way, by the right person. 

The exemption provides everyone involved with the repairs with some degree of protection and protects the future resale value of properties.

We strongly recommend that property owners, including insurers undertaking damage repairs, obtain an exemption from a building consent before starting repairs.

Exemption process

When damage occurs because of a natural disaster, it can be recorded in the property file for the address. 

For a flood or storm repair, when repairs to the damage mainly require dry wall bracing elements, correct moisture levels of framing timber and checking structural fixings before linings are reinstated and wet area water proofing is reinstated, an exemption from a building consent can be applied for. 

When owners apply for an exemption for their repair work, Council makes sure that an exemption is granted (if possible) and, once the work is done, that there is a record that the work has been completed properly.

A Licenced Building Practitioner who did the work has to provide a Record of Work to Council so it can be signed off. The job will then be closed. 

If electrical inspection or work is completed a Certificate of Compliance will also need to be supplied.

Apply for a Building Consent exemption

Exemptions and tips for property owners

Some owners may want to undertake the reinstatement work themselves. 

As a homeowner they must still meet the provisions of the building code and that this responsibility sits with them. 

They will need to provide sufficient information to attain an exemption and provide a declaration or statement that it complies with the building code. 

Apply for a Building Consent Exemption

Assessment of Water Damage ( 

Assessing water damage to plasterboard lining (