Welcome to another newsletter from the Carterton District Council regulatory team. We would love to hear your feedback, if you find this useful or what other topics you may find useful. You can email buildingadmin@cdc.govt.nz with your comments and feedback. 

CDC moves to Objective Build

Carterton District Council’s building team has moved to the Objective Build Portal from Simpli.

Council is making this change for a number of reasons, in particular:

  • to give a consistent approach across the region.
  • Objective includes additional tools and options for applicants.
  • Greater transparency for the parties to the consenting process including owners.

While we adjust to the change, please be patient. Things may take a bit longer than normal while we get used to the system.

There are some points to be aware of:

  • Any draft applications in Simpli must be submitted to council before the communicated date, or the draft application will be lost.
  • While Simpli will allow applications to be submitted after the cutover date, the council will not receive them due to the service being disconnected and terminated.  Applications should therefore either be submitted in Simpli before the cutover date or recreated in Objective Build and submitted after Go Live.
  • ALL customers with active consents in Simpli must be advised that all collaborator data will be lost as part of the migration to Objective Build. This is because Simpli doesn’t make that data available, so it isn’t available for migration. Users with Can Manage or Can Edit access can add collaborators to the consent in Objective Build.

New applications should be made through Objective Build from Monday 15 April.


Sign up/register


BWOF Audits

We are conducting Building Warrant of Fitness audits for all commercial and industrial buildings in the area. Recently we have been audited by the Ministry of Business Innovation an Employment [MBIE].

Following incidents such as Loafers Lodge, MBIE are applying pressure to all councils to increase the amount of building warrant of fitness auditing and to ensure that compliance schedules are accurate.

Compliance schedules are required to comply with s103 of the Building Act 2004.

It is critical that the compliance schedule provides relevant information and as much specificity about the specified systems in the building.

As we update compliance schedules, we are trying to attach plans showing where systems are, photos of the systems, and more detailed descriptions.

This also makes it easier for Independently qualified person(s) (IQP’s) to undertake their roles.

Building warrants of fitness must be provided annually and have attached to them the Form 12A’s from the IQP.

The building warrant of fitness provides assurances that the specified systems have been checked and will work properly when needed the most.

To ensure that your compliance schedule is specific to your building, could you please provide the following information:

  • Description (including type) of system installed.
  • Make and Model (if known).
  • Performance standard.
  • Inspection standard.
  • Reporting procedures.
  • Maintenance procedures.
  • Floor plans (where available) showing the locations of specified systems.

Please note that there are fees and charges that apply to building warrant of fitness functions as per councils list of fees and charges. MBIE have published an exemplar compliance schedule. Council expects compliance schedule information to be to at least this level of detail.

Download the Exemplar Compliance Schedule pdf booklet for more information/


Minor on-site variations and amendments

Once a building consent has been granted, the stamped plans and specifications are required to be always on site so the building inspectors can check the plans prior to inspection.

Council understands that during the build, the owners of the property may want to make minor changes to the build.

Depending on what the changes are, a minor on site variation can be made if the structural integrity of the building is not altered or if it won’t affect external moisture.

This can be done on site with the inspector, or an email sent through to the building team buildingadmin@cdc.govt.nz with the changes to the plan so these can be checked to see if they still comply with the building code. Please include the building consent number and “application for minor variation” in the subject line.

If major changes are to be made an Amendment will be required and needs to be applied for. Plans and specifications will need to be processed by council and there will be a fee for processing.

MBIE have made it clear that we cannot process and approve amendments if the work has already been done.

For more information on minor variation guidance, visit:



Once building works have begun on site and before any inspection is booked you should carefully read the plans and specifications and the building consent form. This includes important information from Council.

You must ensure that the council approved stamped plans are on site at all times. When the inspector turns up to site it will be the first thing they ask for. No stamped plans = no inspection.

If the builder is not going to be on site for a booked inspection, please inform council of this when the inspection is booked. If the builder wants the site notice to be sent to them, can they please leave their email and phone number when booking inspection. If the inspector is going to be early or late to site, they will need a phone number on the inspection to let the builder know.

Please make sure that prior to booking inspections that all the required works have been completed. If the inspector needs to revisit the site, there will be additional cost to the client for the extra inspection.

The site must be safe for us to enter, and we prefer that dogs are locked away.

Council can do remote inspections for minor work through a system called Zyte. This involves opening a link via cellphone and allowing access to your location and to your camera. Note we cannot see your photos on your phone.

Inspections such as waterproofing, postline and re-checks for head flashings can be done by calling council to arrange. The builder will need to be on site with their phone and have cellphone reception.

PGDB Licensing

Just a reminder that plumbing, gasfitting and drainlaying licence period for the year rolled over on 30 March, therefore anyone carrying out restricted work will need to have a valid 2024/25 licence.

All Limited Certificate Trainee, Exempted, Journeymen, Tradesman and Certifying Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers are required to have a current practicing license to carry out any sanitary plumbing work.

Sanitary plumbing work includes repair, maintenance and replacement of sanitary plumbing and drainage, repair and maintenance of water heaters, minor alterations to drains and alterations to existing sanitary plumbing.

Homeowners are encouraged to ask to see a tradesperson’s New Zealand Practising Licence and check the expiry date to see that it is current and to ensure that they are licensed to carry out the work.

Visit the Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board website [https://www2.pgdb.co.nz/public-register] to check if your plumber/drainlayer is licensed.

We have recently had instances of plumbing and drainage work being done before a building consent has been obtained.

We cannot grant consents where the work has already started so this can turn into a headache for the owners.

Where we find licensed plumbers and drainlayers doing work without consent, we will notify the board.

Septic Tank Installation Inspections

Council requires that all Septic tank installations be inspected prior to backfilling, whether it be inspection of the tank hole bedded prior to tank installation or tank installed into bedded hole.

Recently it has been noticed that some septic tanks have been backfilled without the building inspectors approval. Where tanks are backfilled without the building teams approval, the Code Compliance Certificate may be refused or the tank may need to be exposed.

Council understands that sometimes septic tank installs are time dependant [tank delivery, cranes, ground water, etc.] and a suitable inspection time is hard to predict, but a simple call to the building team (06 3794030) can help sort this out.

Planning ahead can avoid any issues. Book an inspection at the same time as you agree on the delivery date.

Solid Fuel Heating / Woodburners

Before you install a new or replacement woodburner, you will need to obtain a building consent. You will also need a building consent to move an existing burner to a new location in your house.

The building consent application should include:

  • Completed application form.
  • Proof of ownership (can be your latest rates notice).
  • A floor plan showing the proposed location of the woodburner and smoke alarms. Plans should include a scale of measurement, so smoke alarm and exit distances can be checked for compliance in processing.
  • The manufacturers installation instructions for the burner.
  • Flue details.
  • The manufacturers installation instructions for your flue.
  • Roof flashing and seismic restraint details.
  • If the house is two storey and floor penetration detail.

A building consent for a woodburner follows the same process as all other building consents. Solid fuel heaters are also checked against MBIE’s register of approved appliances for emissions to ensure we meet air quality targets. These restrictions do not apply to rural properties greater than 2 hectares.

Legislative changes

MBIE continue to work in the background on variety of legislative changes.

The Ministry is also working on changing a variety of acceptable solutions [although they call this Building Code updates].

There are also a number of changes sitting in transitional provisions that you need to keep your eyes on.

In particular F7 as it relates to smoke detection in houses where you will be required to install more smoke detectors and they must be interconnected either wired or wifi type installations [typically 1 in each bedroom and hallways etc].

Fireplace installers need to be particularly aware of this when giving owners prices and information associated with new or replacement fires as this will add additional cost.

There are also pending changes to the likes of H1 acceptable solutions, G12 [lead content and water temperatures] to be mindful of.

There is a new certification system for factory-built components coming through the system.

MBIE are looking into the consenting system. The current information and discussion appears to reflect a view that councils impose unnecessary checks and balances.

Governments view appears to be that this adds unnecessary costs and slows down consenting times.

You can find out more at the Review Building Consent System pages on the Building Performance website or the Building Consent System Review: Summary of Submissions

Part of this is looking at the way in which product substitutions and amendments and minor variations are administered.

They are also looking at whether there could be more self-certification (such as plumbers and drainlayers) or where insurances could be used in lieu of building consent checks and balances.

Generally, councils are happy to engage but have expressed concern that where regulatory functions are relaxed, building defects may arise.

Government and Council agree we don’t want to return to the issues we saw in the late 1990’s such as leaky buildings.

We suggest that you keep an eye on this workstream and provide comments where the opportunity arises.

If you have any comments or queries about the above information please feel free to contact us at buildingadmin@cdc.govt.nz