Do I Need a Building Consent?
Last updated: 13 Oct, 2021 08:43am
If you are carrying out building work you may need to apply for a building consent.
There is more information about on building consents at building.govt.nz.
- Building work that requires a consent
- Building work that does not require a building consent
Building work that requires a consent
Some examples of work that needs a building consent include:
- any structural building including new buildings, additions, alterations, accessory buildings (sheds), and re-piling
- plumbing and drainage
- demolition or relocation of existing structures
- heating (fireplaces), ventilation and air conditioning systems
- siteworks for a building
- retaining walls higher than 1.5 metres, or retaining walls with a building or driveway near the top
- fences higher than 2.5 metres and any swimming pool fence
- swimming pools decks more than 1.5 metres from ground level.
The Act and the Code are legally binding and if you breach them or don’t obtain a building consent you may face penalties.
Building work that does not require a building consent
Section 41 and the first schedule of the Building Act 2004 describes building work which may be carried out without a building consent.
It is updated regularly, with a wider range of building work being exempted.
The Building work that does not require a building consent – Exemptions Guidance for Schedule 1 of the Building Act 2004 document includes a full list of exemptions.
Download the document [8.9mb]
An exemption does not, of itself, permit building work if that building work would be in breach of any other act e.g. exempt building work may still require planning approval.
All exempt building work is required to comply with the Building Code.
Some examples of exempt building work are:
- replacing a hot water cylinder
minor drainage work that does not affect the connection to the public system
replacing windows so long as it doesn’t affect the structural stability of the building
changes to entrance and doorways to improve accessibility so long as it doesn’t affect the structural stability of the building
changes to timber framed internal walls so long as it doesn’t affect the structural stability of the building
walls and fences under 2.5 metres high
decks under 1.5 metres high.
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