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A building consent confirms that proposed building work complies with the Building Code. A building consent authority will grant a building consent if it is satisfied on reasonable grounds that the provisions of the building code would be met if the building work were properly completed in accordance with the plans and specifications that accompanied the application. - overview(external link)

Find out how to apply for a building consent, the inspection process, and how to apply for a Code Compliance Certificate when the project is finished.

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Application Forms and Guides

Application for project information memorandum and/or building consent(external link).

Before you apply

Ensure you read through the information below that covers building work:

If you are thinking about, planning a new build, an extension to your home or a commercial development to find out what's required read how to get started.(external link)

You should also check if you need a building consent before work starts(external link) or you might not need one at all(external link)

Note: There are some services we cannot provide and you will need to contact your local Territorial Authority for.


Some work can be done without a building consent, but still needs to meet the Building Code. Building work that does not require a building consent - Building Performance(external link)

Summary of building work that will need a building consent

A building consent is required for a range of building projects, including new homes, alterations to existing homes, and change of use of a building - Work requiring consent(external link)

Restricted Building Work (RBW) and Licensed Building Practitioner (LBP) scheme

Building or design work that relates to either the structure (load-bearing walls, foundations etc.) or moisture penetration (roof, cladding etc.) of homes including small-to-medium sized apartments is classified as ‘restricted building work(external link)’. This work can only be carried out by competent, appropriately licensed building practitioners(external link).

MultiProof consents

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment manages a MultiProof service for standard repeatable building designs. If your building design is MultiProof certified, you can use the design repeatedly nationwide without having the whole design assessed each time. You will still need to apply for a building consent in the area in which you want to build and comply with the local District Plan and Resource Consent rules - MultiProof consents(external link)

Construction over two of more allotments

Is your construction over two or more allotments(external link)?

Project Information Memorandum(external link) (PIM)

A PIM is a memorandum issued by a territorial authority (council) under section 34 of the Act, setting out information relevant to a proposed building project. The information is provided and is required to include all information known to Council which may be relevant to the project or site.

Land subject to natural hazards

If you are thinking about carrying out building works it is important to consider any natural hazards that may be present, and how that may affect compliance with the Building Act 2004 and the New Zealand Building Code.
Natural hazards include:

  • Erosion (including coastal erosion, bank erosion and sheet erosion)
  • Falling debris (including soil, rock, snow and ice)
  • Subsidence
  • Inundation (including flooding, overland flow, storm surge, tidal effects and ponding)
  • Slippage

A Land Information Memorandum (LIM) or Project Information Memorandum (PIM) will identify hazards that the Council knows about - Land subject to natural hazards(external link)

Other legislations

You may need to consider other legislation for example the Resource Management Act(external link) (RMA). Sometimes building work may not proceed if a resource consent is required and has not been obtained. We recommend you speak to your designer to ensure all approvals required for your project are applied for. It is important to discuss your proposal and any requirements that may be necessary with the appropriate Council Officer before planning/commencing work.

  • Land use resource consent
  • Subdivision resource consent
  • Earthworks
  • Vehicle crossings
  • Network utilities
  • Build over approvals
  • Development contributions

Alterations to existing buildings

If your consent application is for an alteration to an existing building it is important to note that the building must comply as nearly as is reasonably practicable with the provisions of the Building Code that relate to means of escape from fire and access and facilities for persons with disabilities.

The building must continue to comply after the building work has been completed or, if it did not comply prior to the commencement of the building work, it must continue to comply at least to the same extent. For further information, refer to the Building Act: NZBA 2004 s112(external link) and Alterations to existing buildings(external link)

Any application involving Section 112(2) will need to be forwarded to the relevant Territorial Authority. 

Change of use

A change of use is when both of the following apply:

  • The use of a building or part of a building changes from one use to another as defined in the Building (Specified Systems, Change the Use, and Earthquake-prone Buildings) Regulations 2005 (for example creating bedrooms in a building or parts of buildings where none existed before)
  • The new use has more onerous or additional Building Code requirements than the old use

Learn more about the change of use(external link)

To do a subdivision that will affect a building

A Territorial Authority cannot issue a certificate under section 224(f) of the Resource Management Act 1991 for the purposes of giving effect to a subdivision affecting a building or part of a building unless it is satisfied, on reasonable grounds, that the building will comply, as nearly as is reasonably practicable, with every provision of the Building Code that relates to one or more of the following:

  • Means of escape from fire
  • Access and facilities for people with disabilities (if this is a requirement for the building)
  • Protection of other property

The building must also continue to comply with the other provisions of the Building Code to at least the same extent as before the subdivision application was made - learn more about doing a subdivision that will affect a building(external link)

Application process at a glance

Applying for a building consent is an essential step in a building project that requires approval.

Apply for a building consent

The process map provides information to help you plan your building project, get consent, build to the consent and legally complete your project process map(external link)

Additional sources of information

Further information can be obtained form the following websites:

Page updated: 29 June 2021