Frequently Asked Questions
Below are questions and answers related to building consents, please contact us if you have any further enquires.
What is a building consent?
A building consent is the formal approval issued by a BCA verifying that the building work you have described in the plans, specification and other supporting information will, if built in accordance with that documentation, meet the requirements of the New Zealand Building Act, Building Regulations and Building Code. Most building work requires a building consent, but some minor work is exempt under the Act. Exempt work is listed on Schedule 1 of the Building Act 2004.
When is a building consent not required?
All building exemptions are listed on the NZ legislation website under Schedule 1 of the Building Act 2004. For a summary of the new exemptions coming into effect on 31 August 2020, please visit building.govt.nz.
When is a building consent required?
A building consent is required for most work including:
- swimming pools, spa pools and fencing,
- retaining walls over 1.5 m high (no surcharge),
- retaining walls any height incurring a surcharge,
- decks over 1.5 m high,
- freestanding non-habitable buildings larger than 10 m2,
- most new plumbing and drainage work,
- additions and alterations to existing buildings,
- ·new buildings,
- inbuilt and freestanding fires,
- Installing or removing specified systems.
If you are unsure if your project requires a building consent, you should contact Council.
How long does it take to get a building consent?
If the building consent application has all the required information, the Council has a statutory timeframe of 20 working days to process and grant the building consent. However, if any further information is required the processing ‘clock’ will stop. The ‘clock’ will resume once the required information has been provided, and accepted, the building consent will then be granted. Inadequate applications may be refused and sent back to the owner.
How do I apply for a building consent?
To apply for building consent, you need to fill out the building consent application form and provide one copy of your plan and supporting documents. There are some additional requirements for commercial building consent applications, please contact us to discuss what may be required.
Save time and money with self-service building consent applications. Our new building consents online system allows you to submit, manage and track applications from anywhere, at any time.
You can apply for a building consent online on the Simpli Portal.
If you wish to apply using a hard copy, you can download the building consent application form and the guide to completing the form below or from https://simpli.govt.nz/tool-box
Building consent application form (460KB pdf)
Guide to completing the building consent application form (924KB pdf)
Your application can be lodged at any Council Service Centre, via email or through the simpli portal. The application will be checked before being accepted to ensure that all of the required information is supplied.
Once you have all the necessary information, you can post the application to Council, deliver it to our Council Service Centre or through the Simpli Portal. There is a vetting check for the purposes of establishing if the required information has been provided. The vetting will be undertaken within 2 working days from the application being received.
More information about building consents can be found in the Building Consent Steps 1 & 2: Accepting and Processing (653KB pdf), if you have any further questions please contact us.
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The inspection process
A Building Officer will visit the site to undertake an inspection of the work to establish if the work complies with the approved building consent. Council uses a range of electronic check sheets to assist in our inspections. It is the owner's responsibility to ensure that the correct Licensed Building Practitioner (LBPs) are doing the work. If there are any questions, you should discuss this with your LBP. It is the owner’s responsibility to ensure the LBPs are currently licensed and working within their license class.
What inspections do I need?
When your application is being processed, the Building Officer will identify what inspections will be necessary to enable us to be satisfied on reasonable grounds that compliance will be achieved. Each inspection will be identified along with the requirements for that particular inspection. When you receive your approved building consent, you should read it fully as there may be conditions, or other information you need to know. The required items list will identify which items and inspections are required. If you have any questions, please contact us as soon as possible. We will be happy to discuss or explain the process. Missed inspections may mean that a Code Compliance Certificate (CCC) may not be issued.
Inspections by others
Specialist structures may be required to be inspected by third party inspections e.g. geotechnical engineers in consultation with Council.
How do I book an inspection?
Building inspections are booked through Customer Services on 06 374 4080 (north) or 06 376 0110 (south) or by using the Go Build mobile Application (do not contact the Building Officer directly). At least 24 hours’ notice is required.
For an inspection to take place, the approved plans and documentation must be available on site. N.B: If we arrive on site and the required documentation is not available, we may not undertake the inspection.
On the conclusion of all inspections, the outcome of the inspection is recorded on the electronic inspection report. It is preferable that the owner or an agent be available on site for all inspections, while we appreciate that this may not always be possible we strongly advise that for final inspections the owner or their representative is on site.
More information can be found in the Building Consent Steps 3 & 4: Inspecting and Certifying (617KB pdf), if you have further questions please contact us.
Code Compliance Certificates
What is a code compliance certificate (CCC)?
A Code Compliance Certificate (CCC) is the Council’s verification that all building works undertaken complies with the approved Building Consent. It is an important document and should be retained for future reference. On competition of the building work, an application for a CCC should be made through the Simpli portal, or by using yellow form 6 which can be found in the building consent packet. Upon receiving the information, Council has 20 working days to decide whether to issue or to refuse to issue a CCC. You should attach to the application any memorandums issued by licensed building practitioners, any energy works certificates, or other supporting information, drawings and the like. If your project involved work on specified systems, you should attach all relevant information including plans and/or details of where the specified systems are located in the building.
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Commercial, Retail or Industrial Premises
Section 363 Certificate of Public Use
If your building is intended for public use, i.e. open to the public, whether for free or payment of a charge and you are undertaking building work, you may need a Certificate for Public Use (CPU). This is a Certificate for Public Use (CPU) that verifies that in the view of the Council, the building can be used by the public safely. If you are arranging for work to be done on your public building, you should discuss the CPU provisions with your designers and contractors, or contact Council to make an application. You will need to fill out the application form. Council has 20 working days to issue or refuse the CPU.
What are public premises?
Any building which is open to the public, whether for free or payment of a charge, including:
- shopping malls,
- camping grounds,
- garages and workshops,
- funeral homes,
- office and retail complexes,
- rest homes, etc.
Compliance Schedules and Building Warrant of Fitness
A compliance schedule is a document issued by the BCA, with a CCC, for buildings that contain specified systems. The compliance schedule lists the inspection maintenance and reporting procedures for the Independently Qualified Persons (IQPs) will follow in relation to each system. The purpose of the compliance schedule is to ensure that the identified systems will be kept in good working order. Your design professional should be able to provide the necessary information with the building consent application. A compliance schedule must be kept on site and made available to Building Officers, Independent Qualified Persons (IQP's).
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If you are unhappy with a decision made by a Council staff member and you are unable to resolve that with them, you are able to make a written compliant to:
Manager Regulatory Services
Tararua District Council
PO Box 115
You are able to make complaints anonymously, however anonymous complaints can be particularly difficult to resolve.
What information is required?
date incident occurred,
nature of complaint (guidance information, vetting, lodgement, inspection, notice to fix, code compliance certificate or compliance schedule),
copies of any supporting information (if applicable),
relationship (customer, regulator, or stakeholder),
name and contact details.
All complainants will be responded to within 5 days of the receipt of the complaint, at which time you may be asked whether you wish to be heard in relation to the complaint or to provide further information. All complaints will be actioned within 10 working days of the receipt of the complaint, unless a request for further information is made.
Do I have a right of appeal?
Yes, if you do not agree with the outcome, you may request a review of the decision. All appeals must be made in writing setting out the reasons why you disagree with the decision. All appeals will be responded to within 10 working days. If you are still unhappy, or choose to use an alternative route to settle a matter of doubt or dispute, you may apply to the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment for a Determination. Visit www.building.govt.nz for further information on this service.
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The following PDFs have been put together to help you. Click the link to download the information sheet.
Second-hand fires information sheet (326kb pdf)
Tiny houses on wheels and other mobile or semi-mobile habitable buildings information sheet (317kb pdf)
Stormwater information sheet (553kb pdf)
Wetback and solar hot water (supplementary heat sources) information sheet (352kb pdf)
Owner-building and owner-designer exemption from licensed building practitioner (483kb pdf)
Tree and Neighbours information sheet (334kb pdf)
Relocation of a building onto a site information sheet (342kb pdf)
Fencing of properties (342kb pdf)
Information on wastewater systems (350kb pdf)
Conversion of a Shipping Container into a Habitable Space (351kb pdf)
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For further information or advice:
Building Control Contact Details
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