What building work does not require a building consent?

Published 02 Sep 2022

Schedule 1 of the Building Act 2004 permits a range of building work to be carried out without obtaining a building consent. This is known as “exempt building work.”

By law, all exempt building work must still comply with the Building Code and any other relevant legislation such as the Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Act 2006, the Electricity Act 1992, and the Resource Management Act 1991.
Exemptions from building consent fall into two categories: work that is automatically exempted by the Building Act 2004, and other work where the council can decide to exempt the work under Schedule 1(2) of the Building Act.

Exemptions by the Building Act
To find out what is automatically exempt from needing building consent, you can view Schedule 1 on the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment's (MBIE) website.  Please visit www.building.govt.nz/bc-no-consent.
The building owner is responsible for deciding whether any proposed building work qualifies as a Schedule 1 exemption.
If you are not sure whether or not your building work is exempt, it is important to get advice from someone with the appropriate building knowledge and expertise.

Your Council building team has extensive building control expertise, as well as information about exemptions and the building consent process.

Exemptions by the Tararua District Council
The Council has the discretion to permit building work to be undertaken without a consent if the work is likely to be performed in accordance with the Building Code or, failing that, if it is unlikely to endanger people or any building.

The Council considers applications for exemption on a case-by-case basis where the work is:
- carried out by suitably qualified and experienced persons with a proven record of competence in similar work; and
- a clear understanding of the Building Act and building code is demonstrated in the application; and
- assurances are given as to how compliance with the New Zealand Building Code will be achieved.

Council will decide the application based on a risk assessment of the building work proposed.
Further information about the application process and fees are available from the Council.

Safeguard yourself, your home, your future security
If you are doing repairs or alterations without a building consent, we advise you seek professional advice and keep records of the work done and who carried out the work.  This will assist if you come to sell your home in the future, as purchasers are likely to have questions about the work and will want to know it was done properly.

-Get expert advice.
-Use a skilled and professional building practitioner.
-Get several quotes for the work and ask for references.
-Consult with your insurer and EQC (Earthquake Commission) where necessary.
-Keep records of the work done (e.g. photos) and who did it.

Council is happy to answer any questions you may have regarding exemptions for building work.  You can get in touch with the Council team by phoning 06 374 4080 or 06 376 0110.