Building consent process
The Building Act 2004 can be complex, especially when considered with other legislation. We are here to help you through the building consent process. A building consent means a consent to carry out building work granted by a building consent authority under section 49 of the Building Act.
We recommend that you engage an experienced professional (e.g. an architect or draughtsperson) to help with design work, drawings, specifications and documentation before applying for a building consent.
This is an overview of the building consent process.
- Preparing your application
- Submitting your application
- Pre-acceptance check
- How is my application processed?
- Statutory clock
- Request for further information and the statutory clock
- Assessing your application for compliance with the building code
- Involvement of other parties
- Restricted building work
- Granting your building consent
- Issuing your building consent
- Your building consent documents
- How long is your building consent valid for?
- Changes to your consent documents
- Inspections (including third parties)
- Certificate for public use
- Apply for your code compliance certificate
- Code compliance certificate issued
- Resolving problems
Work with your agent (e.g. an architect or designer) to come up with a concept design first. Unless you are confident that all matters have been considered, we recommend you do not proceed to final drawings early in your project until;
- Obtaining a project information memorandum (PIM). A PIM will identify any special features of the site and regulatory requirements such as resource consent. Even though getting a PIM is not mandatory, requesting one could save you time and money as you progress your design.
- Contact us
- Refer to our web page - Applying for Building Consent
- Submit your building consent application – Upload & Pay
Your application will go through a quantitate acceptance check to assess if the relevant information has been provided.
A decision will be made whether to accept or not accept your application for processing. We will advise you in writing of the decision and include an invoice.
The application is assessed against the Building Act, Building Code 2004 and associated regulations. Regardless of weather a PIM is applied for we will check your project for compliance under the resource management act (RMA) and notify you of any planning non-compliances and restrictions for building (known as a section 37 certificate).
Once your application is accepted, the statutory time frame or clock, of 20 working days for processing, begins. We make a decision on your building consent within 20 working days.
The clock is reduced to 10 working days if the building that you are proposing has a MultiProof approval.
During processing of your application, the clock stops if we have to request further information (RFI). Please respond quickly with accurate and full information. Once the full information is provided the clock will be started again and processing of the consent will resume.
We process your application to become satisfied on reasonable grounds that the provisions of the building code would be met if the building work was properly completed in accordance with the plans and specifications.
- Your application may be circulated to other parties within the Council for processing, which may include planning, RM engineering and others.
- Your application may also be circulated to external specialists (for example Heritage New Zealand).
- For some commercial buildings, the Council is required to send the fire design to Fire and Emergency New Zealand for review.
‘Restricted Building Work’ is work that’s critical to make a home structurally sound and weathertight.
Licensed Building Practitioners (LBPs), licensed in the relevant trade class, must be used to:
- Design this building work
- Do, or supervise, this building work
More information is available from MBIE at Restricted Building Work.
Restricted building work is residential design, construction or alteration work that:
- Requires a Building Consent, and
- Involves or affects a home’s:
- Primary structure
- Weathertightness (external moisture management)
- Certain fire safety design
Licensed Building Practitioners (LBPs) are assessed before getting a licence. LBPs have to keep their knowledge up to date to keep their licence. They must only work within the scope of their license class. LBPs are all listed on the searchable national LBP Register.
Once we are satisfied on reasonable grounds that the documentation demonstrates compliance with the building code, we will grant the application under section 49 of the Building Act 2004.
The date your building consent is granted is the date your building consent was approved pending payment of all fees due by you.
- When all fees are paid, your building consent will be issued. Once your building consent is issued, make sure you read the full documentation carefully.
- Once the building consent is issued the building work may begin, but in some circumstances, other legislation has a role to play that may mean that construction cannot start, such as waiting for resource consent approval. These conditions will be listed on a certificate attached to your building consent (section 37 of the Building Act).
Your building consent documents consist of:
- The building consent form (Form 5). The building consent will also list any Building Act conditions. It will always list the condition under section 90 regarding inspections. If applicable, it may also list conditions under:
- section 67 regarding waivers and modifications of the building code
- section 73 regarding conditions for granting a building consent under section 72 for building work on land subject to natural hazards
- section 77 for conditions imposed under section 75 for construction of building on 2 or more allotments
- section 113 for buildings with specified intended lives
- Building consent construction documentation and advice notes.
- Schedule of specified inspections. These are the inspections that are intended to be carried out by the Council. There also may be some inspections being carried out by your engineer and others these will be noted on the above building consent construction documentation and advice note document.
- Project information memorandum (PIM) if you requested one, or one was previously issued for the work.
- Development contribution notice (Form 3) if there are development contributions that are required to be paid before the code compliance certificate is issued (commonly referred to as a section 36 certificate).
- Certificate attached to PIM (Form 4) if a resource consent is required and there are restrictions on carrying out the work (commonly referred to as a section 37 certificate).
- New or altered specified systems forms with inspections, maintenance and reporting procedures.
- Stamped and approved copy of the documents that you have submitted. This may be split into various documents.
Building consents are valid for 12 months from the date of issue.
Work must have commenced within the 12 months or the building consent will automatically lapse (unless an extension to start work has been requested), requiring a new application if you want to proceed with the work.
Unless the owner requests an extension of time for issue of the Code Compliance Certificate the Building Consent Authority must make a decision to issue the Code Compliance Certificate within two years of the building consent granted date.
There are two types of changes that can be made to building work under a Building Consent:
- Minor Variations
All proposed changes must comply with the Building Code. All implemented changes must comply with the Building Code.
Detailed information on how to changes to your consent can be found at Building – Building Consent – Amendments & Minor Variations.
- Under sections 90 and 222 of the Building Act 2004, agents authorised by the Council (acting as a building consent authority) are entitled, at all times during normal working hours or while building work is being done, to inspect:
- land on which building work is being or is proposed to be carried out; and
- building work that has been or is being carried out on or off that building site; and
- any building.
- A number of Council inspections are to be carried out during the project. Remember to book inspections on line or phone (03) 450 0369 – as you complete stages of the project.
- Sometimes it is necessary for specialists to do inspections in addition to those carried out by the Council. If third party construction monitoring (e.g. by your structural or fire engineer) has been agreed, these inspections will be listed in the consent documentation and advice notes provided to you.
- Find more information at Building Consent - Inspections.
- If you are a commercial building owner where the public is to be admitted, and you want to start using premises before a code compliance certificate is issued, you must apply for a certificate for public use. This certificate enables members of the public to use the premises until a code compliance certificate is issued.
- Certificates for public use can be used only where a consent has been granted for the building work, but a code compliance certificate has not been issued yet.
- Once your complete application has been received, the statutory time frame, or clock of 20 working days for processing begins. The clock may be stopped if a request for further information (RFI) is made. The clock does not restart until all of the information requested in an RFI has been received. We make a decision on your certificate for public use within 20 working days whether to issue or refuse your certificate for public use.
- Anyone who owns, occupies, or controls premises intended for public use may apply for a certificate for public use.
- For more information see Building Consent – Commercial – Certificate of Public Use.
- As soon as practicable following completion of the building work, you must apply to the Council for a code compliance certificate using the prescribed form. If restricted building work supply records of building work.
- Once your complete application has been received, the statutory time frame, or clock of 20 working days for processing begins. The clock may be stopped if a request for further information (RFI) is made. The clock does not restart until all of the information requested in an RFI has been received. We make a decision on your code compliance certificate within 20 working days whether to issue or refuse your code compliance certificate.
- A code compliance certificate is issued by the Council at the completion of building work, once it is satisfied on reasonable grounds that the building work complies with the building consent.
- For more information see Building Consents – Code Compliance Certificate.
- It can take up to 20 working days to process your code compliance certificate application.
- If an application for code compliance certificate has not been made within two years of the date that the building consent was granted, or any further period agreed between the owner and the Council, the Council must make a decision whether to issue the code compliance certificate.
- If an application for a code compliance certificate is refused, you may apply again once any identified non-compliances have been remedied.
- If you have any queries, concerns or complaints about Council’s building control functions, you should talk to the Team Leader or if you wish to express your complaint formally please lodge a Complaints at QLDC
- Councils customer complaints management policy.
- The Building Act has provision to obtain a determination. A determination is a legally binding ruling made by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) about matters of doubt or dispute to do with building work. Guidance about determinations can be found here.