Building inspections

Building inspections are scheduled at critical stages of the construction process to ensure that the work being carried out onsite is in accordance with the approved building consent documents and that building regulations are being met. 

A list of required inspections will be included with your building consent.  You need to book these as each stage of work is ready.

Once the works pass inspection, the Building Officer will sign off the appropriate inspection and work can continue.

How do I arrange a building inspection?

Call us (06 871 5000) and make an appointment as soon as you know the related work will be ready to be inspected.  

We require a minimum of 24 hours notice and will usually be able to inspect the work within 24 to 48 hours.  

Up to three days notice may be required at times of high demand.  Please be aware that requests for exact inspection times and particular Building Officers cannot always be accommodated.

An inspection can only be booked in the morning or afternoon. No specific time can be given due to workloads.

You will need to quote the following:

  • Building consent number
  • Site address
  • Type of inspection (specific details – see below)
  • Name and contact phone number of the person who will be onsite at the time of the inspection
  • In the case of restricted building work, the name and number of the Licensed Building Practitioner must be supplied

What do I need to prepare?

All approved building consent documents must be on site and available to the Building Officer.

It is advisable that you or your contractor be on site when the Building Officer visits as they may have questions or advice for you and this could reduce the number of inspections required.  If any inspections need to be repeated, additional costs will apply.

Site safety

The safety of people (including Building Officers) on the construction site is your responsibility. The inspector may refuse to visit the site if they deem it to be unsafe. 

This includes providing safe access to all parts of the site to allow work to be inspected.  Ladder access must be securely founded and tied.  Scaffold access or lift equipment eg cherry picker is required for larger or higher buildings.

What happens during the inspection?

The inspector will verify that construction has been carried out in accordance with the consented documents. If the inspection involves restricted building work, the Licensed Building Practitioner carrying out the work will need to produce their photo ID licence card.

If the work has been completed in accordance with the consented documents the inspector will sign it off and work can continue.

What happens if the work isn’t approved?

Areas of non-compliance will be detailed on the onsite inspection report.  Re-inspection may-be required if the Building Officer is not satisfied that work meets the requirements of the building consent and the Building Code. 

Extra inspections will incur additional charges which will need to be paid before a Code Compliance Certificate can be issued.

Where issues are of a more serious nature, it is possible a Notice to Fix may be issued, requiring any building work not done in accordance with the Building Code to be corrected.  

We may also direct that building work cease in the area affected by the non-compliance, until we are satisfied work is able to proceed in compliance with Building Act requirements. Failure to act promptly can result in an infringement fine or prosecution.

Work may continue that is not effected by the non-compliant work but this needs to be established with the Building Inspector on site.


If changes are proposed to the consented plans an amendment must be applied for and granted prior to work commencing.

Minor variations

A minor variation is a minor modification, addition, or variation to a building consent that does not
deviate significantly from the plans and specifications to which the building consent relates.

To find out more on the definition, assessment and granting of minor variations to building consents, see page 4 of the Department of Building and Housing Minor Variation Guide

Types of inspection

The following are the types of inspections that may be required depending on the type of building work:

Building inspections

  • Site; location of the building on site (visible boundary markers or a Surveyor’s report may be required).  Foundation; before placing any concrete for foundation walls or footings.
  • Piles; before placing any concrete for pile foundations (timber or concrete).
  • Masonry; before placing block fill
  • Pre-Slab; before placing any concrete for concrete floor slabs and any integral footings.
  • Retaining Wall; before back-filling against any wall or covering any tanking.
  • Sub Floor; before covering any sub-floor framing.
  • Pre-Wrap; prior to the roof underlay being installed and the building wrap being placed around the building
  • Pre-Line; before fitting internal linings or installing wet area membranes, airseals fitted internally around joinery, bracing connections complete and moisture content testing of framing.  Acoustic; before fitting internal linings where specialist vibrationally isolated connections or in frame insulation is specified.
  • Post-Line; post line bracing while fixings are still visible.Where fire-rated walls are included, sufficient inspections to verify correct installation of specified linings and protection of penetrations or sufficient inspections to verify correct installation of specified linings and attenuation of penetrations.
  • Final; final inspection on completion of all building work a formal application for a Code Compliance Certificate (form supplied with approved consent  documentation) must be supplied after all work has been signed off.

Plumbing inspections

  • Drainage; testing any drainage work prior to back filling and before covering any field drains.
  • Pre-Slab; plumbing in/under the floor slab (applicable to drainage designed to AS/NZS3500 only).
  • Pre-Line; plumbing systems before fitting any linings.
  • Final; final inspection on completion of work.