Public buildings, compliance schedules and building warrant of fitness

If your building is open to the public, whether for free or by payment of a charge, you will need to observe some additional requirements and responsibilities to ensure the safety of people using the building.

The ‘public’ includes staff working in the building. 

Examples of public premises include:

  • Shops and shopping malls
  • Cinemas
  • Marae
  • Camping grounds
  • Garages and workshops
  • Funeral homes
  • Office or retail complexes
  • Restaurants
  • Hospitals
  • Rest homes

Public premises cannot be used/occupied until a Code Compliance Certificate is issued, showing the building complies with the Building Code. 

Certificates of Public use

In certain circumstances it may be possible to apply for a Certificate for Public Use, which will allow a building, or part of a building, to be used before the Code Compliance Certificate is granted. 

Certificates for Public Use will be considered on a case-by-case basis and do not relieve the owner of a building from the obligation to apply for a Code Compliance Certificate after all the building work has been carried out.

Certificates for Public Use are not required for private homes.

Certificate for Pulic Use application fee

Certificate for Public Use application form (PDF 32kB)

Compliance Schedule

A Compliance Schedule is a document issued by Council for buildings that contain ‘specified systems’, which are systems contributing to the safety and wellbeing of building users.

Examples include:

  • Automatic systems for fire suppression.
  • Automatic or manual emergency warning systems for fire or other dangers.
  • Electromagnetic or automatic doors or windows.
  • Emergency lighting systems.
  • Escape route pressurisation systems.
  • Riser mains for use by fire services.
  • Automatic back-flow preventers connected to a potable water supply.
  • Lifts, escalators, travelators, or other systems for moving people or goods within buildings.
  • Mechanical ventilation or air conditioning systems.
  • Building maintenance units providing access to exterior and interior walls of buildings.
  • Laboratory fume cupboards.
  • Audio loops or other assistive listening systems.
  • Smoke control systems.
  • Emergency power systems for, or signs relating to, a system or feature specified for any of the above.

All Building Consent applications that include specified systems are required to include a completed Compliance Schedule.

The following is a link to an example showing the minimum information required for a completed compliance schedule application along with a WORD version of the application form if you wish to use this format. NOTE: the format is not mandatory but the content is.

A Compliance Schedule lists the specified systems in your building, the performance standards for those specified systems, and references the inspection, maintenance and reporting procedures to be followed by your Independently Qualified Person (IQP).

A Compliance Schedule must be kept on site and made available to authorised persons upon request. A Compliance Schedule does not expire and is current for the life of the building or until the building or systems are altered.

IMPORTANT: Any work carried out on a specified system within a building requires a Building Consent.

Obtaining a Compliance Schedule

The Compliance Schedule will be issued  along with the Code Compliance Certificate by Council for:

  • New buildings (if the building has one or more specified systems), or,
  • An upgrade to an existing building or systems, required as a result of a change of use or alterations, which required a building consent.

A Compliance Schedule can also be issued for a building that has existing systems that have not previously been identified by Council by using the following application form.

Compliance Schedule application form (PDF 27kB)

If an amendment is required to your Compliance Schedule please complete the following form.

Amendment to compliance schedule (PDF 310kB)

Compliance Schedule Statement

A Compliance Schedule Statement is issued by Council at the same time as the Compliance Schedule and Code Compliance Certificate (if applicable).  

It serves as the first stage of the Building Warrant of Fitness process and must be replaced in 12 months with a Building Warrant of Fitness, which is issued by the building owner.

Building Warrant of Fitness (BWoF)

A Building Warrant of Fitness is a statutory declaration issued annually by the building owner (or their IQP) to Council, stating that the requirements of the Compliance Schedule have been fully met for the previous year (i.e.: verifying that systems are in working order).

The Building Warrant of Fitness must have attached to it all certificates of compliance issued by the Independent Qualified Persons (IQP).

These documents must be issued in the prescribed form (Form 12A - see below) and certify that the inspection, maintenance and reporting procedures stated in the Compliance Schedule have been fully complied with during the previous 12 months.

The building owner is responsible for signing the Form 12 and supplying it along with the Form 12As to Council on the anniversary of the Compliance Schedule being issued.

A copy of the Building Warrant of Fitness must be displayed in a prominent place in the building and copies of the certificates provided by the IQP must be available on request.

For the first year you must display the Compliance Schedule Statement in a public place in the building in the same way as the BWoF which replaces it.

Building Warrant of Fitness form (Form 12) (PDF 51kB)

What documents should I keep regarding the Building Warrant of Fitness?

You are legally required to obtain written reports relating to the inspection, maintenance and reporting procedures of the Compliance Schedule which must be signed by the Independent Qualified Persons (IQP) who has carried out any of the listed procedures (inspection, maintenance or reporting).

 You are required to keep all reports for a period of two years and produce those reports for inspection when required.

Can I be prosecuted for not obtaining a Compliance Schedule or if my Building Warrant of Fitness has expired?

Yes,  there are a number of infringements that can be issued on an owner of a building for not complying with the legislative requirements. The infringements range from $250 for failing to obtain a Compliance Schedule, to $1000 for failing to display a current BWOF in accordance with Section 108 of the Building Act 2004.

Independent Qualified Persons (IQPs)

An Independent Qualified Person (IQP) is a tradesperson who is qualified to carry out any performance inspection, maintenance, reporting or recommendation on a specified system.

All Independent Qualified Persons are required to be registered with Council.  You can access the IQP register here.