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HDC Building Bulletin

We currently have 355 building consents in the system.

We’re issuing electronic building consents from 1 July

To streamline the delivery of buildings consents, all building consents applied for after 1 July 2021 will be issued electronically only. The agent will receive an email notification and link to “Kiteworks” where you can download your building consent. The link will be available for 7 days.

You will need to ensure your plans are printed to a large enough scale so they are legible, and available to the inspector on-site for the inspections.

Please note: If you do not have your plans on site, then unfortunately your inspection will be failed, which means you would still be charged for the failed inspection and you would need to rebook a new inspection time.

The below fees apply from 1 July 2021 if you would like us to print your building consent:

A4 $0.25 per page
A3 $0.50 per page
Colour A4 $1.50 per page
Colour A3 $2.50 per page

We’re streamlining the RFI process

From 1 June 2021, we will be issuing requests for information in a word format table to help streamline the RFI process. This will allow us to quickly resolve the RFI which in turn means you will receive your approval faster.

When considering the RFI, the designer will be able to type in an explanation or a reference to a drawing etc. in the table. This will also mean the designer can easily check if they have provided all the information.


RFI question    RFI reply
Please provide calculations for the flitch beam over the garage door Calculations provided - page 4 of drawings updated.

For example, write in the table “refer page 862”. In cases where a drawing needs to be amended, add a detail bubble/cloud to say “updated page 14,” or “new page 28 added”. Please supply this table back in word format along with the revised plan sheets including an updated revision number.

Please note: We will not restart the clock until all the requested information is provided.

When a consent is significantly deficient, Council may refuse the consent. This means the designer will need address the deficiencies within the application and re-apply for a new consent.

bundled timberProduct substitution

Due to disruptions to the supply of some building materials, in order to ensure fewer delays with processing your consent:

  • Let us know early if you need to substitute products and systems specified in your building consent so we can pre-approve the changes
  • Designers should have a discussion with their builders at the design stage to see if they can specify products and systems that are more readily available.

Construction and demolition hazards

With any building project there is risk associated with unauthorised entry to the site. This can lead to accidents and injuries. Building Code F5, Construction and Demolition Hazards, sets out the minimum requirement of fencing, hoardings and the like required to protect the public. This is additional to considerations under the Health and Safety at Work Act.

More particularly F5 states:
“Construction and demolition work on buildings shall be performed in a manner that avoids the likelihood of:

  • Objects falling onto people on or off the site,
  • Objects falling on property off the site,
  • Other hazards arising on the site affecting people off the site and other property, and
  • Unauthorised entry of children to hazards on the site.”

When submitting building consents you need to consider and demonstrate what steps will be undertaken to satisfy this Code requirement.

Head to the Building Code Compliance section of MBIE’s website for more information on these requirements.

natural hazards Design industry

We’ve seen a recent drop in the number of consents sent back to designers from our PlanSmart checks. This shows us many designers are working hard to provide the correct information with their applications.

Proper and complete applications allow for prompt PlanSmart checks and also quicker processing times, benefiting everyone waiting on building consents.

Natural hazards are among the issues that continue to crop up in these checks.

Council checks every application against these websites:

We encourage designers to check the address of the proposed work for any hazards associated with the land before lodging consents.

Compliance schedules

International Accreditation New Zealand (IANZ) audits Council every two years and our next assessment is this November.


Recently we met with Gisborne, Wairoa, and Central Hawke’s Bay Councils for the purposes of forming a closer working relationship between building teams in the Eastern District. Their recent accreditation assessments showed a high focus on compliance schedules and specified systems by IANZ. This means we must require more detail on building consent applications regarding:

  • specified systems,
  • their performance standards and
  • the inspection maintenance and reporting procedures to be included on a compliance schedule.

References to Standards need to include the particular year of the Standard, for example NZS4512:2010.

If you intend to rely on the compliance schedule handbook or acceptable solutions you will need to state the date version and part to be listed on the compliance schedule. General statements are no longer appropriate.

We suggest talking to your Independently Qualified People (IQPs), suppliers or fire engineers to ensure you have the correct information.

housing MBIE’s building code review

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has announced the latest list of topics for its annual consultation on its Building Code and selected acceptable solution and verification method documents. These include: structure and geotechnical, protection from fire, external envelope, internal environment and building services.

View the topics here

Some interesting proposals are included, such as splitting New Zealand into six zones for the purposes of calculating energy efficiency. Information suggests some of these changes could add over $20,000 to the construction costs of a new dwelling.

Given the growing demand for housing, MBIE is looking into issuing new Acceptable Solutions and Verification Methods for G7 Natural Light to accommodate higher-density housing options, and allow the use of computer modelling as a verification method.

We encourage you to review the MBIE work-stream and have your say here.

Pre-application meetings

If you have a complex project, you can request a pre-consent lodgement meeting. This is a good opportunity to seek guidance on any issues that may arise during the processing of your consent. You can call the Duty Building Technician to arrange an appointment on 06 871 5000.

Building consent application forms

Please check you have covered all Building Code Clauses prior to submitting your consent.

You can find helpful resources to assist with this process online at:

Owner approval required for consent application

We have recently experienced two situations where owners have explained that they did not authorise their designer to submit an application for building consent on their behalf.

Although we rely on the declaration on the building consent application form to show that the agent is making the application correctly, we may ask for written confirmation from the owners to be supplied.


We are currently seeking a Building Officer to join our busy, diverse and dedicated team in the Planning and Regulatory Services Group. If you know of anyone suitable or would like to apply, you can find more information here.

Fee changes

View changes to our fees that will take effect on 1 July 2021 here.

Any questions?

We would love to hear any feedback about the content of our Building Bulletin. Please email for more information, or if you know someone who is not receiving the newsletter but would like to.

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