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Building Consents on categorised land

Buidling Consents guidance

A new Building Consent guidance document for Cyclone Gabrielle-affected properties has been created, supported by a supplementary guide for commercial buildings.

The main document sets out the implications for consent applications for residential projects on land in categories 1, 2 and 3, while the supplementary document provides advice for commercial development.

Council strongly recommends that property owners speak to a Council building officer before preparing an application. Email or call 06 871 5000 for more information.

You can view the main document here

you can view the supplementary document here


Building Consents are being looked at in all areas and will be processed in accordance with the Building Act 2004 however consents in categories 2 and 3 may face significant challenges due to the risk to life whereas severe weather events cannot be mitigated. The guidance document is designed to help potential applicants understand how the Act impacts on consents for projects on properties in Land Categories 1, 2C, 2P and 3.

It is expected that properties in category 2A will be recategorized and moved into one of the other categories following further assessment of risk to life and mitigation from severe storm events by Hawke’s Bay regional Council. In the meantime, building consents for those areas will be reviewed and applicants contacted to discuss the implications.

Council cannot stop anyone from applying for a Building Consent and must review them in line with Building Act. For properties in Category 3, the document notes that owners seeking Building Consent for residential or other sleeping accommodation face ‘significant challenges’. Category 3 has been assigned to areas that in a severe weather event pose an intolerable risk of injury or death, and that risk cannot be mitigated. Approving a building consent application in category 3 may go against the purpose of the Act which essentially is to protect people from risk or injury.

Not all work requires a consent. Schedule 1 of the Building Act 2004 refers to Building Consent exempt work. Examples of exempt building work are explained in a guidance document created by MBIE (found here Building work that does not require a building consent ). If you are unsure contact our building recovery team on or 06 871 5000.

Council may waive some fees for red and yellow placarded (stickered) residential properties in most cyclone-related repair/re-build situations:

  • Building Consent processing fees (time, associated admin costs)
  • applications for Building Consent exemptions
  • applications for certificates of acceptance
  • building inspections
  • Resource Consent processing fees.

To find out if your building consent fees will be waived, please email

To check if you need a resource consent or find out if your resource consent fees will be waived, please email

Council needs to ensure that we make decisions that are fair and keep people safe. We expect that a considerable number of applications for projects on categorised land will need to be assessed by an independent panel, which will add to the processing time.


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