Processing a Building Consent
Once your building consent application has been accepted, it will be given a unique (ABA) number and entered into our processing system. You should quote this number whenever you contact Council about your application. The number will be linked to other records for the property. Building officers will evaluate your building consent application to ensure it meets the Building Act and Building Regulations requirements.
Council is legally required to process your application within 20 working days. Working days exclude weekends, statutory holidays and the period from 20 December to 10 January inclusive.
The processing 'clock' starts when the consent is accepted but may be stopped if we find your application does not contain all the necessary details for us to make a proper evaluation of the proposed work. In that case an officer will ask you for further information. Until it is received, the process remains on hold and the delay is not counted as part of the 20 days. The clock will re-start as soon as the requested information has been received.
Even if your consent is suspended by the building department it will continue to be processed by other Council departments involved in the process. This may result in separate requests for further information from those departments.
Some applications will be sent to Fire and Emergency New Zealand if they meet the criteria outlined in the New Zealand Gazette, No. 49 3 May 2012 (see page 1406).
Building consent fees will be assessed when the consent is processed and will include payment for an estimated number of inspections required for your project. See Council's fees and charges page (building).
If the value of your project is over $20,444, your fees will include levies that Council is required to collect on behalf of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and the Building Research Association of New Zealand.
Development Contributions are a fee payable on developments or subdivisions that generate additional demand on infrastructure and services. Development Contributions that are identified during the processing of a Building Consent must be paid before a Code of Compliance Certificate can be issued.
Decisions and disputes
Whether Council approves your building consent application depends upon how well the project conforms to the requirements of the Building Code and Building Act.
If you disagree with Council's assessment of some aspect of your building proposal or a decision the Council has made, you can make a formal complaint to Council or you can apply to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment for a determination.
The Ministry will make a ruling on matters within its jurisdiction (refer to Section 177 of the Building Act 2004 for a complete list of matters falling under the Department's jurisdiction). There is a charge for the service.
Granting and issuing of consents
Once your application has been assessed as meeting all requirements and the Building Consent Authority is satisfied on reasonable grounds that the provisions of the Building Code will be met if the building work is properly completed in accordance with the plans and specifications, it will be approved.
It will be granted and issued when all the necessary fees have been paid.
Once you have your Building Consent and any other approvals required, such as Resource Consent, you may begin building.
Building Consent conditions will be included in certain circumstances. These can include the following sections of the Building Act 2004:
- Section 37 of the Act: No building work to proceed if Resource Consent has not been obtained
- Section 67: Waiver and modification condition
- Section 73: Construction of building on land subject to natural hazards
- Section 75: Construction of building on two or more allotments
- Section 90: Inspections by Building Consent authorities
- Section 113: Buildings with specified intended lives
Have your consent documents on-site
Every Building Consent is subject to the condition that agents authorised by the Building Consent Authority are entitled, during normal working hours or while building work is being done, to inspect the work relating to the consent.
The consent pack will consist of a large red envelope that contains the approved Building Consent plans and specifications. The pack will also include guidance documents. This pack must be available on site during the entire project. It is very important that you and your contractor(s) read the Building Consent documents to ensure you are clear about its requirements. It will contain a list of inspections required to be made by Council officers during the building process, and a list of producer statements required from specialists. Those specialists will be required to provide documentation of the work or inspections they undertake in support of their producer statement. (For more information on producer statements, see the Apply for Building Consent page.
Lapsing of Building Consent
Work must start within 12 months of a Building Consent being issued. If work does not start the consent lapses. An extension of time may be applied for but must be approved prior to the 12 months lapse date. If a consent is lapsed, a new Building Consent will be required before work can start.