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Processing Building Consents

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 building consent application within 20 working days.  If your building consent has a National Multiple use approval (MultiProof) certificate it must be processed in 10 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 working 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 notice number 2012-go2694 New Zealand Gazette, No. 49 3 May 2012 (see page 1406).



Applicable fees and levies for Building Consent applications

For new dwellings, additions and commercial consents, processing fees are calculated based on the amount of time it takes to process the consent.  The hour rates are documented on the fees & charges page. Other fees and levies payable include:

  • Levies payable to BRANZ (payable on all applications where work is valued over $20,000 including GST).
  • Levies payable to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (payable on all applications where work is valued over $20,444 including GST).
  • Building accreditation fee (dependant on type of application).
  • Plansmart Assessment (vetting) fee (dependant on type of application)
  • Inspection fees is an estimate based on the minimum number of inspections required (Building inspection fees include mileage costs and are charged on a fixed fee by zone basis)
  • Administration fee which includes:
    • Certificate of title fee
    • Document management fee
    • Code compliance certificate processing fee.

Please visit the Building Fees and Charges page for the current fees and charges.

Additional fees may be charged as below:

  • Planning and or Engineering fees
  • Issue of compliance schedule (if applicable).
  • Development contribution (if applicable).
  • LINZ notifications (if applicable).
  • External consultant peer review fees (if applicable)

Solid Fuel Heater (Woodburner) and Solar Water Heaters

Solid Fuel and Solar Water Heater applications have a fixed fee which is payable prior to the consent being accepted.  This fee allows for one inspection during installation. Additional inspections, if required, will cost extra;  see: Council's Fees and Charges page - Solid Fuel heaters.

Making payment

When the building consent has been approved an invoice is generated and emailed to the debtor for payment.  The invoice will include all fees, levies and estimated inspections.  When payment has been received, the building consent is granted and issued.

Fees for building consents can be paid in person at our customer service centre on Lyndon road, or online through internet banking. You will need your invoice number and building consent number (ABA number) as shown on your invoice.

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.

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
PO Box 1473, Wellington 6140, New Zealand
+64 4 238 6362 or 0800 242 243

View the Building Consent Authority Compliments and Complaints Policy from the related documents at the top of this page.

Council may refuse to issue a Building Consent

If Council is not satisfied during the processing of the Building consent application the Consent maybe refused.  

The reasons for considering a refusal may include but are not limited to:

  • The details and documentation supplied are not sufficient proof that the work will comply with the Building Code
  • Non supply of information
  • Building work has begun
  • Non payment of consent fees
  • Proposed work is for a ‘substantial alteration’ and does not include necessary seismic upgrade work.
  • At the request of the owner

A letter explaining the reason the Consent has been refused will be sent to the applicant with an invoice for processing costs.

Granting and issuing of consents

Once your application has been assessed 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.

Consent conditions

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 Acceptance and management of professional (expert) opinions (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.


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