Everything you need to know about Building Consents:
- What is a building consent?
- When will I need a Building Consent?
- Building on land subject to natural hazards
- Simpli - Building Consistency through Collaboration
- Producer statements
- Change of use, alterations and extension of life
- Specified systems and compliance
- Amendment to the Building Consent
- Minor Variation
- Building Product Substitution (A step by step guide)
- Fees and Levies
- Building Industry Levies
- Lapsed consent
- When can building work commence?
- Certificate for public use
- How do I apply for and obtain a Building Consent?
- Consent Process
- Processing the Building Consent Application
- Suspending the Building Consent Application
- Granting and Issuing the Building Consent
- The Building Consent, its conditions, and advice note
- Complaints and appeal process
- What happens if you wish to make changes to the Issued Building Consent?
- Code Compliance Certificate - A CCC is only issued for the building work done under the consent that has been granted.
What is a Building Consent?
A Building Consent is a formal approval granted by the Council which confirms the proposed building work shown in the documentation you provide complies with the New Zealand Building Code, the Building Act 2004 and Building Regulations.
In some cases, a Resource Consent or specific requirements of the District Plan may be required to be met. If you are unsure whether the building work you are proposing, requires a Resource Consent or meets District Plan requirements, please contact the Planning Department on 0800 422 522.
There is absolutely tons of helpful information out there on the building consent process and we've linked to as many helpful documents as we could.
Please take the time to see what's out there, as it really will make your journey more enjoyable and way less stressful.
When will I need a Building Consent?
A Building Consent is required for most building work, this includes alterations and additions and includes the following:
- structural building - additions, alterations to existing buildings and demolition of non detached buildings
- new buildings
- decks, platforms or bridges more than 1.5 metres above ground level
- retaining walls higher than 1.5 metres
- plumbing and drainage work
- relocating a building
- changing the use of a building in some instances ask Council, however even if you do not require consent you must still inform Council in writing of the change of use
- installing a fireplace or air-conditioning system
- fences or walls higher than 2.5 metres
- swimming or spa pools and their associated fences/safety barriers unless they are exempt
- sheds with a floor area greater than 10 square metres. Unless exempt please see exemption page below
As a building owner, you are responsible for ensuring any exempt building work complies with the Building Code and that it doesn't breach any other Act.
Although the work may be classed as exempt under the Building Act, other approvals such as resource consent may be required under the Resource Management Act 1991. If you're not sure about other approvals, please phone us on 0800 422 522 and talk to one of our planners.
There are exceptions where a Building Consent is not required. See our Exemptions Page for more detail.
NOTE: The information on this website is not all inclusive, for full information regarding Building Consents please contact the Council on 0800 422 522 or email@example.com
It is also important to note that other legislation such as Resource Management (National Standards for Air Quality) Regulations 2004 and Smoke-Free Environment Act 1990 requirements may place further obligations to be complied with by building owners.
Building on land subject to natural hazards
It's important to consider any natural hazards that could be present on the land when undertaking any building work.
Natural hazards include:
- erosion (including coastal erosion, bank erosion and sheet erosion)
- falling debris (including soil, rock, snow and ice)
- inundation (including flooding, overland flow, storm surge, tidal effects and ponding)
The Building Act allows, depending on the circumstances, the consent to either be refused or granted subject to a condition that a natural hazard notification is placed on the title. This notification warns future property owners of the potential hazard and reduces the liability for the council. We'll discuss with you the refusal or notification process if this relates to your project. (Section 71-74 of the Building Act 2004).
Certain building work is restricted building work and requires to be undertaken by a licensed building practitioner although there are certain exemptions for owner builders, please see Licensed Building Practitioner and Restricted Building Work for further information.
A project information memorandum (PIM) or land information memorandum (LIM) will identify any hazards we have on file.
Simpli - Building Consistency through Collaboration
Rangitīkei District Council is one of more than 20 councils around the country that are working together to bring consistency to the building consent process.
The vision of the initiative, called Simpli, is to deliver a consistent and timely consenting experience with the aim of providing a simpler process for building consent applications.
Simpli is a partnership between Central Government (Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment) and Local Government (local councils) to improve performance, consistency and service delivery across the building consent system. You can find out more about the Simpli initiative by visiting the website.
What is a Producer Statement?
Producer Statements are written statements confirming the plans and specifications or completed works comply with the technical requirements to some or all of the clauses of the Building Code. A Producer Statement is usually issued by a recognised specialist relevant to building work.
The Council will accept Producer Statements from a Chartered Professional Engineer (CPEng). If the author of the Producer Statement for design is not a CPEng, a peer review of the design from a CPEng engineer is required.
If the author of a Producer Statement for design or construction is not a CPEng or a peer reviewer is not CPEng, the producer statement will not be accepted.
Importance level 2 and up building work - ensure that Producer Statements are signed and dated by the author and are not more than 90 days old.
Importance level 1 building work - ensure that Producer Statements are signed and dated by the author and are not more than 365 days old.
Change of use, alterations and extension of life
If you want to change the use of a building, make alterations, or extend its life, you will need to let us know.
Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment - Change of use, alterations and extension of life. The relevant sections of the Building Act are:
- Section 112 Alterations to an existing building
- Section 115 Change of use of a building
- Section 116 Extension to specified intended life of a building
- Section 116A Subdivision of existing building
Specified systems and compliance
Specified systems are systems or features that help a building to function fully – things like sprinklers, lifts, ventilation and air conditioning. These systems need ongoing inspection and maintenance to ensure they work as they should. If they fail to work properly they could adversely affect health or life safety, which may also affect your insurance cover.
There are 16 specified systems in the Building Act. These must be identified on your building consent application form.
If your building work contains specified systems, the consent application must contain information with the application in respect to Performance Standards, proposed Inspection and Maintenance procedures and Reporting frequency for all Specified Systems.
Amendment to the Building Consent
An Amendment to the Building Consent is required when the changes affect the footprint of the building, location of internal load bearing supports or fire safety aspects.
To apply for an amendment, the Amendment to the Building Consent application form will need to be completed.
The application will be vetted and processed the same as a normal Building Consent application.
A Minor Variation is when a minor modification, addition or variation to a Building Consent does not deviate significantly from the plans and specifications.
Listed below are some examples:
- Substituting comparable products i.e. (Substituting one internal lining for a similar internal lining)
- Minor wall bracing changes
- A minor construction change i.e. (changing the framing method used around a window)
- Changing a rooms layout
If the work meets the requirements of Minor Variations, the Council will note on the issued Building Consent the agreed changes. No formal application is required.
Building Product Substitution
Building product substitution and the minor variation process are being employed to ensure that there are quick, effective and efficient ways to continue to construct buildings that comply with the Building Code.
Fees and Levies
A deposit is required when the Building Consent application is received by Council. The full cost of the Building Consent is charged on the actual time taken for processing and the inspection and levies required. The invoice will provide information on method of payments accepted by Council which are cash, eftpos, online and credit card. See our Pay It for payment information.
Once the Building Consent is granted, an itemised invoice will be provided.
For Building Consent Fees please refer to the Building Consent in the Fees and Charges.
Please note that Rangitīkei District Council does not have a Development Contribution Fee.
Building Industry Levies
Building Industry Levies are collected when people apply for building consent.
The Building Research Association of New Zealand (BRANZ) levy of $1 per $1,000 is applied to all building consents that have building work valued at over $20,000, and the Building (Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment) levy of $1.75 per $1,000 is applied to all building consents that have building work valued at $20,444 or more.
The levy is worked out on each $1,000 or part thereof for the total value, if that value exceeds $20,000 in respect to the BRANZ levy, and the total value if the value exceeds $20,444 in respect to the Building levy.
- Work value of $35,000 = BRANZ levy of $35 and MBIE levy of $61.25
- Work value of $120,000 = BRANZ levy of $120 and MBIE levy of $210.00
A building consent lapses if the building work hasn't commenced within 12 months after the date of issue. For the work to take place, a new building consent is required to be applied for.We can allow this timeframe to be extended before the consent lapses. Complete an application for extension of time.
When can building work commence?
Building work that requires a building consent may not commence until the building consent has been issued (and a resource consent obtained if required). If the consented works require a resource consent and one hasn’t yet been obtained, your consent will be issued with a Section 37 Certificate attached to it.
The Section 37 Certificate will either state that no building works can proceed until a resource consent has been obtained or it will state the extent to which building works can proceed until a resource consent it obtained.
Certificate for public use
A certificate for public use allows premises affected by building work to be used by the public before the work is signed off as complete. You can only apply for a certificate for public use if a building consent has been granted but the code compliance certificate has not been issued. We will assess any safety precautions and plans that have been put in place to allow members of the public to use the premises safely. Once the Certificate of Public Use is granted work can commence, as it provides a detailed description where and how the premises/part or the premises will be used safely by the members of the public. Certificates for public use do not relieve you, as owner of a building, from the obligation to apply for a code compliance certificate after all the building work has been completed.
Applications can take up to 20 working days to process and fees are payable. An inspection will be carried out to ensure compliance with public safety.
How do I apply for and obtain a Building Consent?
Submitting a good quality application with all the necessary information can reduce delays in processing. If you are unfamiliar with building plans and compliance with the Building Code, you may need to engage a professional to supply the required drawings and information. They can also apply for a building consent on your behalf.
Note: No work may be commenced until a Building Consent is issued.
Please further note that it is very important that you ensure that where relevant your consent includes proposed inspections, maintenance and reporting procedures for specified systems.
See Required Plans Page.
These are the steps in a nutshell:
- Apply for building consent via the Simpli Portal
- Once we've received your building consent application we'll carry out an initial application check to make sure we have everything we need to process your application
- If the documents check out we will begin to process your application
- If there are any questions during processing we will ask for further information
- We will issue you with a building consent so you can begin work
- Once the building work has been completed you can apply for a Code Compliance Certificate
- We will issue you with a Code Compliance Certificate when the building work has passed its final inspection
Initial application check
All applications are put through a vetting process to check that we have the basic information required to start processing your application. All vetting will be done within two working days of receiving the application.
Your application will either be:
- found to be missing information, it will then be placed on a request for information and paused until the information has been received in full, or
- accepted for processing. The processing clock will commence on the working day following the receipt of a complete application. See suspending building consent application regarding stopping the clock for further information on accepted applications.
Frequent examples where an application is returned:
- Letter from the Property Owner giving authority to the Agent not attached
- Roof truss design certificate, layout and fixing details from a registered truss designer not included
- Engineers calculations/details for a specific design component missing
- Waste water design from a suitably qualified environmental engineer with Horizons Regional Council Approval of Design not attached
- Bracing calculations of the layout been omitted
- Flue and flashing details, location of smoke alarms and fire specifications missing
- Copy of the Compliance Schedule not attached and/or the Compliance Schedule section in the application form not filled in
Processing the Building Consent Application
After your application has been accepted, it will be allocated to one of our building officers to process.
The officer will check your application complies with the requirements of the Building Act, the associated regulations and the Building Code.
We have 20 working days to process your application. If we need to ask you for further information then the 20 working day clock will be paused until that information has been received in full.
The clock is re-started on the following working day the complete request for information is received and the processing of the application will continue.
Note: You have the ability to amend the plans and specifications of the Building Consent application whilst being processed.
Once the Building Consent is granted and you wish to make an amendment(s), you will need to complete to complete an application form.
This application is processed the same as a normal Building Consent.
Other reviews of your application
Fire and Emergency New Zealand: There is a requirement (by law) section 47 of the Act for some applications to be sent to Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) for review. This review provides feedback on the compliance of the proposed design and the ability for people to escape fire safely.
Development Engineer: Your application will be checked by our development engineer for hazards on the site, consent notices, resource consent conditions, soil conditions, geotechnical and storm water reports, storm water control design, public services and other site related issues.
Resource Consents Planner: A planner will check whether your application complies with the District Plan, whether you need to apply for a resource consent or that you are complying with the conditions of an existing resource consent.
If you're advised that you need to apply for a resource consent or you have a related resource consent that is not granted yet, a section 37 certificate will be attached to your building consent preventing you from starting work until a resource consent is obtained.
See When can building work commence? above for more details.
Suspending the Building Consent Application
Further information may be required. If this is the case, a notification will be sent to the Property Owner and/or Agent identifying what information is required. The Building Consent application will be suspended until information is received.
Suspension of the Building Consent application will stop the 20 working day clock. The clock will restart on the working day following receipt of all relevant information requested by Council.
Granting and Issuing the Building Consent
Once your application has been assessed and we are satisfied on reasonable grounds, under section 49 of the Building Act 2004, that your proposal complies with the Building Code, the application will be granted.
This means the Building Consent Authority is satisfied on reasonable grounds that the provisions of the building code would be met if the building work were properly completed in accordance with the plans and specifications that accompanied the application.
Once the Building Consent is granted and no further costs owing, the Building Consent will be issued and sent directly to the Property Owner or Authorised Agent via the Simpli Portal.
A building consent will lapse if work has not commenced within 12 months of the issue date, and Council is obliged to make a decision on issuing a Code Compliance Certificate at 24 months of the issue date. The Council will send a reminder letter to you prior to the end of the 12 and 24 month period.
If you are unable to start or complete the building work by these periods, you can apply in for an extension of time via.
The Building Consent, its conditions, and advice note
Once your Building Consent has been issued, please read the document’s content, especially the conditions and advisory notes.
Conditions are requirements imposed on your Building Consent, these are deemed necessary to ensure the compliance of the proposed building. The conditions are listed on the building consent and you must comply with these conditions. The following are allowable conditions under the Building Act 2004 and regulations:
- Section 67(2) RE: Waivers and modification
- Section 73 RE: Natural Hazards
- Section 75(2) RE: Building on 2 or more allotments
- Section 90 RE: Inspections by building consent authorities
NOTE: This can also include any third party certification that the building work complies with the plans and specifications, for example, Producer statements or memoranda.
- Section 113 (2) RE: buildings with specified intended lives
Advice or advisory notes may also be attached to the Building Consent. This information is provided to assist you. It is important that you read and understand all these requirements prior to commencing work. If you do not understand any requirement imposed, please contact your Building Officer.
The owner or their agent needs to book the inspections required by the Building Consent at the appropriate stages of the project and ensure that a Code Compliance Certificate (CCC) is applied for and obtained.
Complaints and appeal process
If you're unhappy with any aspect of our service you can lodge a complaint. You can also appeal any decision we have made to have it reviewed. You can make a complaint in person, however you must also provide it in writing. Complaints not made in writing or made anonymously will not be actioned. More information is available at Complaints and Appeal Process.
Complaints should be addressed to:
Rangitīkei District Council
Private Bag 1102
You'll need to provide us the following information:
- the date the incident occurred
- the nature of your complaint (guidance information, vetting, lodgement, inspection, notice to fix, code compliance certificate or compliance schedule)
- copies of any supporting information (if applicable) and
- the nature of your relationship with us (customer, regulator, or stakeholder).
We'll respond within three working days of receiving your complaint at which time you may be asked whether you wish to be heard in relation to the complaint or to provide further information. All complaints will be actioned within 10 working days of receipt of complaint, unless a request for further information is made.
If you are still unhappy or choose to use an alternative route to settle a matter of doubt or dispute, you may apply to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) for a Determination.
What happens if you wish to make changes to the issued Building Consent?
Changes can only be made prior to the issuing of the Code Compliance Certificate. Once the Code Compliance Certificate is issued, no variation or an amendment to the Building Consent can occur.
Code Compliance Certificate
What is a Code Compliance Certificate?
A code compliance certificate is a formal statement issued by us. The receipt of which means we are satisfied on reasonable grounds that the work complies with the approved building consent.
How to apply
An owner must apply for a code compliance certificate after all consented building work is completed.
Please note Council does not charge for a CCC application.
We require the code compliance certificate application to be submitted (and if applicable):
- records of work provided by licensed building practitioners (where restricted building work applies)
- electrical or gas certificates (called energy work certificates)
And you may also be required to provide (if applicable)
- producer statements
- any certificates relating to the installation, testing and maintenance of specified systems
- any other documentation requested at the time the building consent was issued or during the construction process.
Once received, the application and supporting documentation will be assessed by a building control officer for completeness. If any of the required documentation is missing, we will request further information and the application will be placed on hold.
How long does it take?
The Council has 20 working days to decide whether to issue the Code Compliance Certificate.
Having received an application for a CCC and it is found that not all the required information has been submitted with the application, the 20 day processing clock will be suspended. The applicant will be informed of the outstanding information still required.
When the outstanding information is received, the processing clock is re-started, and the processing of the application will continue.
Buildings that require a compliance schedule will also have this issued with the CCC.
The clock is re-started on the following working day the complete CCC application or complete request for information is received and the processing of the application will continue. Buildings that require a compliance schedule will also have this issued with the CCC.
The Council will issue the Code Compliance Certificate if it is satisfied:
- The building work complies with the granted Building Consent . We must be satisfied on reasonable grounds, under section 94 of the Building Act 2004, that the building work will comply with the approved building consent.
- Where a Compliance Schedule and Compliance Schedule Statement is required, the Specified System(s) in the building are capable of performing to the performance standards set out in the Building Consent
- The final inspection is completed and passed
- Any further costs incurred, have been paid in full.
NOTE: Any building work taken out since the enactment of “The Building Act 2004" will require the owner to apply for the Code Compliance Certificate within 2 years of the Building Consent being issued or prior to the expiry date of the approved extension of time.
What is an Electrical Certificate?
An Electrical Certificate confirms work was undertaken by a registered Electrician and meets the electrical compliance requirements.
A CCC is only issued for the building work done under the consent that has been granted.