What is building consent?

A building consent is a formal document allowing building work to be completed. It is confirmation that a building consent authority is satisfied on reasonable grounds that the proposed building work, once completed in accordance with that building consent (and approved plans and specifications), will comply with the Building Code. Building Consent requirements are set by central government and are intended to ensure that buildings are safe, healthy and durable.

It is granted and issued under the Building Act 2004 (“the Act”). The purpose of the Act is to ensure buildings are safe, sanitary, have attributes that contribute to health and physical independence, have suitable means of escape from fire and are designed to be able to be used in ways that promote sustainable development.

When is building consent required

Buildings cannot be constructed, altered, demolished, or removed without building consent. However under section 41 of the Act, building consent is not required in certain cases such as:

  • Any building work described in Schedule 1 of the Act for which a building consent is not required.
  • Urgent work for the purpose of saving or protecting life or health or preventing serious damage to property, where obtaining a building consent prior is impracticable. If you believe your situation meets the test for urgent works please contact us so we can advise you on practicalities and other requirements.
  • Energy work (gas fitting or prescribed electrical work) does not require a building consent unless the energy work relates to any specified system that is contained in, or proposed to be contained in, any building.

Do I require a building consent?

Check if you need a building consent and see if your planned work is exempt: building work consent not required. If your proposed work is not exempt then you will need to apply for a building consent.

Use the BUILDIT tool to see if you require building consent

If you’re not sure phone us on (04) 5272169 or email buildingadmin@uhcc.govt.nz to book a pre-lodgement appointment and bring your application documents and plans with you. 

For commercial building work, we recommend booking in for a pre-lodgement meeting.