Apply and inspect

Application process at a glance

Applying for a building consent is an essential step in a building project that requires approval.

The process map provides information to help you plan your building project, get consent, build to the consent and legally complete your project

Building.govt.nz process map(external link)

If you want to apply for a building consent follow steps 1-7 below

If you need to book an inspection or apply for your Code Compliance Certificate follow steps 8-10

Application steps

Step-by-Step guide of how to prepare a high quality application for the building consent process.

This guide is essential reading for our customers planning a building project or applying for consent - Check if you need consents (external link) and how to make a good application(external link)

Consentium provides an Online service only to the application journey. You will need to be an existing Kāinga Ora customer to be able to apply via our portal.

A link to the Simpli Portal is provided during the Pre-application meeting.

The Purpose of the pre-application meeting is to guide you in your building consent journey.

Consentium requires all its Kāinga Ora customers to book a pre-application meeting if your project meets the following criteria:

  • new subdivisions of greater than 20 units so that an understanding of process is achieved
  • buildings that do not meet acceptable solution design for the majority of its design
  • building with complex engineering
  • building over 3 stories
  • modular design
  • innovative cladding solutions
  • critical site specific conditions
  • will be available to designers who request it to talk through any issue they have including staged building consents. 

You can request a meeting through your Development Manager - Construction and Innovation team at 60% stage or when commencing the detailed design. Ideally, you should have the following information available at the pre-application meeting:

  • Project Information Memorandum (PIM)
  • Vehicle crossing application
  • An Engineering Plan Approval application - if applicable
  • Any Resource Consent applications and current status - including subdivision or any natural hazards identified
  • Any utilities i.e. Auckland Transport, Water Services etc
  • If project requires building over two allotments - provide certificate or any other relevant information

Note: High quality information at the pre-application meeting may expedite the lodgement of your application

Guide to building consent process

If your application includes a specified system, you need to include a list of any and all specified systems in the building and provide their inspection, maintenance and reporting requirements.

These systems ensure a building is safe and healthy for people to enter, occupy or use. The compliance schedule for a building must identify which specified systems are present, the performance standards for those systems, and who is required to inspect, maintain, and report that those systems continue to function as installed.

Acceptance and management of professional (expert) opinions (Producer statements)

It may be appropriate to engage a suitably qualified and experienced professional or expert to assist in preparing your building consent application.

Experts can help by providing evidence to support your application in demonstrating compliance with the building code. They can also be used in the assessment of alternative solutions.

Supporting evidence may take many forms including:

  • Tests, verification methods or other standards
  • Appraisals of products or systems
  • Reports, including calculations and modelling
  • Peer reviews
  • Comparison with similar products and systems
  • Comparison with generic products and systems that are compliant with acceptable solutions
  • Producer statements and other forms of certificate (IQP/LBP certificates for example)
  • Case studies, of products and systems in use

Learn how to support your building consent application(external link)

Learn how to apply for a building consent(external link)

In the guidelines for online building consent process, Consentium will have provided you with a link to lodge your application online. Contact us on 0800 222 056 for more information.

If an application does not meet the requirements of Section 45 of the Building Act 2004, the building consent officer will send a request for further information. In these cases, the applicant has 48 hours to respond.  If a response is not received within this time, the application will be rejected.

Building Consent process flowchart [PDF, 84 KB]

High level application assessment

Detailed assessment for building code compliance undertaken by the Consent processor and other specialists to ensure the assessment of the application complies with legislative and building code requirements.

Timeframe

The Consentium has 20 working days (10 working days for MultiProof(external link) applications) from the date the complete application is received for processing, to decide whether to grant, or refuse to grant, the building consent. (Note: when "complete application is received”, the processing clock starts).

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(external link) (see page 1406).

Requests for further information(external link)

If there are any questions or concerns regarding compliance with the Building Act or Building Code, the building consent officer may contact the agent / applicant by phone in the first instance. If the requested information is not received by the end of the day, a request for information is sent and the statutory clock stopped.

Once all requested information has been received, the clock is restarted on the date of when the completed information was receipt.

What if further information is not supplied in a reasonable time-frame?
  • After 15 working days the customer is notified (letter and phone call)
  • After another 5 working days the customer is notified (letter and phone call)

If after 5 working days of the second notification (a total of 25 working days), information has not been received that satisfactorily resolves the request for information, the building consent is then refused.

Note: this timeframe maybe extended where the applicant notifies Consentium in writing of any circumstances that may prevent the information being provided in a timely manner.

Consentium may refuse to issue a building consent

If Consentium is not satisfied during the processing of the building consent application the consent may be 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
  • at the request of the agent/owner

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

Section 49: A building consent authority must grant a building consent if it 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 specification that accompanied the application. The building consent may be granted conditional to the building work being inspected.

Understanding the building consent process(external link)

Consent conditions

Consentium can only issue the below consent conditions (Building Act 2004)(external link) as a Building Consent Authority.

Section 90: Inspections by building consent authorities, agents (staff and contractors) authorised by the Building Consent Authority are entitled at all times during normal working hours or while building work is being done, to inspect the building work and ensure the provisions endorsed on the building consent are being carried out.

Section 75: Construction of building on two or more lots, as a condition of granting this consent, the specified allotments must not be transferred or leased except in conjunction with any specified other or others of those allotments.

The below conditions can only be issued by a Building Consent Authority that is also a Territorial Authority.

  • Section 67: Waiver and modification condition, the building work to which this application relates has been approved subject to a waiver or modification of the NZ Building Code.
  • Section 73: Construction of building on land subject to natural hazards following natural hazard (s):
    • Erosion (include coastal erosion, bank erosion, and sheet erosion)
    • Falling debris (including soil, rock, snow, and ice)
    • Subsidence
    • Inundation (including flooding, overland flow, storm surge, tidal effects, and ponding)
    • Slippage
  • Section 113: Buildings with specified intended lives, the building must be altered, removed or demolished on or before the end of years from the date of issue of this consent (being the specified intended life of the building).

For new dwellings, additions and commercial consents, processing, inspections and Code Compliance Certificate fees is based on internal charges. Other fees and levies payable to Territorial Authority for MBIE levies and BRANZ levies 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).

The following levies are applicable:

a) Building Research Association of New Zealand (BRANZ) levy assessed at $1.00 per $1,000. This levy is applicable where the value of the building project exceeds $20,000 in total inclusive of GST.

b) Building Order (DBH) levy assessed at $2.01 per $1,000. This levy is applicable where the value of the building project exceeds $20,444 in total inclusive of GST.

Note: you must pay any development contribution owing before Consentium can issue your Code Compliance Certificate. Proof of payment is required.

The method of levy payment for consents, inspections and Code Compliance Certificate

Consentium will pay the relevant TA the required building levy on behalf of the applicant when the consent is granted. A purchase order is generated in order for the levy to be paid and the TA will goods receipt the invoice which will automatically trigger payment to the TA within 2 working days.

Book an inspection or apply for Code Compliance Certificate

Once a consent has been issued, work must begin within 12 months or your consent will lapse. You must adhere to approved building plans (including any RMA requirements). Inspections are required throughout the construction process in order to secure the final Code Compliance Certificate.

Refer to the description of inspection types [PDF, 149 KB]

You should plan to complete your project within 24 months - building to the consent(external link)

Inspection types are identified during the processing stage and listed as part of the building consent documentation which contains a description of the inspection types and the description of the building work is to be assessed for each of the standard inspection type.

All inspection request are to be booked through the Inspections Administration and this is done either by telephone (0800 222 056) or by submitting the booking inspection form.

A pre-construction meeting is required on-site including information and personnel that are required to be available on-site, with access provided for all inspection officers, and covering the process of booking an inspection.

During construction, you will need to arrange for Consentium building inspectors to inspect the work that has been done to make sure it complies with the consented building consent. Inspection observations will be recorded on the on-site inspection report. If the inspection involves restricted building work, the licensed building practitioner carrying out the work will need to produce their photo ID licence card.

Building work may be inspected for each standard inspection type when a technical decision on what is required in order to establish reasonable grounds has been made when delivering the inspection.

Non-standard inspections will be identified through the pre-construction meeting required for all projects. These may include (but are not limited to), site specific considerations, extent of ANARP, minor variation, documentation and process for CCC, methodology of inspections and the scope of work etc. The outcomes from the meeting are recorded as a site meeting inspection and a copy is also sent to the customer.

To deliver a non-standard inspection will be dealt with on a case by case basis during the inspection process and may be carried out by the Consentium or by relevant specialists who are then required to provide appropriate documentation. These non-standard inspections are recorded as part of a site meeting record.

If the work has been completed in accordance with the consented documents the inspector will sign it off and work can continue.

Refer to the process for inspection and completion of project [PDF, 141 KB]

What happens if the work is non-compliant?

Areas of non-compliance will be detailed on the on-site inspection report. Re-inspection may be required if the building officer is not satisfied that the work meets the requirements of the building consent and/or the Building Code.

Where issues are of a more serious nature it is possible a Site-Notice or Notice to Fix may be issued, requiring any building work not done in accordance with the Building Code to be corrected. Officers may also instruct that building work cease in the area affected by the non-compliance until satisfied work is able to proceed in compliance with Building Act requirements. Failure to act promptly can result in an infringement fine or prosecution.

Work unaffected by the non-compliant work may continue but this needs to be established with the building officer on site.

Amendments to building consent

Any changes to a consent that has already been granted will require an amendment application - read the amendments guidance(external link)

Note: You are required to apply for an amendment the same as you would an application for a building consent.

Minor variations

A minor variation is a minor modification, addition, or variation to a building consent that does not deviate significantly from the plans and specifications to which the consent relates. To find out more on the definition, assessment and granting of minor variations to building consents, see Minor Variation Guidance(external link).

How to make an application for a minor variation

If the consent has been issued and no inspections have yet taken place, an application for minor variation with supporting documents can be submitted through the (Minor Variation) e-mail which will then be assigned to a processor to review. If approved or if further clarification is needed, the processor will contact the applicant via phone or email.

Once inspections have commenced for the project, the minor variation application must be presented to the inspector on site during an inspection. In the case of a minor variation that may require greater consideration, a site meeting with the inspector should be booked to allow sufficient time to review. If the minor variation is approved, 1 copy is to remain on-site with all records.

The applicant is required to fill out the minor variation form [PDF, 186 KB] in both the above cases.

Typical council inspections of a building project(external link)

THE DEFINITION OF CCC

A code compliance certificate is a formal statement issued under section 95 of the Building Act 2004, if it is satisfied on reasonable grounds that the building work complies with the building consent.

WHEN TO APPLY FOR CCC

You will need to apply to Consentium for sign-off as soon as you believe your building work is completed or practical after:

  • completing the building work, as described in the building consent
  • completing any approved amendments or variations
  • any records of work from licensed building practitioners who carried out any restricted building work.

A code compliance certificate gives you and future owners an assurance that the building work was done to the appropriate standards, making it safe, healthy and durable.

If you haven't applied for a code compliance certificate within two years of being granted building consent, Consentium will contact you to find out how you are progressing. They may decide to inspect the site and can issue a notice to fix if any of the work does not comply with the building consent. The information below outlines the application process and provides guidance on outstanding code compliance certificates. 

Consentium provides an Online service only to the Code Compliance Certificate journey. If you have applied for a Subdivision or registration of conditions (Section 78-80), you must pay any development contribution owing or it will delay the issuing of your Code Compliance Certificate.

Link to online Consentium portal will be provided during the Pre-Construction Meeting.

Ensure all relevant information required on the prescribed Form 6 is completed by the owner or their agent and where required the following information has been provided;

  • certificates that relate to the energy work
  • evidence showing the specified systems are capable of performing to the performance standards identified on the issue building consent
  • any records of work from licensed building practitioners who carried out any restricted building work

The receipt of the complete CCC application triggers the start of the 20 working day statutory time-frame for issuing a CCC under BA04 Section 93.  An acknowledgement of receipt of a CCC application is received from the Simpli portal upon submission.

If the CCC application does not provide all the information, the building officer may contact the agent / applicant by phone in the first instance or Consentium may choose to accept the application and make a decision under section 94 of the Act. If the requested information is not received by the end of the day, a request for information is sent and the statutory clock stopped.

Once all requested information has been received, the clock is restarted on the date of when the completed information was receipt.

What if further information is not supplied in a reasonable time-frame?

  • After 15 working days the customer is notified (letter and phone call)
  • After another 5 working days the customer is notified (letter and phone call)

If after 5 working days of the second notification (a total of 25 working days), information has not been received that satisfactorily resolves the request for information, the CCC application is then refused.

Notes

  • This timeframe maybe extended where the applicant notifies Consentium in writing of any circumstances that may prevent the information being provided in a timely manner.
  • Compliance Schedule is included only if specified systems has been identified as per Section 100-107 BA04.

Read the Code compliance certificate application process(external link)

Additional sources of information

Further information can be obtained form the following websites:

Page updated: 10 November 2021