Consent process

Who can apply to Consentium

Consentium’s scope of work is limited to ‘buildings that will be owned and retained by Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities’.  Our customers are:

  • Kāinga Ora Construction and Innovation Group and its design and build partners
  • Kāinga Ora maintenance teams and maintenance partners
  • Approved developers where Kāinga Ora has entered a sale and purchase agreement for the property.

The consent process

A building consent confirms that proposed building work complies with the Building Code. A building consent authority will 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 completed in accordance with the approved plans and specifications.

Steps 1-7 outline the building consent process

Steps 8-11 cover the process for inspections and Code Compliance Certification (CCC)

Your plans and specifications need to show how you intend to construct, alter, demolish or remove a building. Before lodging a building consent application with Consentium, you will need to request a PIM from the relevant council and may require other approvals. For example, a resource consent, three water or build over approvals or approval to build over two or more allotments. The PIM must be attached to your building consent documentation, so it is important to get started early. 

Ensuring you understand what information is required to support your building consent application and getting prepared early will enable a faster consenting service to be provided.

For further information, refer to the ‘Before you apply’ section or request a pre-application meeting and Consentium can help you identify the approvals required.

Consentium requires all customers to book a pre-application meeting the first time a building consent is lodged with Consentium. After the first project, a pre-application meeting is required if a project meets the following criteria:

  • new subdivisions of greater than 20 units
  • buildings that do not meet acceptable solution design for the majority of the design
  • buildings with complex engineering
  • buildings over 3 stories
  • modular designs
  • innovative cladding solutions
  • critical site specific conditions (refer to natural hazards(external link))
  • any variations to multiproof

Pre-application meetings are also available on request whenever there is a need to discuss any potential issues or complexities, excluding staged building consents.

A pre-application meeting will help ensure your building consent process runs smoothly.  The specific details of your project will be discussed, including the best consent strategy for more complex projects.

Access to the Consentium Simpli Portal is provided to new customers at the first pre-application meeting.

To book a pre-application meeting

Pre-application meetings for Kāinga Ora-led projects are requested via the relevant Kāinga Ora Development Manager / Project Manager.

For acquisition projects (where Kāinga Ora has agreed to purchase the property from a developer), you can request a meeting by completing the ‘Pre-application meeting request form’.

Pre-application meeting request form [PDF, 354 KB]

Pre-application meetings are usually held once the design work is at the 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 (for example, three waters or build overs) application - if applicable
  • Any project specifics such as specified systems, alternative fire solutions,  modular design or innovative building solutions
  • Any resource consent applications and current status, including subdivision
  • Any reports addressing natural hazards and mitigation, including geotech or inundation reports where applicable
  • Any other utility requirements e.g. transport
  • If project requires building over two allotments - provide approval certificate or any other relevant information.

Providing good quality information at the pre-application meeting may expedite the lodgement of your application and ensure an efficient consent process.

Ensuring that your building consent documentation and forms are complete, clear and easy to navigate, with pre-approvals provided, will enable a faster consenting service to be provided. It also avoids potential confusion and delays during construction.

To ensure plans and specifications are as clear as possible, Consentium recommends one building consent per typology. One building consent application can be submitted for two typologies, if the same cladding is used and is limited to 1-2 storey construction.

Please do not submit a building consent that includes both residential and commercial build types.

Building consent documentation should include:

  • Application form – It is important the form is complete, provides a clear description of the project and includes the Kāinga Ora Oracle Project Code (OPC). The OPC should be included in the field that says 'Who should invoices be made out to'.
  • Plans – Civil; Architectural including mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) services; and Structural drawing sets
  • Specifications – Architectural; Structural; and MEP services specifications
  • Supporting documentation (PIM, engineering plan / other council approvals, reports, product technical information, etc).

For further information refer to:

Plans and specifications

The larger and more complex the project, the more detailed plans need to be.  However, even small projects require a good level of detail.  It is important that:

  • the information provided is project-specific
  • the specification structure is logical and easily navigated
  • specification content is kept separate. For example:
    • tender, contract and project management
    • technical matters
    • proposed product and material selections.

For additional guidance refer to:

Supporting documentation

Your building consent submission must provide evidence that your work can meet the performance-based requirement of the Building Code. Experts can help ensure a high quality application by providing evidence that  demonstrates compliance with the Building Code. Experts can also be used to assess alternative solutions.

Supporting evidence may include:

  • 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

For more information refer to:

Specified systems

If your application includes a specified system, you need to include a list in the application form of all specified systems in the building and their performance, inspection, maintenance and reporting standards, including the manufacturer’s technical information and plans indicating the location of such systems from suitably qualified people (for example, emergency lighting from a lighting specialist).

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.

For more information on specified systems and compliance schedule refer to the Specified systems and compliance schedules - Building Performance(external link)

How to avoid requests for further information (RFIs)

If the building consent officer is not satisfied that the consent documentation provided complies with the Building Code or other requirements of the Act, a Request for further information’ (RFI) is sent to the applicant (refer to Step 5).

To minimise RFIs and ensure a faster consent service:

  • As a general rule, submit one building consent per typology. One building consent can be used for two typologies if the same cladding is used and is limited to 1-2 storey construction.
  • Ensure your application clearly describes how the performance based requirements of the Building Code will be met.
  • Ensure your building consent application includes all relevant information and that forms have been completed correctly. Your documentation should be easy to read and navigate and demonstrate clear alignment between any specialists involved.
  • A complete coordination is carried with all specialist (structural, Architectural, Fire etc) to ensure the documentation is aligned
  • Undertake a quality assurance check before lodging your application.

If an RFI is raised it should refer you to the specific Building Code performance requirement that has not been met.  If you are unclear about the information required, please contact the processing officer to seek clarification.

When responding to the RFI, please ensure you have identified where the information has been revised and how compliance with the Building Code is achieved (i.e. acceptable solution or alternative solution).  If an Alternative solution is used it is important to provide clear justification.

All building consent applications should be submitted to Consentium via Simpli.  All customers need to be invited to use Simpli before making their first application. Please contact bcaconsentprocessing@consentium.co.nz or phone 0800 222 056 if you require access or support with using Simpli.

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.

Remember to attach the PIM along with your building consent application.

Building Consent process flowchart [PDF, 451 KB]

Once your application has been accepted, a detailed assessment for building code compliance is undertaken by the consent processor to ensure the application complies with legislative and building code requirements.

Timeframe

Under the Building Act, a Building Consent Authority has 20 working days (10 working days for MultiProof (external link) applications) from the date the complete application is received to decide whether to grant, or refuse to grant, the building consent. The processing clock starts when the application is deemed complete and accepted.

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

If there are any questions regarding compliance with the Building Act or Building Code, the building consent officer will send a request for information(external link) via Simpli  and the processing clock will be stopped. The clock is restarted once all requested information has been received.

Consentium will send a reminder after 15 working days and 20 working days if there has not been a response to the RFI.  If there are still outstanding RFIs after 25 working days the consent may be refused.

Please ensure you contact the processing officer to discuss the RFI if you require clarification or there are any issues impacting your ability to respond. Timeframes may be extended where the applicant notifies Consentium in writing of any circumstances that may prevent the information being provided in a timely manner.

Under section 49 of the Building Act, 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.

If Consentium is not satisfied during the processing of the building consent application the consent may be refused.  The reasons for 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

If the consent is refused, a letter explaining the reason the consent was refused will be sent to the applicant.

Consent conditions

As a Building Consent Authority that is not a territorial authority, Consentium can only issue consent conditions under section 75 and 90 of the Building Act 2004.(external link)

  • 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.

Consentium cannot issue consent conditions under sections 67, 73 and 113 of the Building Act as this work is outside of Consentium’s scope.  These conditions only apply to a BCA that is also a Territorial Authority (council). They are:

  • 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).

Once a building consent is granted, if changes are required you will need to apply for a minor variation or an amendment depending on the nature of the change (see Step 9 for more information).

Fees for processing building consents for Kāinga Ora construction and maintenance teams and their partners are managed through internal charging processes.

Fees for processing building consents for approved developers (Kāinga Ora acquisitions) will be invoiced when the building consent is granted. The building consent will not be issued until payment has been received.

Consentium collects the following levies on behalf of MBIE and BRANZ:

  • 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.
  • Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) 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.

After collecting the levies, Consentium will pay the BRANZ levy directly to BRANZ and pay the MBIE levy to the relevant council on behalf of the applicant when the consent is granted. The council passes the levy payment on to MBIE.

Once a building consent has been issued, work must begin within 12 months. If you are not able to commence work within 12 months, you will need to contact Consentium at bcaconsentmanagement@consentium.co.nz to apply for an extension of time or the building consent will lapse. If your consent lapses, you will need to apply for a new building consent if you intend to continue with the project.

A pre-construction meeting is required for each development.  This is booked as an inspection ‘Pre-construction meeting’ and enables any project specific matters to be discussed and agreed early.

Inspections are required throughout the construction process in order to ensure the building work adheres to the approved building plans (including any RMA requirements).  All consent documentation must remain on site at all times.

All inspections are required to pass in order to secure the final CCC.  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 are listed as part of the building consent documentation.  The building consent will include a description of the inspection types [PDF, 159 KB] required for your project.

Inspections are booked through Consentium’s Administration team. Please complete the book an inspection form (preferred) or phone 0800 222 056.

Consentium aims to provide a 24 hour turnaround in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch and 48 hours across the rest of New Zealand, so please book when you are ready for the inspection and do not block book in advance.

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 approved 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, where a technical decision will be made on whether the work complies with the requirements of the Building Code and the approved building consent.

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 (as near as reasonably practical), minor variation, documentation and process for CCC, methodology of inspections and the scope of work etc.

Delivery of a non-standard inspection will be dealt with on a case by case basis during the inspection process and may be carried out by 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.

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 the building officer is 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 to be submitted via Simpli – Refer to Step 4 above and read the amendments guidance(external link)

An amendment application follows the same process as applying 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 approved plans and specifications. To find out more on the definition, assessment and granting of minor variations to building consents, see Minor Variation Guidance(external link).

If the consent has been issued and no inspections have yet taken place, an application for minor variation with supporting documents can be submitted to bcaconsentprocessing@consentium.co.nz. A processing officer will contact the applicant when the minor variation is approved or if further clarification is needed.

Once inspections have commenced for the project, the minor variation application, and supporting information, 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, one copy is to remain on-site with all records.

The applicant is required to fill out the minor variation form in both the above cases.

Apply for a minor variation [PDF, 270 KB]

A CCC is a formal statement issued under section 95 of the Building Act 2004, if the Building Consent Authority is satisfied on reasonable grounds that the completed building work complies with the building consent.  It provides assurance that the building work was completed to the appropriate standards, making it safe, healthy and durable.

When to apply for CCC

You will need to apply to Consentium for sign-off as soon as practical after:

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

If you have not applied for a CCC within two years of being granted building consent, Consentium will contact you to find out how the building work is progressing and may arrange to inspect the site.  

You will need to submit a CCC application online through Simpli. Access to the Simpli portal can be requested by emailing bcaconsentprocessing@consentium.co.nz.

To ensure an efficient process, all relevant information on the prescribed Form 6 should be provided, as well as:

  • certificates that relate to the energy work
  • any records of work from licensed building practitioners who carried out any restricted building work
  • evidence showing the specified systems are capable of performing to the performance standards identified on the issue building consent (if applicable)
  • any other project-specific information, for example, producer statements, surveyor certificates, etc as listed on your building consent or requested by Consentium during the construction process.

Timeframes

Consentium has 20 working days from the date a complete application is received to decide whether to issue a CCC (under section 93 of the Building Act 2004).  The Simpli portal will generate an acknowledgement of receipt once the application has been accepted. The processing clock will start on the date the completed information is received.

All information supplied with a CCC application will be reviewed by a CCC Processor. If additional information is required, a request for information (RFI) will be sent via the Simpli portal and the application will be placed on hold until the requested information is received. The processing clock will be stopped. 

Consentium will send a reminder after 15 working days and again after 20 working days if the requested information has not been provided.  If information has not been received that satisfactorily resolves the request for information after 25 working days, the CCC application may be refused.

When the requested information has been supplied in full and accepted, the application will be taken off hold and the processing clock restarted from the date the complete information was supplied.

Notes

  • Timeframes may be extended where the applicant notifies Consentium in writing of any circumstances that may prevent the information being provided in a timely manner.
  • If the building contains any specified systems, a Compliance Schedule will be required under Section 100-107 of the Building Act 2004. This will be identified during the building consent processing stage.
  • You will need to provide complete completion certificates for three water connections from the relevant council, where applicable. 
  • Documents relating to a CCC application can be uploaded to Simpli throughout construction. A walk-through of CCC documentation can be undertaken by the building inspector at the final inspection. 

Read the Code compliance certificate application process(external link)

Inspection fees and fees for processing CCC applications for Kāinga Ora-led projects are managed through internal charging processes.

Fees for inspections and processing CCC applications for approved developers (Kāinga Ora acquisitions) will be invoiced when the CCC is ready to be issued. The CCC will not be issued until payment has been received.

Note: Any development contribution payment owing to the relevant Territorial Authority must be paid before Consentium can issue your CCC. Proof of payment is required and should be supplied with the CCC application.

Additional sources of information

Further information can be obtained from the following websites:

Page updated: 29 September 2022