When a building consent is required
Most building work requires a building consent. Schedule 1 of the Building Act 2004 will clarify whether a project requires a building consent. The Building Work That Does Not Require A Building Consent book provides useful information.
The work, however, must always comply with the New Zealand Building Code.
Before you start
Before you start the building project and are unsure if a consent is required, ask a builder or designer.
Building consents must be obtained before the work can start.
Working without a consent
If a building consent is required but is not obtained, the person doing the work eg builder and the property owner is in breach of the Building Act.
The consequences can be serious - the work could be demolished or proof may be required to demonstrate the building is safe by applying for a Certificate of Acceptance.
A Notice to Fix may be issued and, in the most serious of cases, prosecution may follow.
Can I obtain a retrospective building consent?
Building consents cannot be issued after the project has started.
Homeowners are finding out more and more that a previous owner has carried out building work without building consent and this usually comes to light when the property is put on the market.
Should you discover this please contact Council at firstname.lastname@example.org as it may be possible for Council to issue a Certificate of Acceptance.
Need more information?
Refer to the Building Consent Application Guidance book for more information.