Why you need a building consent

Find out what a building consent is and when and why you might need one for your building project.

About building consents

A building consent is official Hutt City Council permission for a project that involves constructing, altering, demolishing or removing a building.

It makes sure that your project complies with the:

  • Building Act 2004 and the building regulations which incorporate the New Zealand Building Code
  • New Zealand Building Code – the performance standards for all building work, covering areas such as structural stability, fire safety, access, moisture control and durability.

Council will grant a building consent once we're satisfied on reasonable grounds that the proposed building work will comply with the building code if completed to the approved plans and specifications. The ‘reasonable grounds’ test is an objective one that takes in all the relevant circumstances.

The difference between resource and building consents

A resource consent isn't the same thing as a building consent.

Building consent

You need a building consent if you’re constructing, altering, demolishing or removing a building. Building work that requires building consent may include:

  • the construction of a new house
  • removal of load-bearing walls
  • construction of retaining walls over 1.5 metres high in non-rural zones and over 3 metres high in a rural zone
  • most swimming pools and all swimming pool fences
  • decking over 1.5 metres above ground level
  • solar panel installation
  • demolition or relocation work
  • most plumbing and drainage work
  • many types of additions or alterations
  • fences over 2.5 metres high.

Resource consent

You need a resource consent if you're doing something that affects the environment and the community. It focuses on the use of resources and their impact but doesn't look at how buildings and structures are constructed. If you're changing the overall form or character of an existing building you may need a resource consent.

A resource consent can relate to things like the type of activity (e.g. a house or new business), building heights,  appearance, building location and even noise.

Activities that require resource consent may include:

  • subdividing or developing land
  • earthworks
  • cutting down trees or vegetation
  • water use
  • disposal of contaminants into water, soil or air
  • using coastal areas
  • some retail, commercial or industrial activities.

Note: For some activities you may also need both.

For more information

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