How we assess your application for a building consent

Find out what happens after you've applied for a building consent.

What happens after you've applied for a building consent

When you lodge your application for a building consent, it will undergo a vetting process.  We will check your application form, the plans and accompanying required documents (e.g., specifications, certificate of work, producer statements etc.) to make sure that we have all the information that we need to process your application as quickly as possible.

If your application is incomplete or does not meet any application standards set by us from time to time, then the vetting officer may reject your application and it will be returned to you.  You will be invoiced for the time spent vetting your application.

If the vetting officer decides that your application is complete and meets the required standard, then your application will be accepted for processing.

Our statutory working day clock starts the next working day after the day that your application has been accepted. See more information on the statutory clock.

We will calculate the initial invoice fee and send you an invoice. Your application will continue to be assessed with the statutory clock running.

We will assess your application to make sure that it complies with the New Zealand Building Code, Building Act 2004 and associated Building Regulations. We may ask a specialist consultant to help with this assessment. For more information go to how the building code works.

If the proposed building work meets the requirements of the Building Act 2004, consent applications required to be referred to Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) will be sent to FENZ for comment.

We may contact you or your agent with questions during the assessment process. This may be by phone or email for minor matters, or a formal Request for Information (RFI) for more significant queries.  See information about the RFI process.

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 completed properly in accordance with the plans and specification that accompanied the application.

An element of the assessment process is a review of your application by a Council Planning Officer to determine if you are required to obtain a resource consent.  We will advise you if a resource consent is required and you should look here for the resource consent application process.  If you do require a resource consent, we recommend that you obtain professional assistance.

Your application for a building consent will continue to be assessed and may be granted and issued, even if a resource consent is required.  If a resource consent is required, your building consent will include a notification under section 37 of the Building Act 2004, which means no building work may begin until the resource consent is issued and the section 37 notification removed.

Any building work undertaken prior to the uplifting of a section 37 notification can be deemed to be illegal building work and could be subject to a Notice to Fix (including possible demolition of the building work) and an Infringement Notice which may include an Infringement Fee.

A building consent can be issued with certain condition certificates relating to:

  • modifications or waivers, which means modifications or waivers to the building code issued by the territorial authority
  • building inspections, which means that we will stipulate certain building inspection that must be undertaken by Council officers or an agent at various stages of the building process. Sometimes these building inspections may be required to be conducted by other professionals like structural engineers. Inspections of the work will be on site, or off site where the building work is being undertaken elsewhere, during working hours
  • natural hazards, which means that we will notify the relevant people about any natural hazards affecting the building site when we issue the building consent,
  • building over two or more allotments, which means that we will put a condition on the building consent that stops particular sections of land being sold or leased separately
  • limited life of the building, which means that we will put a condition on the building consent that requires you to alter, remove or demolish the building before the end of its specified intended life if it is less than 50 years

When we grant a building consent subject to a waiver or modification of the building code, we will note the waiver or modification as a condition of the building consent. Please note we cannot grant building code waivers or modifications regarding disabled facilities and access, gas fitting and prescribed electrical work.

A building consent authority is not required to issue a building consent until it receives the appropriate fees/charges and any levies payable.

If we approve and grant your application

If we approve and grant your application the statutory clock stops, and we will get in touch to let you know that the building consent has been granted. We will also tell you if there are any more fees to pay.

Once you’ve paid any required fees, we will issue your building consent and you can receive your consent documents either:

  • via Objective Build or
  • in person, by collecting them at the Council offices (at the discretion of the Building Team, a hard copy fee may apply for printing costs)

For more information about the content of a building consent, including any specific conditions that may be applicable, please go to the MBIE website.

If we refuse your application

We occasionally refuse applications for a building consent. This is usually because:

  • information that we’ve asked for hasn’t been supplied within a reasonable timeframe, or
  • there’s not enough detail to prove that the work will comply with the New Zealand Building Code.

If this is the case, we’ll write to you and explain why we’ve refused your application.


If you believe that our decision is wrong you can ask the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) for a determination. Determinations are legally binding decisions on disputes or questions about the rules that apply to buildings.

To find out more about determinations, go to the MBIE website. Check the ‘previous determinations’ on the website – some of them might be about situations like yours. A determination can be appealed to the District Court.

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