Tiny houses

Find out if you need a consent to build a tiny house and how to get one if you do need one.

About tiny houses

As the name suggests, a tiny house is a small house. As the property market gets harder to enter, many people are considering building tiny houses.

Tiny houses:

  • come in various sizes and shapes because they are usually custom built
  • can be moveable, or they can be constructed for a particular site
  • can include vehicles such as buses or caravans that are occupied on a permanent basis
  • are often seen as the affordable answer to increasing house prices.

New tiny house guidance has been developed around what rules apply and what requirements to consider before building a tiny house.

No legislative or regulatory changes have been made regarding tiny houses. This guidance has been created to help people understand the current requirements for tiny houses.

MBIE has developed this guidance in consultation with a tiny house stakeholder group to support a consistent approach to issuing building consents for tiny houses across each region of New Zealand.

MBIE's Tiny House Guidance

A tiny house can be considered a building, a vehicle, or both. You might need a building consent to build a tiny house, even if it has wheels.

If you want to connect a tiny house to services like water and sewer pipes, you  need building consent.

Apply for building consent online

Under the Resource Management Act (RMA) and Council’s District Plan, a tiny house is treated like any other building. If it has cooking and bathroom facilities, it would be considered as an additional dwelling on the site.

A tiny house could be a permitted activity, depending on the site chosen to locate it and where on the site it will be located.

Tiny House information sheet

Contact us before you get started

Because tiny houses are custom made, you should contact us to talk about your project.

  • Call us on 04 570 6666 and ask to speak to our Duty Planner or Building Officer.
  • You can also visit our consents counter at 30 Laings Road. You don't need to make an appointment.