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Applying for a Building Consent

Applying for a Building Consent

Applying for a Building Consent

The process of applying for a building consent depends on the nature of the work you are planning. You can access the fees and charges page here

NOTE: Building or design work that relates to either the structure (load-bearing walls, foundations etc) or moisture penetration (roof, cladding etc) of homes including small-to-medium sized apartments is classified as ‘Restricted Building Work’. This work can only be carried out by competent, appropriately licensed building practitioners.

Note 1: The actual fee payable includes the cost of time taken to process each application, project information memorandum, building consent or compliance schedule and the cost of the inspections required.

Note 2: Extra charges will be applicable for development levies. These will be assessed on a case by case basis. Please contact Council for exact costs.

Note 3: Building Research Association and MBIE levies are additional to the above at the rates specified from time to time by the Association.

Note 4: Pursuant to Building Research Association Legislation, materials, labour and plant costs must be included in the total value of building work for the calculation of levies.

Note 5: The accreditation fee is to cover continuing Central Government accreditation costs relating to the Building Act 2004.

Note 6: All building consent, building consent amendment, code compliance certificate, certificate of acceptance and certificate for public use fees are charged on an actual and reasonable cost recovery basis as per the fees and charges below. Fees are payable prior to the grant/issue of the applicable consent/certificate.


Step 1 (Optional) – Project Information Memorandum (PIM)

A Project Information Memorandum (PIM) is a Council report which provides information about land and the requirements of legislation that might be relevant to proposed building work.

You can choose to apply for this before lodging a Building Consent application so that you can anticipate any potential issues, or you can apply at the same time as you lodge your building consent.

A PIM is not mandatory but for larger projects such as new houses, large alterations and new commercial or industrial buildings, you will find a PIM very useful during the feasibility and design stage of the project.

A PIM covers:

The PIM either confirms that, subject to the requirements of the Building Consent and all other necessary authorisations being obtained, you will be able to carry out the building work, or it gives you notification that building work may not be undertaken.

Apply for a PIM

To apply for a PIM, you must complete a Building Consent application form, BUT it is important that you specify that you want a PIM ONLY.

Submit the completed application form, accompanied by one set of plans and specifications for the proposed work and the required fee, to the Council Office, Ruataniwha Street, Waipawa.

Council has 10 days to request additional information and must issue the PIM within 10 days of receiving this information.


Step 2 – Prepare and submit your building consent application

Applicants must complete an official Building Consent application form – You can click on the links below.

Building consent application

 Building Consent Application - Important Information

 Building Consent Application - Checklist

The form is to be completed by the property owner or their authorised agent, e.g. architect, engineer, draughtsman or builder.

A Lodgement Banking Deposit Slip is available here

Detail of plans and supporting material is required.

For more information on what is required, please refer to the Guide to applying for a Building Consent

For building consent applications where there is no reticulated wastewater system and requires onsite disposal, please complete the Onsite Wastewater form available here.

Alterations to existing building

Changes made to an existing building, such as (but not limited to) increasing or decreasing the floor area, making or closing an opening, erecting or demolishing a wall etc.

The building consent can only be granted where the building consent authority/territorial authority (in this case Central Hawke's Bay District Council) is satisfied that the building will:

  • Comply as nearly as is reasonably practicable with the Building Code provisions for means of escape from fire, and access and facilities for people with disabilities (if required)
  • Continue to comply with other provisions of the Building Code to at least the same extent as before the alteration

Building consent authorities are allowed to grant a Building Consent for the alteration of an existing building.

The Building Act clarifies that if part of a building is altered, upgrade provisions are triggered for the whole building.


Change of Use

A change of use occurs when both:

  • The use of a building or part of a building changes from one use to another as defined in the Building (Specified Systems, Change the Use, and Earthquake-prone Buildings) Regulations 2005 (the Regulations), (for example an industrial business use to a shop or restaurant; or creating sleeping uses in a building or parts of buildings where none existed before)
  • The new use has more onerous or additional Building Code requirements than the old use

You cannot make the proposed change until Council gives the owner written confirmation that the requirements of the Building Act have been complied with.

The requirements will vary, depending on whether the change of use means that household units/sleeping areas will be incorporated in the building. If this is the case, Council will need to be satisfied that the building's new use will comply with the Building Code as near as reasonably practicable (also known as ANARP).

If this is not the case, the building will have to comply with Building Code requirements around accessibility and escape for fire. Often a building consent will be required if any work is needed as a result of the change.


Multiproof consents

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment provides a multi-proof service for standardised building designs that are intended to be built several times. If your building design is Multiproof certified, you can build the design several times within one district or nationwide, subject to any approval conditions, without needing to have the whole design assessed by the BCA each time you apply for a Building Consent.

For more information see: Building Performance/MultiProof


Building on Land Subject to Natural Hazards

If your land is subject to or likely to be subject to one or more natural hazards then the Building Consent Authority is required to register a weather notice against the property.

Under Section 71 to 73 of the Building Act, natural hazard means

  • Erosion (including 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

Procedure for Granting a Building Consent subject to Section 72 of the Building Act 2004

The applicant will be made aware that the application is being considered under Section 72 and that the hazard will be registered against their title. They may also be required to apply for a waiver to part of E1.3.2.

The owner’s confirmation is required to recognise the potential implications this may have on their insurance and any future sales. The owner has the opportunity then to withdraw their application.

There will be a fee for notification to LINZ regarding a Natural Hazard.


Building with specified intended lives

Most buildings have an indefinite life exceeding 50 years unless a specific intended life is specified.

Where a building is proposed to have a specified intended life the Building Consent will be issued subject to the condition that the building must be altered, demolished or removed before the end of its specified intended life.


Extension of specified life of a building

An owner of a building must give written notice to Council if it proposes extending the life of a building that has a specified intended life.


Step 3 – Reviewing your application

It is compulsory for Building Consent applications to go through a pre-lodgement assessment process. Pre-lodgements can be booked by calling 06 857 7731

It involves a review of your consent documentation against a standardised checklist.

If there is information missing from your application it will be documented in an email and the application returned to you.  Please re-submit your application when you have completed all requirements in the request.

It is important to remember that this is only an initial check to ensure you have provided all the necessary information. A full examination and technical assessment of the application supplied is completed by a Building Officer after the consent has been accepted and lodged.


Standard of documents

Building work which requires a Licensed Building Practitioner (LBP) will need to be documented by the LBP.

Documentation for building work must be of the standard detailed in the Guide to applying for building consent


Producer Statements

Producer statements can be used to reduce Council’s input into specific aspects of design reviews or construction monitoring work.

Council may accept/require a Producer Statement from a suitably qualified expert as evidence that their design or building work complies or will comply with the New Zealand Building Code. The content of the statements must be project-specific.


Step 4 - Lodging Your Application

Send your application to If you wish to make an appointment to discuss your application in person, please contact Council on 06 857 7731 to make an appointment with a building officer to lodge your application.

Amendments - can I change the plans?

You are able to make minor changes to your plans at any stage of the application process. They will have to be checked for legislative compliance, which may slow the processing of your application.

New projects cannot be added to your consent application once it is submitted. They will require a separate consent.

Any changes to a consent that has already been granted will require an amendment application. This will cost extra.


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