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Applying for an Exemption

Applying for an Exemption

Applying for an Exemption

One of the rules in Schedule 1, Part 1, s.2, allows Council to exempt any work at its own discretion.

A review of this type of exemption is based on Council’s assessment of any risks that may come with building work not being carried out in accordance with the Building Code, including that of endangering people or property.

This generally includes low risk projects such as farm buildings, marquees and tents.


Farm buildings

Council has a general exemption policy to allow the construction of a farm building in the rural environment provided it meets criteria listed in the Farm Building Exemption application form.


Exemption application

In order to apply for an exemption under Schedule 1, Part 1, s2 you will need to complete the following application form, provide details/drawings that show the extent of the proposed exempt work and pay the non-refundable fee.

Download the application form for exemption under schedule 1, Part 1, s2.

If Council is satisfied that your proposal is covered within Schedule 1, Part 1, s.2 you will receive written confirmation of this and the information will be added to the property file.

If Council is not satisfied then you will need to apply for a Building Consent to before carrying out the work.


Exemptions from a Building Consent & Record of Exemption

The Building Act 2004 has a list of building work that does not require a building consent like patios at ground level, small sheds, low decks, maintenance on your house etc. These rules are set by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE). This information is contained in Schedule One of the Building Act.

You are likely to need a building consent for any structural building work, new plumbing and drainage, retaining walls over 1.5m, fences over 2.5m, swimming pools greater than 35,000 litres, decks more than one metre above ground level and sheds over 10 square metres. You'll also need one before installing a woodburner or a commercial aircon system.

Even if you don’t need a building consent all works must be completed in accordance with the Building Code i.e. Section 17 of the Building Act 2004 states that all building work must comply with the Building Code to the extent required by the Act, whether or not a building consent is required in respect of that building work.

Independent legal or technical advice should be sought to establish whether proposed building work is exempt. Professionally prepared plans of completed exempt work, complete with a covering letter including a list of contractors, should be submitted to Council to update the property file. This report, if deemed acceptable will be lodged on the file.

If you think your building work is exempt from Building Consent (Refer Schedule 1 above), please complete form with a plan showing your proposed building work.

We will assess the request and if accepted, the documents will be placed on your property file for future reference.

MBIE's Building Performance website has information on building work that does not require a building consent here. They have also launched an online education tool for homeowners called Buildit. Buildit allows homeowners to answer a few questions about an upcoming project and see if it needs a building consent, or if it could qualify as exempt building work. See the buildit tool here

How Buildit works

To use the Buildit tool, follow these three easy steps:

1. Find your project

Type in a project and choose the closest match.

2. Answer the questions

Make sure all questions are answered about the project.

3. Read through your next steps

Based on the answers submitted, the Buildit tool will determine whether the project needs a building consent, or if it may be exempt, and will give you a set of next steps to read through. These could include:

  • Any additional rules and restrictions for the project.
  • Links to the full project guidance on MBIE’s Building Performance website.
  • How to comply with the Building Code.
  • How to contact your local council to ensure your work complies with the District Plan.
  • Useful rules and legislation to read through.

Professionals you can contact if you need any further guidance.

Building Consent Exemption Documents

You can download an exemption for Building Consent here

or fill in the form below:


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