Backcountry huts

Simplified requirements for DOC's backcountry huts, due to their special character as basic, remote facilities.

Department of Conservation (DOC) backcountry huts, as defined in the Acceptable Solution, have simplified Building Code requirements due to their special character.

The simplified requirements mean DOC’s backcountry huts do not need:

  • smoke alarms
  • emergency lighting
  • access and sanitary facilities for wheelchair users
  • a drinkable water supply
  • artificial lighting.

DOC manages some 1100 backcountry huts in New Zealand. Their special character includes the unique experience they offer domestic and foreign visitors, emphasising self-reliance in a remote location and providing only basic facilities.

The Acceptable Solution references the DOC Hut Procurement Manual with amendments.

The Hut procurement manual for backcountry huts is available on the DOC website.

Record of amendments is a record of changes to the Acceptable Solutions, Verification Methods and handbooks.

Acceptable Solutions and Verification Methods

Current version

These are issued by MBIE to provide one way of complying with the Building Code and must be accepted by BCAs as demonstrating compliance with the related clauses of the Building Code. Using them is not mandatory.


Acceptable Solutions and Verification Methods (AS and VMs) were called compliance documents. Some still have the “compliance document” title but the AS or VMs they contain are valid and unaffected by the name change.

Previous versions

This information is published by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Chief Executive. It is a general guide only and, if used, does not relieve any person of the obligation to consider any matter to which the information relates according to the circumstances of the particular case. Expert advice may be required in specific circumstances. Where this information relates to assisting people: