Previous determinations

Determinations are made by MBIE on matters of doubt or dispute to do with building work. Rulings are legally binding, but only in relation to each case.

Previous determinations may provide some useful guidance for those faced with similar problems, but note that individual circumstances may vary.

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2019/070: Regarding the authority's decision to refuse to split a building consent for townhouses

This determination considers the authority's refusal to split a building consent, for building work to construct five townhouses that has already been completed, to allow one owner to pursue a code compliance certificate separately from the other owners.  The determination discusses the framework for considering an application to split a building consent issued under the Building Act 1991, and whether assessment for compliance occurs when the consent is split or when a code compliance certificate is applied for.

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2019/069: Regarding the need for a compliance schedule for a cable car servicing a residential dwelling

Note: This determination is subject to appeal.

This determination considers whether the owner of a cable car built in 2000 (servicing the owner’s house) was required to obtain a compliance schedule for the cable car, given there was no such requirement when the cable car was built. The determination also considers how to interpret the requirement for the compliance schedule to include performance standards for the cable car. 

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2019/068: Regarding the issue of an earthquake-prone building notice for a multi-unit, multi-storey apartment building

This determination considers the issue of an earthquake-prone building notice for a six storey reinforced concrete residential building.  The determination considers the process the authority followed in issuing the notice, and process as prescribed in the legislation and the earthquake-prone building methodology.

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2019/067: The decision to grant a building consent subject to notification under section 73 for a site adjacent to a coastal estuary

This determination considers whether land adjacent a coastal estuary is subject to a natural hazard; the hazard being inundation by rising sea level and by surface water flooding.  The applicants have built a house on the land under a building consent issued with section 73 condition.  The house has been specifically designed to mitigate the potential effects of any flooding on the building and the land.

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2019/066: The refusal to issue a code compliance certificate in respect of two sides of an above-ground pool acting as the pool barrier

This determination considers the authority’s purported refusal to issue a code compliance certificate for two sides of an above-ground pool acting as the pool barrier, which were not constructed in accordance with the building consent.  The determination discusses the compliance of the pool walls as a pool barrier with Clause F4 Safety from falling as the relevant Building Code clause at the time the building consent was issued.

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2019/065: The refusal to grant a building consent for District Court buildings due to the disputed importance levels

This determination considers the authority’s purported refusal to grant a building consent for seismic strengthening work because the authority did not agree with the importance level classification proposed by the structural engineer. The determination discusses whether the subject building should be classified as Importance Level 2 or Importance Level 3 as set out in AS/NZS 1170.0.  This standard is referenced by Verification Method B1/VM1, which is a means of compliance with Building Code Clause B1 Structure. 

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2019/064: Regarding a proposed notice to fix and whether work carried out is building work

This determination considers the authority’s proposal to issue a notice to fix for work that the authority considers constitutes building work that required building consent.  The issue concerns an abode that has been constructed using a trailer and that the owner contends is a vehicle and not a building.  The matter turns on whether the work carried out was work for or in connection with the construction of a building.

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2019/063: Regarding the compliance of a paved path and retaining wall without a safety from falling barrier with Clause F4 Safety from falling

This determination considers the compliance of a paved path and retaining wall without a safety from falling barrier with Building Code Clause F4 Safety from falling.  The determination discusses the measurement of the height of fall.

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2019/062: Regarding the means of escape from fire from a new dwelling located behind an existing dwelling

This determination concerns a new dwelling constructed at the rear of a site with an existing dwelling, and compliance of the new dwelling in relation to movement to a place of safety in the event of a fire.  The matter at issue is whether the escape route to a safe place for the occupants of the rear dwelling required a protected path past the existing dwelling.

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2019/061: Regarding the compliance of a surface water drainage connection

This determination considers whether a surface water drain complies with Building Code Clause E1 Surface water: the drain collects water from a roof and is connected to a kerb sump and not directly to a surface water drain.  The authority considers the connection to the sump was contrary to the means of compliance stated in the building consent, being the Acceptable Solution for Clause E1, and that approval should be sought for the work as a minor variation to the consent.

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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: