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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2020/024: Regarding the grant of a building consent for alterations to a building

This determination considers whether alterations to a multi-level building on land subject to a natural hazard (flooding) are 'major alterations' in terms of section 71 of the Building Act. The authority was of the view that the alterations are major and granted building consent subject to a condition requiring notification on the property titles under section 73 of the Act. The determination discusses the relevant factors in assessing whether building work constitutes major alterations.

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2020/023: The refusal to issue a code compliance certificate for building work

This determination considers the authority's decision to refuse to issue a code compliance certificate for a new dwelling because it was not satisfied that the completed work complied with the Building Code. The compliance decision rested on the authority's view it was unable to accept producer statements from an engineer who had inspected the completed work; the statements are in respect of the verification of the ground bearing and the completion of a surface water soakage trench.

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2020/022: Regarding the compliance of the foundations to a new dwelling with Building Code Clause B1 with respect to the protection of other property

This determination considers the stability of an existing slope after a dwelling was built along the top edge of the slope. The application for determination was sought by an owner of a property down-hill of the slope who considered the slope was unstable because the house had been built on fill material.

The determination considers whether the foundations to the dwelling comply with Clause B1 Structure with respect to the provisions that apply to the protection of other property.

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2020/021: Regarding the refusal to issue a code compliance certificate for the replacement of waterproofing membranes and tiles to concrete decks

This determination considers whether the changes to a decking system to an existing building in a retirement village constitute a minor variation to the building consent issued for remedial work to the building. The determination considers whether the as-built decking system is compliant and examines the variation against the guidance issued by the Ministry on minor variations.

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2020/020: Regarding the decision not to extend the deadline for completing seismic work for an earthquake-prone building

This determination considers the decision of an authority to issue an earthquake-prone building notice for a building under the current provisions of the Act, but in doing so maintaining the deadline date by which the notice was to be complied with as described in the old notice issued under the former Act. The owners of the building had applied to have the deadline date extended which the authority had declined.

The determination considers whether the authority was correct to refuse the extension taking account of the transitional provisions of the Act and how the Act identifies and manages earthquake-prone buildings

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2020/019: Regarding the authority's decision to issue a notice to fix for an agricultural effluent storage pond

This determination considers the authority's decision to issue a notice to fix for an agricultural effluent storage pond to the current owner. The determination discusses the relationship of the previous owner and the current owner, and whether the current owner is a specified person for the purposes of section 163 and 164 of the Building Act.

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2020/018: Regarding the compliance of a pool barrier and whether the authority was correct to grant an exemption for its construction

This determination considers the authority's decision to grant a discretionary exemption from the requirement to obtain building consent for the construction of a section of pool barrier. The determination also considers the compliance of the new section of pool barrier with Clause F9 of the Building Code (Means of restricting access to residential pools).

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2020/017: Regarding the issue of a notice to fix in respect of the use of a trailer and timber wall

This determination considers whether the authority was correct to issue a notice to fix in circumstances where the placement of a trailer near a timber wall might enable a young child to gain access to the neighbour's pool. The matter turns on the interpretation of section 116B(1)(a) of the Building Act, which provides that it is an offence to use a building for a use for which that building is not safe.

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2020/016: Regarding the authority's issuing of a code compliance certificate in respect of the mechanical ventilation system to a restaurant kitchen

This determination considers the authority's decision to issue a code compliance certificate in respect of a mechanical ventilation system for the fitout of a restaurant; the extract from the restaurant's kitchen exits the building via existing exhaust ductwork, and other building occupants consider the kitchen’s exhaust discharge to be a nuisance.

The determination considers the compliance of the kitchen ventilation system as designed and as built, and the compliance of the existing exhaust ductwork and discharge point.

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2020/015: Regarding the refusal to issue a code compliance certificate for building work on a relocated house

This determination considers the authority's refusal to issue a code compliance certificate due to building work to strengthen the existing roof of the house. The determination considers the as-built compliance of the building with Building Code Clause B1 Structure.

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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: