New tiny house guidance released

Posted: 1 November 2021

Tiny homes v2
New tiny house guidance has been developed around what rules apply and what requirements to consider before building a tiny house.

Tiny houses need to be safe, healthy and durable for their intended use. As building regulator, MBIE aims to ensure that all building work in New Zealand meets these requirements.

This guidance seeks to clarify any ambiguity on which rules apply to which tiny houses, particularly for tiny houses on wheels. Tiny houses on wheels will often be vehicles (eg motor homes) but will also be buildings if they are ‘immovable’ and ‘occupied by people on a permanent or long term basis’.

This guidance provides detail on these definitions along with considerations to help determine if a tiny house is a building or a vehicle, or both a building and a vehicle, and which relevant laws they need to comply with.

No legislative or regulatory changes have been made regarding tiny houses. This guidance has been created to help people understand the current requirements for tiny houses.

MBIE has developed this guidance in consultation with a tiny house stakeholder group to support a consistent approach to issuing building consents for tiny houses across each region of New Zealand.

Tiny House Guidance for the Building Act 2004


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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: