One of the main reasons for these changes was that existing fire safety clauses were not specific enough, making it difficult for Building Consent Authorities (BCAs) and Territorial Authorities (TAs) to determine the levels of performance building work should achieve to comply with the New Zealand Building Code. As a result, there were differences of interpretation between BCAs and TAs on the one hand and building consent applicants on the other.

The new fire protection framework has made this clearer. However, there is still some uncertainty about the type and extent of information required to determine the Building Code compliance of existing buildings’ means of escape from fire when new building work (such as additions and alterations) is proposed. There have also been some challenges applying Acceptable Solutions C/AS1 – C/AS7 and Verification Method C/VM2 to assess this.

Therefore MBIE, with industry support and input, has developed this additional guidance to apply to existing buildings.

Please note that this is a guide only. It does not replace the BCAs or TAs’ decision-making process and authority regarding building consents, including those required by the Building Act 2004.

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: