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

MBIE has historical versions of the code clause documents which can be located under 'Previous Versions' and 'Version History'. Alternatively if you cannot find the document you are looking for, you can send an email with the year and code clause you are after to


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

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