Regulations 7(2)(b), (c) and (d)(i) – Receiving applications for building consents

Last updated: 10 April 2017

 

MBIE’s guidance on meeting the accreditation requirement

Regulation 7(2)(b),(c) and (d)(i) of the Building (Accreditation of Building Consent Authorities) Regulations 2006 (the Regulations) must be read in conjunction with regulations 5 and 6.

The policies and procedures required by regulation 7 must be written and/or electronic, and appropriate for purpose.

A Building Consent Authority (BCA) must ensure that the policies, procedures and system required by regulation 7 are consistently and effectively implemented. BCAs must ensure they record the decisions they make under regulation 7, including the reasons for the decisions, as well as the outcomes.

Checklist for regulations 7(2)(b), (c) and (d)(i) outlines the minimum criteria for compliance.

Regulations 7(2)(b), (c) and (d)(i) require a BCA to have policies, procedures and systems that meet the requirements detailed below, covering how it:

  • receives building consent applications
  • checks that all relevant information required by the Building Act 2004 (the Act) and associated regulations has been included
  • enters a complete application into its consent processing system.

Regulation 7(2)(b): receiving an application

A BCA must have a policy, procedure and system for receiving an application which ensures:

  • all relevant information required on the prescribed From 2 is completed by the applicant
  • memoranda (Form 2A) from LBPs are supplied if the application contains restricted building work.

Please note that receiving applications is not a technical job.

For the purposes of an accreditation assessment, a BCA will not be found to be non-compliant with regulation 7 or accreditation requirements where its application forms contain minor differences from the prescribed forms, as long as any form it uses has the same effect and captures all the relevant information outlined below.

Regulation 7(2)(c): checking an application

A BCA must have a policy, procedure and system for checking each building consent application received to ensure that all the relevant information required has been submitted by an applicant. This checking may be done at the time of receipt, or later.

An application is considered a complete application when it contains all the relevant information and complies with section 45 of the Act. A BCA’s policy, procedure and system for regulation 7(2)(b) and (c) must ensure that it records the date of receipt of a complete application.

The date of receipt of a complete application is the date the application was received; either by mail, at the counter or via e-lodgement. It is not the date that the application was checked or vetted, assessed, entered into the system or allocated for processing.

For the purposes of an accreditation assessment, and the counting of the ‘clock’, a BCA’s policy, procedure and system for receiving complete applications may provide that they are received by 2:00pm on a working day, and if not, they may carry over the date of receipt to the next working day.

The timeframe in which an application must be checked

The Act does not contain a statutory timeframe within which an application must be checked (to determine if it contains all the relevant information and complies with section 45 of the Act). However, the statutory timeframe in section 48 of the Act requires that a complete application must be processed within 20 working days of receipt. A BCA that takes too long to check an application, that is a complete application, will lose vital processing time.

A BCA’s policy, procedure and system for regulation 7(2)(c) must stipulate a timeframe in which an application will be checked and accepted for processing if a complete application, or otherwise returned or rejected. The BCA should meet its stipulated timeframe unless there is good reason. MBIE recommends that this timeframe is set at no greater than 48 hours (although this is not an accreditation requirement).

If an application is not a complete application, MBIE recommends returning or rejecting the application, rather than accepting it, allocating it for processing and requesting further information. A BCA does not have to process any application that does not contain the relevant information and does not comply with section 45 of the Act. It is not required to:

  • issue an RFI
  • provide detailed reasons for returning or rejecting the incomplete application.

Please note that checking applications is not a technical job.

Of note, section 46(3) of the Act requires a BCA to provide copies of certain applications to the New Zealand Fire Service Commission on receipt. However, it is not intended or required that a BCA provide a copy of an incomplete application that does not comply with section 45 of the Act and associated regulations. A BCA is only required to provide a copy of those applications that it accepts for processing.

Referrals to the New Zealand Fire Service Commission can be contained in the policy and procedure for regulation 7(2)(b), this regulation, or regulation 7(2)(d)(ii). In this regulatory guidance, the requirement is detailed under regulation 7(2)(d)(ii).

Regulation 7(2)(d)(i): entering an application into the system

To comply with the requirements of regulation 7(2)(d)(i), a BCA must have a policy, procedure and system that enables it to record a complete application in its building consent processing system and record:

  • the date it was received
  • any acknowledgement of the receipt and acceptance for processing of the application
  • the date/s upon which any acknowledgments were made.

A BCA’s policy, procedure and system for entering an application into its building consent processing system should usefully align with its system for giving each application its own uniquely identified file (required by regulation 16(1)).

Please note that entering applications into the building consent system is not a technical job.

The Building Act 2004 is available on the Legislation website.

Complete application definition can be found in the glossary.

New Zealand Gazette notice number 2012-go2694 contains information about the referral of applications to Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) (previously known as the New Zealand Fire Service Commission), and is available on the Gazette website.

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: