Applications for project information memoranda (PIMs)

Last updated: 15 March 2016

Information about the requirements and provisions for building officials who are processing and issuing an application for a PIM.

A project information memorandum (PIM) provides information about land and about the requirements of other Acts that might be relevant to proposed building work. A territorial authority issues a PIM following an application by the owner.

There are some important requirements to be aware of:

  • The PIM must be issued within 20 working days of receiving an application.
  • A PIM can be reissued where a territorial authority considers that an error or omission has occurred within the original processing timeframe.
  • A PIM must notify the requirement to obtain an evacuation scheme under the Fire Service Act 1975, where necessary.
  • A PIM must include a statement that the New Zealand Historic Places Trust has been notified (where applicable).
  • A territorial authority may attach a development contribution notice to a PIM.
  • A certificate noting Resource Management Act requirements must be attached to the PIM.

Requirements for PIM content include:

  • heritage status and special features (for example, natural hazards)
  • relevant information from other Acts that has been notified to the territorial authority
  • stormwater and wastewater utility systems
  • details relevant to a network utility operator (for example, vehicle access).
Location in Building Act 2004 Description
Part 2 - Building
Subpart 3 - Building work Project information memeoranda and building consents
Sections 31 - 39

Application for a PIM

When the application should be made

An owner can apply to a territorial authority for a PIM at any time if they are considering carrying out building work where a building consent is required.

Who the application should be made to

An application for a PIM must be made to a territorial authority for the district in which the proposed building work is to be located.

What the application must include

This application must be on Form 2 from the Building (Forms) Regulations 2004. It must include generic information as well as the following: 

  • details of the location of building work
  • description of building work
  • details of any change of use (if applicable) 
  • estimated value of building work
  • previous consents issued for the project (if applicable)  
  • subdivision details.
The Building Act 2004 requires this form to be accompanied by:
  • an application charge fixed by the territorial authority
  • any information the territorial authority reasonably requires in relation to authorisations or requirements in respect of:
    • the intended use of the proposed building
    • the location and external dimensions of the proposed building
    • provisions to be made for vehicle access in buildings over or adjacent to any road or public place, and for disposing of stormwater and wastewater
    • precautions to be taken if building work is carried out over any existing drains or sewers or in close proximity to wells or water mains
  • any other information the territorial authority requires in respect of proposed connections to public utilities from the proposed building work.

Processing a PIM application

Processing time

The territorial authority must issue the PIM within 20 working days of receiving the application.

The territorial authority can request further information from the applicant within 10 working days of receiving the application and suspend the application until it receives the information.

Requests can be made for further information in relation to authorisations or requirements (intended use, location and dimensions, vehicle access and roading, stormwater and wastewater disposal, proximity to drains etc) and about proposed connections to public utilities.

The PIM must be issued within 10 working days after the information is received.

If a request for further information is made within the first 10 days after receiving the application, the total consideration time for the territorial authority will be reduced from the 20 days.

Matters for consideration

The territorial authority must advise the New Zealand Historic Places Trust within five days (not five working days) of receiving a PIM application that affects a registered historic place, historic area, waahi tapu or waahi tapu area. This only applies where a PIM has not previously been issued for the building work.


It will be to the territorial authority’s advantage to process the PIM application within the first 10 working days as requirements for further information can be identified early, and requests made within the 10-day period.

Issuing a PIM

Who can issue

Only a territorial authority for the district in which the proposed building work is to be situated can issue a PIM. Once a building consent authority has received a PIM from a territorial authority, it must provide a copy to the owner.

When to issue

The PIM must be issued within 20 working days from the date of receiving the application, or within 10 days after any further information has been received.


The PIM must include all the information likely to be relevant to the proposed building work, including:

  • information identifying each special feature of the land concerned (if any)
  • information that, in terms of any other Act, has been notified to the territorial authority by a statutory authority
  • details of existing stormwater or wastewater utility systems on, or adjacent to, the site of the proposed building work or that relate to the proposed building work
  • details of any authorisation (including requirements to be met and conditions) in respect of the proposed building work that the territorial authority, on its own behalf and on behalf of any network utility operator, is authorised to refuse or require under any other Act
  • either confirmation that the building work may be carried out subject to the requirements of a building consent and subject also to all other necessary authorisations being obtained, or notification that building work may not be carried out because any necessary authorisation has been refused, despite the issue of any building consent
  • if the PIM relates to the construction of a building on land composed of two or more allotments, the statement referred to in section 75(2) of the Building Act.

Plus, where applicable:

  • information regarding the heritage status of the building
  • a statement, if the building is of historic nature, that the New Zealand Historic Places Trust will be (or has been) notified
  • if the territorial authority considers that the owner of the building is likely to be required to make provision for an evacuation scheme under section 21A of the Fire Service Act 1975, a statement to that effect
  • attach a notice under section 36 advising that a development contribution under the Local Government Act 2002 will need to be paid before a code compliance certificate can be issued
  • a certificate under section 37 stating that building work may not proceed until a resource consent has been obtained, or may only proceed to the extent stated in the certificate.

A certificate (Form 4) must be attached to the issued PIM.

Matters for consideration

In some cases, a PIM for a building site might already exist (for example, where multiple units are to be constructed).

If the territorial authority considers the existing PIM contains an error or omission, or the territorial authority receives any information that affects the existing PIM, the territorial authority may reissue a PIM within the periods outlined in section 34(4) of the Building Act.

If the territorial authority has an agreement with a network utility operator to act as their agent (section 35(1)(d)), any relevant information must be disclosed.

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: