Build to the code

Last updated: 26 August 2020

exemptions build to the code

Even if your project doesn't need a building consent, it still must meet the Building Code as well as all other relevant legislation.

Starting a project that doesn't need consent?

If you want to start a building project that doesn't require a building consent, you should engage the right professional required or you can do it yourself if a professional is not required, provided you follow the MBIE guidance.

All exempt building work must meet the Building Code as well as other relevant legislation.

Ensuring your building work complies with the law

It is recommended that you understand the relevant Building Code requirements before carrying out any exempt building work. Understanding the Building Code usually requires experience working in the building and construction industry. Even if it's not legally required, if you are unsure whether your project work will comply with the building code, you will need advice from a professional.

You can find a professional by looking at these registers:

Find a Chartered Professional Engineer

Find a Licenced Building Practitioner

We have included links to resources that might help you ensure your exempt building work complies with the building code. The resources are categorised according to which part of the building code they refer to.

Ensuring building work complies with the law.

The basics of the building code

MBIE have recently released learning modules to help those who are new to the building code and carrying out work in the building and construction sector. Make sure you are familiar with these basics before starting your building project.

NZ Building Regulatory System Modules

Discretionary exemptions

If you think your building project is low risk and complies with the Building Code, but is not covered under exempt building work, you may be able to get a discretionary exemption through your local council. Speak to your local council in the first instance, or read more about discretionary exemptions on our website.

Your responsibilities

It is the building owner's responsibility to check whether a building consent is required. If the work that you are planning to carry out falls outside of the specified requirements, you will need to get a building consent. If you're not sure if you need consent - ask for advice from somebody with appropriate building knowledge and expertise.

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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: