Building consent exemptions tool

Buildit bud

This online tool allows homeowners to answer a few questions about an upcoming project to see if it needs a building consent, or if it could qualify as exempt building work.

Introduction to the tool

Since the new suite of building consent exemptions launched back in August 2020, we’ve been busy creating an online education tool for homeowners.

We understand that determining what work needs a building consent and what doesn't can be tricky at times. By answering a few questions, the building consent exemptions tool can let you know whether your next project may be exempt from needing a building consent, and pulls together your next steps to read over before beginning construction.

Use this online tool at

How to use the tool

Find your project

Type in a project you're looking to work on, and the search bar will bring up all relevant search results. Choose one that's your best match. Alternatively, you can browse the full list of projects manually.

Answer some questions

Once a building project is chosen, there will be a few questions for you to answer about your project – at the end, this online tool will let you know whether you need to apply for building consent or whether your project may not need one.

Read through your next steps

Even if your project may not need a building consent, there are still some further steps you need to follow. This online tool lays these next steps out, and recommends what to read and who to talk to before any work begins.

Save your results page for future use

You might find it helpful to save this information, especially if you will be talking to professionals or your local council.

Which building projects are in the tool?

We’ve launched the tool with the most common homeowner focused exemptions and plan to further develop the tool and add more of the exemptions over time. The list of projects that this online tool can assist you with are:

  • Alteration to entrance or internal doorways
  • Awnings
  • Carports
  • Closing in existing veranda or patios
  • Decks
  • Fences
  • Garages
  • General repair, maintenance and replacement of building parts
  • Ground moisture barriers
  • Internal linings and finishes
  • Internal walls and doors
  • Pergolas
  • Permanent outdoor fireplace and ovens
  • Plumbing
  • Pole sheds or Hay barns
  • Pools
  • Porches
  • Private Playground equipment
  • Removal of building elements
  • Retaining walls
  • Sheds
  • Sleep Outs
  • Solar Panel Arrays
  • Tanks
  • Thermal insulations
  • Verandas
  • Windows and doorways

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: