Review of the building consent system

Last updated: 20 June 2023

Building system reform review consent system

MBIE is seeking feedback on possible options for improving the building consent system as a part of stage two review.

Background to the review

The Government has commenced a review of the building consent system, as part of the Building System Reforms. The reforms are a comprehensive approach to lifting the performance of the building regulatory system, ensuring building work is done right the first time and providing fairer outcomes if things go wrong. The reforms seek to make much-needed improvements to our building regulatory system so that building work can be done more efficiently and buildings are safe, healthy and durable.

The building consent system review is an end-to-end review from the building design phase through to the issuing of a code compliance certificate.

In July 2022, MBIE released an issues discussion document for public consultation along with a policy position statement on risk and liability.

Stage one: Issues discussion document

Public consultation took place from July to September 2022. A total of 264 submissions were received from a wide range of participants across the sector, including building consent authorities, building control officers and contractors, industry organisations, builders, engineers, architects, tradespeople and homeowners. Feedback from stakeholders confirmed that the building consent system is broadly resulting in buildings that are healthy, safe and durable, but there are opportunities to improve the system.

The issues discussion document and public consultation identified four key desirable outcomes that the building consent system should primarily seek to achieve:

  • responsibilities are clear, appropriate and understood
  • system is efficient
  • system is responsive to change and continuously improves
  • regulatory requirements and decisions are robust, predictable, transparent and understood.

A majority of submitters in the consultation agreed that these four outcomes are necessary to ensure the system provides high levels of assurance that buildings are healthy, safe and durable.

Summary of submissions -

Stage two: Options paper consultation

We're now seeking feedback as part of the second stage in the review of the building consent system. This consultation focusses on potential options to improve the building consent system.

The options paper seeks feedback in the following areas and where policy work is underway:

  • strengthening roles and responsibilities
  • new assurance pathways
  • better delivery of building consent services
  • better performance monitoring and system stewardship
  • better responding to the needs and aspirations of Māori.

The options paper also includes options to address the following recommendations from the Commerce Commission's market study into residential building supplies:

  • promoting competition in the building regulatory system
  • removing impediments to product substitution and variations.

Read the options discussion document -

We seek your feedback to test these potential options and understand how they could improve the building consent system to help you, your business and the building profession. You can choose to respond to any sections in the consultation - you do not have to complete all the sections. You can also suggest other options if you consider they will help achieve the outcomes sought.

This consultation will inform advice to Ministers on what options should be progressed as a priority and the detailed design of options the Government chooses to progress, as well as what options require further consideration and consultation.

Let's build a better consent system together -

Risk, liability and insurance

To support the building consent system review, MBIE has released the Risk, Liability and Insurance in the Building Sector policy position statement.

This provides background and context that clarifies the Government's position on risk, liability and insurance matters for the building and construction sector. MBIE is not consulting on the policy position statement.

Have your say

Take some time to review the options and issues important to you and provide feedback before 5pm on 21 August 2023, either by completing the online survey email or post. And let's build a better consent system — together.

Have your say on the building consent system review -

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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: