Building consumer rights

Consumer protection

When it comes to building and renovating in Aotearoa/New Zealand, there are laws to protect you.

Consumer protection measures are aimed at safeguarding people involved in residential building and renovation projects.

It is essential that both you and your builder are aware of your rights and responsibilities to ensure a successful building or renovation experience.

Find out what you can do to help the project run smoothly and what to do if things don't go to plan.

Due diligence

Before starting your renovation or building project, do your research, become informed, decide and agree how you want to manage the project.

Pre-build and written contracts

Building projects do not run themselves. You need to hire competent building contractors, agree on price and payments and have a written contract.

During the build

Take control of your building or renovation project. Ensure there is a clear line of communication with the building contractor. When you are making decisions along the way, be clear as to whether those decisions will affect your contract and costs. Keep track of the effect of any changes.

After the build

Protect your investment by making sure you take all the necessary steps at the end of your building or renovation project.

Resolving problems

If you have concerns about the building project, raise them with the building contractor (or the key contact person) as soon as possible. Use the dispute resolution processes agreed to in your contract.


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: