Rapid Building Assessment Placarding System

The rapid building assessment system includes 'placarding' buildings. Placards are sometimes referred to as stickers, signs or notices. MBIE uses the term placards.

Understanding Rapid Building Assessment Placards

Placards indicate whether or how a building may be used. There are three placard colours. When the Rapid Building Assessor makes a judgement on the usability of a building, they are required to outline this on the placard they choose to use. The different coloured placards let you know what the next step is:

Red placard

A red placard means entry is prohibited. Your building may pose a significant risk to public safety, health, and wellbeing. The risk could be from the building itself, from adjacent buildings or from land instability.

It does not necessarily mean the building will need to be demolished.

View the red placard [PDF 60KB]

Yellow placard

A yellow placard means that access to your building is restricted and cannot be used or that you cannot enter except under supervision for a limited time or on essential business. Part or all of the building may have sustained moderate damage, or some areas of the building, neighbouring buildings, or land instability pose a significant risk.

View the yellow placard [PDF 79KB]

White placard

A white placard means that your building can be occupied. It does not mean that the building is not damaged. Be on the lookout for damage and contact your landlord or rental manager if you rent your home.

View the white placard [PDF 61KB]

More information about the different placards

If your home or building is undamaged, but at risk of being damaged by another home or structure nearby, it will be assessed based on that risk.

It is important that you do not interfere, damage or remove the placard once it is installed or enter your home if you receive a yellow or red placard. If you interfere, this is an offence under the Building Act and penalties may apply.

Authorised officials may also put in place measures considered necessary to keep people at a safe distance or to protect homes and buildings. These might include cordons, barricades, and other measures to prevent or limit public access, or that will prevent the building or debris from harming people. It is important that you do not bypass or interfere with any such measures.

Translated placard information

Translated versions of this placard information is available below.

Te mārama ki ngā pānuitanga Aromatawai Whare Tere

Malamalama i laupepa Rapid Building Assessment

Mahino‘i ‘o e ngaahi papa faka‘ilonga ki hono Sivi‘i Vave ‘o e Falé (Rapid Building Assessment)


रैपिड बिल्डिंग असेसमेंट प्लैकार्ड्स (शीघ्र भवन-निर्माण मूल्यांकन घोषणापत्र) को समझना

ਰੈਪਿਡ ਬਿਲਡਿੰਗ ਅਸੈਸਮੈਂਟ ਤਖ਼ਤੀ ਨੂੰ ਸਮਝਣਾ

Offences and penalties

The Building Act sets out several offences and penalties for non-compliance of instructions in an area which has been designated.

All Building Act offences and penalties relating to these provisions are in sections 133BR to 133BU, and 133BW and 133BX of the Building Act, for example: it is an offence to intentionally occupy or use a building other than in accordance with a sign or notice placed under section 133BT of the Building Act 2004 or permit another person to do so. It is also an offence to damage, alter, remove, or interfere with a placard.

The penalties include the ability for fines to be imposed following conviction if a person intentionally fails to comply with the relevant provisions of the Building Act.

The responsible person will consider the appropriate compliance approach. Generally, the building control manager within the territorial authority would recommend to the responsible person the compliance approach to be taken.

Getting a placard officially removed or changed

To get a placard changed or removed, owners should in the first instance contact their local council/Territorial Authority as well as their insurer. You cannot remove or change a placard yourself.

The Territorial Authority should be able to tell the owner what steps will need to be taken to have a placard changed or removed, while the owner's insurer will be able to provide information regarding what professionals and inspections will need to be organised (eg geotechnical or structural engineers, licensed building practitioners).

A Territorial Authority will need evidence about the structural status of the building after any repair work recommended by the homeowner's insurer.

If a designation under the Building Act is in place, the ‘responsible person’ (who in most cases is the territorial authority) has the power to proactively direct a building owner to provide this evidence if needed to determine the risks posed by the building or whether to exercise any further building emergency management powers.

Once an owner has the required evidence, they should contact the territorial authority, who will reassess the placard status. In instances where there is widespread damage, a reassessment of a placard may take some time, although territorial authorities should prioritise the reassessment of red placards.

Changing/removing a Red Placard

When repairing a building issued with a red placard, it is important that any work is done in liaison with the homeowner's insurer, their local council and in conjunction with appropriate experts and professionals.

No one should enter the building unless authorised to do so. In order to begin the process of repair/remediation, the homeowner should first contact their insurer, who should arrange (or help to arrange) for more detailed engineering evaluations.

The homeowner will also need to work with their local council to arrange authorised access for an appropriate professional so they can assess the damage (eg geotechnical or structural engineer, builder, drainlayer or plumber).

The Territorial Authority will, if appropriate, issue authorisation to access the building. In some cases, access may be refused, for instance due to a high risk to life safety.

Detailed Damage Evaluation

In the case of a red placard, it is likely that a Detailed Damage Evaluation (DDE) will need to be undertaken. A DDE is usually performed by engineers who have been contracted by the insurer (although the homeowner can organise one themselves). A DDE may also be recommended for a yellow or white placard.

The engineer will provide advice on building usability and options to address any damage, eg repair or demolition.

A DDE should also describe what remedial actions are possible to be completed in order to recommend a change in placard status, including:

  • whether the homeowner needs to apply for building/resource consent, or discretionary exemption from the requirement for building consent, for remedial works required in order to request a placard change; or
  • whether to carry out other remedial works, for which consent is not required, that are required in order to request a placard change.

Owners may need to carry out urgent repairs during an emergency period when it is not possible to process building consent applications. These repairs often involve building work that in normal times would require a building consent. If there is urgent work that needs to be done, the homeowner should contact their insurer and Territorial Authority before proceeding.

Read more about urgent works

Changing/removing a yellow placard

The process for getting a yellow placard removed is essentially the same as for a red placard. The homeowner should work with the insurer and their local Territorial Authority to determine the repair work that is needed for the building to make it safe for occupancy, and to authorise access where it is restricted A DDE may be required or recommended by your insurer.

Changing/removing a white placard

Home and building owners need to leave white placards up until they are authorised to remove it, for example, the Territorial Authority advises you it can be removed, or if the placard has been issued with an expiry date and that date has passed.

Reassessment of placards following works

Once any appropriate work has been undertaken, the homeowner needs to contact their council to have their placard status reassessed. This is to determine if the risks have been sufficiently reduced for the placard colour to be changed.

A Territorial Authority may request evidence from a geotechnical or structural engineer before reassessing the placard. A reassessment of a property subject to a placard will examine the building post-repair against the risks noted in the original placard decision. It may be that a red placard is downgraded to a yellow, or a red placard removed altogether if the risks have been sufficiently reduced to a point where the building can be occupied. A home or building owner does not need to progress down the placard system from red, yellow to white. A placard colour is a reflection of the present risk.

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: