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Build to the consent

Last updated: 21 March 2016

You can start building once you have your building consent, any other required consents or approvals and have agreed contracts with your building professionals.

You will need to:

  • tell council your start date
  • build to the consent
  • keep records of work and energy work certificates
  • meet special requirements if it's a public building.

If you're unable to start within the year, you need to make arrangements with your council before the year is up so you can still use your building consent. If you don't make alternative arrangements with them, you will have to re-apply.

You also need to ensure your building team works to the requirements of your building consent, and complies with the inspection process explained in your consent. It's the building owner's responsibility to ensure inspections happen on time.

From the date your building consent is issued, you have two years to apply for council sign off (code compliance certificate). If you don't apply, your council should contact you to find out what stage your project is at.

Typical council inspections of a building project has more information.

The council can issue a notice to fix if:

  • unfinished work does not comply with the building consent (at any stage of the build)
  • the finished building does not comply with the building consent
  • you didn't organise an inspection and the council can't inspect an aspect of the build.

You could also be fined if you or your builder fails to do the work required by the notice to fix.

Acting on a council notice to fix

A building consent is granted on the basis of specific plans, drawings and specifications that determine what you must build. If you want to change any details, key materials or products you need to talk to your council.

The council will tell you what is required to change your building consent. Depending on the significance of the change, you might need to make a variation to the plans or you might need to make a formal amendment.

Making changes to your plans

Record of building work

If some or all of your project involves restricted building work, it must be carried out or supervised by a licensed building practitioner. They need to give the building owner a completed record of building work when they are finished. The record of building work needs to be included with the code compliance certificate application.

Identifying restricted building work

Energy work certificates

A registered electrician or gasfitter must carry out most gas and electrical work. They will give you an energy work certificate once they complete the work. Keep these with your other project documents and include them with your code compliance certificate application. You may also need to produce it during inspections.

Energy work certificates

Public buildings and access

There are safety measures you need to know about if you are working on premises intended for public use (for example, a hospital).

Public access during a build

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: