Key messages for building consent applicants

  • As far as possible, finalise the details of what you want to build before applying for a building consent. If you or your client changes their mind after the building consent has been approved, allow for additional costs and some time delays.
  • Factor amendments into your contingency planning and budgeting -particularly if you are considering an alteration or renovation. It is often difficult at the planning and initial design stage to predict all the factors about an existing building that will affect the new building work.
  • Consider applying for a project information memorandum well before applying for a building consent. This can give you information about the site which might influence your planning and design and provide you with early notification of other required approvals (for example, resource consents, Historic Places Trust approvals etc).
  • Discuss the project with your builder/designer/owner before submitting the application for a building consent. For example, the builder may prefer to work with factory-manufactured trusses rather than constructing them as the designer has detailed in the consent documents.
  • The building consent application, and any subsequent amendments that may be necessary, must contain sufficient detail to give the building consent authority 'reasonable grounds' on which to make its decision. The designer (and/or builder) must demonstrate compliance.
  • If the building consent authority asks you to apply for an amendment to the building consent using its application form, submit your application as soon as possible to avoid delaying the building work. Work on the affected area often can't start, or continue, until the building consent authority has made its decision on the amendment application.
  • Even if you don't need to submit an amendment application, you will still need to provide all the as-built information the building consent authority asks for. This ensures the consent file held by the building consent authority remains up to date and enables the code compliance certificate to be fully considered and issued quickly at the end.

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: