The Building Act was amended in July 2009 to provide for minor variations to building consents.
Section 45A of the Act enables a council to grant a minor variation prior to or during construction without having to go through the formal process of issuing an amendment to the building consent. However, the council must record the granting of the minor variation in writing.
Section 402(1)(kd) of the Building Act has enabled the making of regulations defining the minor variations that may be made to a building consent for the purposes of section 45A. These regulations titled the ‘Building (Minor Variations) Regulations 2009’ came into effect on 1 February 2010.
The reasons for amending the Act to allow for minor variations were to:
- formalise a number of pragmatic and efficient practices already being operated by some BCAs to deal with minor changes during construction
- improve national consistency in BCA practices
- enable BCAs to lawfully distinguish between minor and other more significant changes to building consents and treat them differently
- provide time and cost savings for building owners, builders, BCAs and others when dealing with minor changes to building work for which a consent has already been granted.