Question 1: When did the minor variation provisions of the Act commence?
Answer:From 1 February 2010.
Question 2: Do BCAs need to change their existing systems and processes for approving building consent amendments (ie amendments that are not minor variations)?
Answer: No, the BCA should be able to continue to use their existing systems and processes for approving changes that require an amendment to the building consent.
Question 3: Do BCAs need to introduce a new process for assessing and granting minor variations?
Answer: This will depend on the current situation in each BCA. Depending on what processes were in place before, BCAs might be able to use or modify existing processes. For example, applications for amendments to building consents need to be made in the prescribed form, whereas applications for minor variations do not. Conversely, amendments to building consents must be issued in the prescribed form, whereas the granting of a minor variation merely needs to be recorded in writing.
Question 4: When is it appropriate for a BCA to refuse a minor variation that meets the definition of minor variation?
Answer: Where the proposed minor variation would not comply with the Building Code.
Question 5: What should a BCA do where they refuse a minor variation that does not comply with the Building Code?
Answer: The BCA must record the reasons for their decision to refuse the minor variation as it will be a refusal under section 50 of the Act. They must also inform the applicant in writing of the refusal.
For further information, guidance and advice on minor variations and other Building Act requirements, contact our Determinations and Assurance team.