Building work that does not require a building consent


Homeowners doing DIY on a house

About these documents

  • Published on 1 March 2014
  • Updated on 1 July 2019
  • Of interest to Building owners, Building consent authorities, Builders, Designers
  • ISBN: 978-0-478-41705-0 (Online)

Version control

This guidance is a ‘living document’. We will monitor the information it contains and make changes as required. You can subscribe to receive any updates to this document through Building Controls Updates (you will receive updates to other reference documents and guidance as well).

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VersionWhat has changedDateActioned by
1 Building work that does not require a building consent  March 2014  MBIE
2 Clause 18 'Carports'  June 2016  MBIE 
3 Clause 21A 'Means of restricting access to small heated pools' inserted; rewording to clauses 21 and 23; Clause 20 'Retaining walls' – figures A, B and C removed and replaced with photos; four definitions added to glossary  August 2017  MBIE 
4 Clause 13A 'Ground moisture barriers' inserted July 2019  MBIE 


This is a guide to building work which does not require a building consent under the Building Act 2004 (the Building Act). It concentrates on the list of exemptions contained in Schedule 1 of the Building Act.

This guide is mainly for building owners and practitioners who are planning to carry out or provide advice on any building work. It will also be of interest to regional and territorial authorities, who can use their discretion under Schedule 1 exemption 2 to exempt any building work from requiring a building consent.

Download the whole document as a PDF [6.1 MB] or read each section below.


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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: