39. Signs

Large hospital sign

Building work related to signs doesn't require a building consent if the design has been carried out or reviewed by a chartered professional engineer.

What the law says

Schedule 1 of the Building Act 2004 states the following: 

Building work in connection with any sign (whether freestanding or attached to a structure), and any structural support of the sign.

Guidance on the exemption

Unlike exemption 25 which also relates to signs, this exemption places no restriction on size or height above the supporting ground as long as the design of the sign, including mounting and any foundation details, has been carried out or reviewed by a chartered professional engineer.

Signs on heritage or character buildings, or in urban areas

If you are proposing to put signs on heritage or character buildings or in urban areas, it is important to check with the local council first. There may be restrictions in the council’s district plan (made under the Resource Management Act 1991) on the type of signs you can construct without first having to obtain a resource consent.

Example where this exemption could apply

Any sign designed by a chartered professional engineer.

Example where building consent is required

Installing a 20 square metre sign that has not been designed or reviewed by a chartered professional engineer. The sign is not covered by this exemption as a chartered professional engineer was not involved. It is also too large to be covered by exemption 25, so its installation will require a building consent.

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: