13. Support structures

This section includes construction of both small and large retaining walls. For large retaining wall removal, please see section 1.

More details

This also includes small pipe supporting structures on private land for water only. The table below shows the exemptions included in this section and the professional you will need to hire.

Description* Is an authorised professional legally required? Who can provide professional advice?
13.1 Structures supporting water pipe No Chartered Professional Engineer
13.2 Retaining walls up to 1.5 metres depth of ground without surcharge No Licensed Building Practitioner or Chartered Professional Engineer
13.3 Retaining walls up to 3 metres depth of ground Yes, for both construction and demolition Chartered Professional Engineer


*Owners must look at the relevant section of guidance to identify under which detailed conditions the building work qualifies for the exemption.

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: