8.6 Ground floor awnings up to 20 sqm

Canvas awning above a window

A building consent is usually not required to attach an awning (eg canvas or fabric) to the ground-floor or first-storey level of a building, if it is under 20 square metres in size.

Amended June 2016
The scope of this exemption was expanded on 31 August 2020. See sections 8.7. and 8.8.

This exemption relates to awnings up to 20 square metres in size which are currently, or are to be, attached to a building’s external envelope or exterior surfaces.

If an owner intends to build an awning greater than 20 square metres on the ground floor, exemption 16A or 45 (sections 8.8 or 8.7) may be applicable.

What is exempt

A home owner intends to install a retractable canvas awning of 10 square metres above a ground floor kitchen window and over the adjoining deck to provide shade.

What needs consent

A lightweight fabric awning is to be fitted above an apartment deck on the third floor of the building. Although the awning has a total coverage of 18 square metres, a building consent is required as it is higher than the ground floor level.

What the law says

16. Awnings not exceeding 20 square metres in size

Building work in connection with an awning that:

(a). is on or attached to an existing building; and

(b). is on the ground or first-storey level of the building; and

(c). does not exceed 20 square metres in size; and

(d). does not overhang any area accessible by the public, including private areas with limited public access, for example, restaurants and bars.

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: