Natural hazard sections of the Building Act

Last updated: 9 November 2023

A new guidance document on the natural hazard provisions of the Building Act has been developed.

Natural hazards are naturally occurring events that have a potential to cause damage to land or buildings. Natural hazards are defined in section71(1) of the Building Act as any of the following five events: Erosion, falling debris, subsidence, inundation and slippage.

The requirements that need to be considered when applying for a building consent on land that is or may be subject to a natural hazard are contained within sections 71 to 74 of the Building Act.

Natural hazards and the Building Act

The Building Act requires that you consider the effect of the building work on the natural hazard, and also consider how you could protect the land, building and other property when undertaking building work on land subject to a natural hazard. In some cases, building work can still take place but in these cases, there is a requirement for a notice to be placed on the record of title for the property so that future owners are aware that the land is subject to a natural hazard.

When building on land that might be subject to a natural hazard you may need to consider both the requirements of the Resource Management Act (RMA) and the Building Act.


Natural Hazard Guidance

The natural hazard guidance provides information to Building Consent Authorities and aims to explain the requirements and the steps that need to be taken before a consent can be granted for building work on land subject to natural hazard of inundation and in particular flooding.

Although the guidance focuses on flooding it is intended that it can also be used for those other natural hazards that are listed in the Building Act.

Natural hazard provision - guidance [PDF 8.9MB]

Step- by-Step Guide

The natural hazard provisions of the Building Act are triggered when a building consent for a new building or major alterations to an existing building is applied for.

This step-by-step guide outlines that overall process [PDF 511KB]

(View an accessible version of the step-by-step guide)

Flood damaged buildings

If your home has been affected by flooding, there are a number of resources available to help you with the next steps. We will be updating our website as more information becomes available.

Flood damaged buildings.

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: