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Get the build signed off

Last updated: 21 March 2016

It's the building owner's responsibility to get council sign-off for a building project, even if your building professional is doing it on your behalf.

You need to apply for sign-off as soon as practical after:

  • completing the building work, as described in the building consent
  • completing any approved amendments or variations
  • final inspection
  • all council fees are paid.

A code compliance certificate gives you and future owners an assurance that the building work was done to the appropriate standards, making it safe, healthy and durable. Lack of a code compliance certificate might prevent a bank from releasing a final builder payment or increase the cost of insurance cover.

If you haven't applied for a code compliance certificate within two years of being granted building consent, your council will contact you to find out how you are progressing. They may decide to inspect the site and can issue a notice to fix if any of the work does not comply with the building consent. The information below outlines the application process and provides guidance on outstanding code compliance certificates. 

Local councils

Will have specific information related to your region.

Find your local council

Code compliance certificate application process

Your code compliance certificate application must be a complete, precise and accurate record of what was actually built on the site. Your council will normally require:

  • name and contact details of everyone involved in your project (designer, architect, builder, plumber, etc)
  • energy work certificates for any completed electrical or gas work
  • any producer statements (for example, from a Chartered Professional Engineer for a specific design or construction element)
  • licensed building practitioner certificates for restricted building work
  • information about any specified systems
  • an as-built services plan (for example, for plumbing or drainage)
  • roof truss installation certificate and plan
  • other installation certificates (for example, for cladding, waterproofing or tanking)
  • confirmation that all council fees have been paid.

The council has 20 working days from the date of your application to decide whether to issue a code compliance certificate. If they need more information, they will contact you and put the process on hold until the information is received (same timeframe as the project information memorandum and building consent processes).

If everything has been built according to your consented plans and meets the appropriate standards, your council will confirm this by issuing a code compliance certificate.

If the council isn't satisfied that the building work complies with the consented documents, they must refuse to issue the code compliance certificate. They need to do this in writing, but we recommend councils give applicants the opportunity to resolve any non-compliance issues first.

If your application is declined, you can reapply once you have addressed any areas of non-compliance.

Compliance schedules includes requirements for homes with cable cars, as well as multi-unit and non-residential buildings.

Certificate of acceptance might be an option if the work was done some time ago.

Protecting your investment outlines the benefit of maintaining the work.

On-sellers require sign-off for sale

If you are building, or arranging to have built, a household unit for the purpose of selling it you must get a code compliance certificate before completing the sale, or before allowing a purchaser to take possession of the household unit. The only exception is if the on-seller and purchaser sign an agreement to waive this requirement.

There is no prescribed form, so use Form 1 as an example of the information to include or use your own form.

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: