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Applying for a determination

Last updated: 28 July 2017

If you would like MBIE to make a determination on your matter of dispute, you can find out how to make an application, what supporting documents are needed, what the fee is. You can also find out why your application may be declined and how to withdraw an application.

If you’re unsure whether applying for a determination is your best option, you can contact us for more information.

To apply for a determination you need to:

  1. fill in the Determination application form
  2. send MBIE:
    • Part 1 of the completed form
    • the fee
    • 3 copies of your supporting documents
  1. fill in section ‘M. Applicant’s details’ in Part 2 of the Determination application form
  2. send each of the other parties:
    • a copy of the completed Part 1 of the Determination application form
    • a copy of Part 2 of the Determination application form with section ‘M. Applicant’s details’ completed by you
    • a copy of your supporting documents.

Part 1 explains what sort of supporting documents you should send.

Part 2 ensures the other parties for the determination have received a copy of the application.

The cost of a determination

MBIE charges a fixed fee for determinations:

  • for single houses, attached houses, flats and apartments up to 4 units, and garages and sheds, the fee is $287.50 (including GST)
  • for all other buildings the fee is $575.00 (including GST).

In most cases, parties to a determination do not need to engage legal or technical advice to support their position. The determination process can involve MBIE taking independent or internal technical guidance.

Costs are not normally reimbursed. However, a party might be awarded costs if another party has caused unreasonable costs or delays. The party seeking costs would need to apply to MBIE for a direction as to costs.

Supporting documents

A determination generally relies on the information you provide. Send as much relevant information as you can. If your documentation is easily understood and complete it will help us assess and process your determination. The information should be:

  • clearly labelled (and indexed, if possible)
  • typed or neatly handwritten
  • accompanied by a summary of the key points with references to the supporting documents.

If the matter involves a council decision, your supporting information should include correspondence relating to that decision. For example, if you have been refused a code compliance certificate, provide a copy of the council’s letter (or section 95A notice) which should include the reasons why.

Information to support an application can include (not all of these will be available or relevant to your determination):

  • correspondence about the dispute
  • drawings
  • specifications
  • design calculations
  • reports
  • photographs
  • producer statements.

Reasons your application may be declined

We can decline your application if:

  • you are not a party in respect of the matter being applied for
  • the problem or question is not a matter covered by the Building Act
  • we have already made a determination, or we are about to make one, on exactly the same matter
  • it is not genuine, or is vexatious or frivolous.

Withdrawing your application

You can withdraw your application at any time. MBIE will refund the application fee if an independent expert has not been engaged. If an expert has been engaged and they have carried out an assessment, MBIE will keep the fee to help cover those costs.

If you withdraw the application, MBIE will notify the other parties.

Contact us

Freephone: 0800 24 22 43
Email: determinations@mbie.govt.nz

Hours: 8.30 am to 5.00 pm, NZT, Monday – Friday

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: