Previous determinations

Determinations are made by MBIE on matters of doubt or dispute to do with building work. Rulings are legally binding, but only in relation to each case.

Previous determinations may provide some useful guidance for those faced with similar problems, but note that individual circumstances may vary.

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2021/021: Regarding the withdrawal of a notice to fix for a retaining wall, near the boundary with another property

This determination concerns a low retaining wall located near a boundary that was constructed without building consent, where a driveway was subsequently built near the top of the retaining wall on the neighbouring property. The determination considers whether the retaining wall was subject to a surcharge or load from vehicle traffic at the time of its construction, and whether the wall was exempt from the requirement for a building consent under Schedule 1 of the Building Act.

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2018/037: Refusal to grant exemption from the requirement to obtain a building consent for proposed seismic strengthening work

This determination considers the authority’s refusal to grant an exemption from the requirement to obtain a building consent under Schedule 1(2)(a) for seismic strengthening work. The determination discusses the types of matters that an authority must turn its mind to when considering whether to grant an exemption and the information provided in this case that would allow the authority to consider an application for an exemption. 

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2017/004: Regarding the issue of a notice to fix for building work undertaken without building consent

This determination considers building work done without consent to an existing house: the building work included the replacement of insulation and external wall cladding, installation of jack trusses, and affixing cladding over an existing cladding. The determination discusses whether the building work was exempt from the need to obtain a building consent under Schedule 1 of the Building Act, the drafting of the notice to fix and the remedies, and whether a building consent authority can withdraw a notice to fix.

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2017/001: Authority's exercise of its powers of decision to issue a notice to fix for building work carried out without building consent

This determination considers building work done without consent to an existing workshop in a commercial building: the building work included installing storage racks and internal partitions, and the installation of sanitary and kitchen facilities. The determination discusses whether the work was exempt from the need to obtain a building consent under Schedule 1 of the Building Act, and whether the building had undergone a change of use.

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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: