Previous determinations

Determinations are made by MBIE on matters of doubt or dispute to do with building work. Rulings are legally binding in relation to each case. Circumstances in one case may differ to others.

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2018/050: Notice to fix issued for the change of use of a house

This determination considers whether the building has undergone a change of use and the exercise of the authority's powers in issuing a notice to fix for failure to notify the change of use. The determination considers the use category and whether compliance requirements in the new use are additional or more onerouse than the requirements related to the old use.

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2018/023: Refusal to grant an exemption from the requirement to obtain a building consent for alterations

This determination considered whether a change of use had occurred and whether the authority was correct to refuse to grant an exemption under Schedule 1(2).

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2018/015: Notice to fix and the refusal to issue a certificate of acceptance for alterations

Note: This determination is subject to appeal.

This determination considers whether the authority was correct to issue a notice to fix in regard to unconsented building work and a change of use from a single house to sleeping accommodation. The determination also considers the authority’s decision regarding the certificate of acceptance.

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2017/036: Change of use in respect of building work carried out to create a 12 bedroom building with an associated sleepout

This determination considered whether there was a change of use for the purpose of sections 114 and 115, in regard to building work carried out to increase the number of bedrooms in a building to 12.

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2017/006: Refusal to issue a building consent for the change of use from commercial to residential of one level in a multi-level building

Note: This determination is subject to clarification.


This determination discusses the assessment required under section 115 when there is a change of use to only part of a building, particularly in respect of Building Code clause B1 Structure and whether a detailed seismic assessment is required for the whole building.

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2016/042: Regarding the compliance of a detached building containing two self-contained units

This determination considers whether the building in its proposed use will comply with the Building Code in regards to fire safety, laundering, and food preparation.  The determination discusses the proposed use of the building and whether there will be a change of use under the Regulations.

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2016/009: Notices to fix and the refusal to issue a certificate of acceptance in respect of the conversion of a double garage over a boundary

This determination involves building work that was carried out without consent to a double garage built across the boundary of two properties to install an ensuite, kitchen unit and bedrooms in each. The determination discusses the use under the Regulations before and after the building work and whether there was a change of use, the grounds for refusing to issue a certificate of acceptance, and the issuing of multiple notices to fix.

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2016/008: Regarding whether there is a change of use in respect of the conversion of a house to include 13 bedrooms

The building work involved alterations carried out without building consent being obtained to increase the number of bedrooms in a house to 13.  The intention was for the rooms to be individually let.  The determination considered whether there was a change of use for the purpose of sections 114 and 115, and it also discusses whether the building work required building consent.

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2010/072: The refusal to issue a building consent for a proposed change of use to an existing building to establish a restaurant

This determination was subject to a clarification

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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: