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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2019/050: Regarding the issue of notices to fix in respect of building work to convert an existing shed and sleep-out to a self-contained unit

This determination considers the issue of a notice to fix in regard to building work carried out to convert an existing shed and sleep-out into a self-contained unit. The determination considers whether the authority was correct to issue the notice to fix, and whether a change of use had occurred. 

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2019/045: Regarding the classified use of a building, which is let out for public accommodation

This determination concerns the classified use of a building that is let out for public accommodation under Clause A1 Classified uses. The determination considers whether the classified use falls within “Detached dwellings” or “Community Service”. 

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2019/005: Regarding the authority’s decision to issue of a notice to fix for the conversion of a garage to a self-contained unit

This determination considers whether a garage detached associated with a dwelling has undergone a change of use when it was converted to a self-contained unit.  Council issued a notice to fix in respect of the conversion and the determination considers whether the garage has undergone a change of use as provided for in the legislation.

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2018/065: Classified use of buildings used as accommodation under the Recognised Seasonal Employer Scheme

This determination considers the classified use of buildings on two properties under Clause A1 of the Building Code when they are used by employers as accommodation for seasonal workers under the New Zealand Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme.

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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 onerous 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: The decisions in this Determination were confirmed on appeal to the District Court. See: Auckland Council v Jayashree Limited (District Court, Auckland, 14 February 2019, CIV-2018-004-00820).

Read appeal judgement [PDF 503KB].

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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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: