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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2022/008: Compliance of a timber retaining wall with Building Code clauses B1 Structure and E1 Surface Water that provide protection of other property

This determination considers whether building work to construct a new retaining wall close to the boundary between two properties complies with Building Code clauses B1 Structure and E1 Surface water that have the purpose of protecting other property.

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2020/031: Regarding the purported refusal to issue a building consent for the construction of retaining walls and associated drainage

This determination considers whether the authority was correct to refuse to grant a building consent for the construction of a number of retaining walls on a site with respect to ground water collected by drainage installed behind the walls. The determination considers whether the ground water collected falls within the definition of 'surface water' as it applies to Building Code Clause E1 Surface water.

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2020/012: Regarding compliance of building work with Building Code Clause E1 Surface water and the decision to issue a notice to fix in respect of it

This determination considers whether a depression on semi-rural property can be considered a suitable outfall for a surface water drainage system. The authority issued the notice to fix because it considered the drainage system had not been constructed in accordance with the consented plans. The determination considers the compliance of the outfall and whether the authority was correct to issue the notice to fix

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2019/061: Regarding the compliance of a surface water drainage connection

This determination considers whether a surface water drain complies with Building Code Clause E1 Surface water: the drain collects water from a roof and is connected to a kerb sump and not directly to a surface water drain.  The authority considers the connection to the sump was contrary to the means of compliance stated in the building consent, being the Acceptable Solution for Clause E1, and that approval should be sought for the work as a minor variation to the consent.

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2018/034: Refusal of a code compliance certificate for an addition

This determination considers the authority's refusal to issue the code compliance certificate for a substantial addition to an existing studio building. The refusal arose from matters related to Building Code Clauses D1, E2, E3, and F4, but the principle issue was an ongoing dispute about the water from neighbouring properties and a small drain that has been installed to divert some of this water. The determination considers whether the drain formed part of the consented work or not.

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2017/042: Compliance of building work with Clause E1 of the Building Code

The determination considers whether site works carried out as part of a development have breached the requirement under Clause E1.3.1 in regards to the disposal of surface water to avoid the likelihood of damage or nuisance to other property. The determination discusses the causes of the flooding and the performance requirements in relation to annual exceedence probability of storm events.

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2015/052: Regarding the compliance of proposed building work in respect of land stability and surface water in relation to an adjacent other property

This determination discusses the Building Code obligations in Clauses B1.3.6(b) and E1.3.1 for the proposed building work in respect of the likelihood of damage to an adjacent property. The concerns raised were the effect of any additional load in relation to an underground water system, spring, or puna and an adjacent Māori reservation.

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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: