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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2021/010: Regarding the refusal of a building consent for alterations to an existing students' hall of residence

This determinaton considers whether the authority was correct to refuse a building consent for alterations to an existing school building. It considers the reasons for refusing to grant a building consent under section 50 of the Building Act, and what is as nearly as is reasonably practicable under section 112 of the Building Act, specifically in relation to installing a fire sprinkler system.

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2020/034: Regarding the compliance of fire safety precautions in a motel

Note: This determination was subject to appeal. The Determination was confirmed and the appeal was dismissed. Read the appeal judgement.


This determination considers the issue of a building consent and code compliance certificate for a motel in respect of a fire alarm system. The matter turns on whether the building work as approved in the building consent complied with Clauses C2 Means of escape from fire and F7 Warning systems, and whether the construction of the motel without a fire alarm system being installed met the performance requirements of those clauses when the code compliance certificate was issued.

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2020/002: Regarding the consented alterations to the walls and roof of a house and its compliance with Building Code Clause B1

This determination considers whether alterations to the walls and roof of a house comply with Building Code Clauses B1 Structure, E2 External moisture and F7 Warning systems. The determination also considers whether changes to the consented building work can be considered a minor variation to the building consent, and the issue of the code compliance certificate for the alterations.

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2018/062: Authority’s refusal to issue a code compliance certificate for a 17-year-old house with monolithic cladding

Note: to be read in conjunction with Determination 2017/008.

This determination considers a second refusal to issue a code compliance certificate for a now 17-year-old house with monolithic cladding that was the subject of a previous determination.  This determination discusses the validity of the refusal with regard to the time in which a building consent authority must make a decision, and the relationship between the requirement to give reasons for refusing to issue a code compliance certificate and the issue of a notice to fix.  The determination considers the information the authority had before it at the time it made its decision and whether the items identified by the authority are compliant with the Building Code.

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2018/059: Issue of a notice to fix in respect of the compliance schedule and building warrant of fitness for a building

Note: This determination is subject to clarification


This determination concerns a notice to fix issued by an authority in respect of the specified systems in a building, the compliance schedule, and the building warrant of fitness. The determination considers whether the notice to fix was correctly issued, the information to be provided in a compliance schedule, and the issue of the building warrant of fitness.

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2016/020: The refusal to issue a code compliance certificate for an 8-year-old house

This determination considers the authority’s decision to refuse to issue a code compliance certificate for a house; the authority’s concerns were chiefly to do with the weathertightness and durability of the exterior envelope. The determination discusses the authority’s reasons for the refusal, and whether there was sufficient evidence of compliance in order to issue a code compliance certificate.

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2015/028: Refusal to grant building consent and whether proposed alterations to an existing building comply with the Building Code

Considered the application of sections 17 and 112 of the Act, and the compliance of the proposed fire alarm system. Discussed compliance of the building as a whole after the alterations ‘as nearly as is reasonably practicable’ with respect to means of escape, and how the approach involves the balancing of sacrifices and difficulties of upgrading against the advantages of upgrading. Discussed use of MBIE guidance and “gap assessment”.

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2012/074: Change of use provisions of the Building Act for the alteration of part of a house to a second kitchen


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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: