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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2024/003: Whether three buildings are backcountry huts

This determination considers whether, for the purpose of compliance with the Building Code, three buildings meet the definition of 'backcountry hut' in Clause A2 Interpretation. The determination considers if the buildings are intended to provide overnight shelter to any person who may visit and who carries his or her own food, bedding, clothing, and outdoor equipment.

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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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2016/032: Regarding the use of existing drains for a new dwelling

This determination considers a requirement put in place after a building consent was issued to replace existing drains on a property where a new dwelling was being constructed.  The decision turns on the means of compliance stated in the building consent and the authority’s powers after the consent was issued.  The determination also discusses the Building Code obligations that apply in regards to drainage systems and the performance requirements and assessment of existing drains.

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2016/031: Issuing of a code compliance certificate in respect of thermal insulation to a hot water cylinder and hot water pipework to a house

This determination considers the requirements under Clause H1.3.4 in regards to insulation of a TPR valve and a length of hot water pipework, and Clause G9 in regards to the location of an electrical cable in a duct with the water supply pipework. The determination discusses the application of the relevant Acceptable Solutions and associated Standards as a means of establishing compliance.

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2016/029: Regarding the issue of a notice to fix for three cabins constructed without building consent

This determination considers three cabins constructed for the use of sleeping accommodation at an ashram and whether the building work was exempt from the requirement to obtain building consent under Schedule 1. The determination discusses the definition of the term “dwelling” as it relates to Schedule 1(3)(d).

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2009/061: Issuing building consents and code compliance certificates for four year-old houses where the cladding is exhibiting signs of failure

Note: The decisions in this determination were reversed on appeal to the District Court. See: Rangi and Richdale v Upper Hutt City Council (District Court, Wellington, 13 April 2010, CIV-2009-085-983).

Appeal judgment [PDF 256 KB]

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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: