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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2024/012: Regarding whether the installation of a woodburner complies with the Building Code

The authority refused to issue a code compliance certificate for the building work and is seeking determination as to whether the installation of a woodburner (of which the hearth is a necessary element) complies with the Building Code.

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2021/017: Regarding the issue of a code compliance certificate for the installation of a solid fuel burning appliance

This determination considers the authority's decision to issue a code compliance certificate for a woodburner.

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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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2019/004: Decisions to refuse to issue a code compliance certificate and to issue a notice to fix in respect of a solid fuel heater

Note: This determination is subject to clarification


This determination concerns an as-installed solid fuel heater installed without the clearance behind it that was described in the manufacturer’s installation instructions.  The determination considers the compliance of heater and a notice to fix issued in respect of this work.

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2018/060: Refusal to grant building consent for retrofitting polyisocyanurate insulation in a house

This determination considers the code-compliance of retrofitted rigid foam insulation board to insulate the walls of an existing house.  The determination considers whether the proposed insulation board will satisfy certain clauses of the Building Code to the extent required by the Building Act.

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2017/071: Code compliance of a proposed house with steel framing and polyisocyanurate insulation board

This determination considers the code compliance of a proposed steel-framed house that uses rigid foam insulation board to insulate the walls and roof: the house was the subject of an application for building consent.  The determination considers whether the insulation board satisfies certain clauses of the Building Code, and also whether the documents submitted in support of the application for building consent were adequate.

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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: