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.

You can also search for Determinations on Building CodeHub

Find a determination

Applying filters will narrow down your search results

Find a determination

Search results

94 Determinations match your query
Show detailed results

2024/014: Compliance of a stormwater tank near a property boundary with Building Code clauses concerning fire affecting other areas

This determination considers whether a stormwater tank near a property boundary is required to comply with performance clauses C3.6 and C3.7 of Building Code Clause C3 Fire affecting areas beyond the fire source.  

About this document

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.

About this document

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.

About this document

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.

About this document

2021/002: Regarding the proposed refusal of an amendment to a building consent relating to an intermediate floor in a new building

This determination considers whether a building consent authority was correct to propose to refuse an amendment to a building consent. This was due to a dispute with the owner over the maximum allowable area of an intermediate floor used for the storage of materials associated with a manufacturing, servicing and repair business. The determination considers the change in the intended use of the building during the course of the building work from a “warehouse” to a “workshop”, the means of compliance, and the area of the intermediate floor.

About this document

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.

About this document

2020/029: Regarding the issue of a notice to fix for building work to a sprinkler system carried out without a building consent

This determination considers whether a territorial authority was correct to issue a notice to fix for building works that involved the alterations and modifications of an existing specified system – an automatic sprinkler system – where a building consent was not obtained prior to the works commencing. The determination also considers if the building works could have been undertaken in accordance with clause 10 of Schedule 1 of the Building Act.

About this document

2020/003: Whether a consented apartment building with a single escape route requires smoke lobbies on the ground floor

This determination considers the granting of a building consent and whether a proposed three-storey apartment building with a common stairwell requires smoke lobbies in the ground floor apartments in order to comply with the Building Code by means of the Acceptable Solution C/AS2. The ground floor apartments have alternative egress routes and the common stairwell is the single escape route for the occupants of upper floors.

About this document

2019/062: Regarding the means of escape from fire from a new dwelling located behind an existing dwelling

This determination concerns a new dwelling constructed at the rear of a site with an existing dwelling, and compliance of the new dwelling in relation to movement to a place of safety in the event of a fire.  The matter at issue is whether the escape route to a safe place for the occupants of the rear dwelling required a protected path past the existing dwelling.

About this document

2019/046: Regarding dangerous building notices issued for a building

This determination considers two dangerous building notices that were issued for a six-storey building in central Auckland.  The various levels of the building are fitted out for retail, offices, and sleeping accommodation.  The determination considers the authority’s decision to the second dangerous building notice restricting entry to part of the building, which meant part of the building could not be used for sleeping accommodation, and the authority’s decision to reissue that notice after thirty days.

About this document

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: