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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2015/022: Authority's refusal to grant a modification of clause 3.4a of the Building Code in respect of materials used for internal surface linings

Discussed as title and whether a comparison to the wharenui (marae buildings) exemption is appropriate. Also provides a general framework for modifications or waivers under section 67 of the Act, and methodology for deciding whether it is “reasonable” to grant a modification, for example, by reviewing the extent and possible consequence of the non-compliance with a specific performance clause, or reviewing for consistency with the purpose and principles of the Building Act.

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2015/014: Regarding the issue of a dangerous building notice for a house

Discussed whether a multi-unit dwelling had adequate fire safety features for the three residential units in the same dwelling, and whether the building was dangerous under section 121 (1)(b) of the Act. Discussed “occupancy” and whether a “change of use” had occurred. Also considered whether the building complied with the Building Code and the threshold at which at a building may be considered “dangerous” when it does not comply.

An appeal was lodged against this determination.

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2015/013: Regarding a dispute about which fire risk group should be used in determining compliance of proposed accommodation at a holiday park

The dispute turned on which Acceptable Solution (C/AS1 or C/AS2) applied to the proposed building work, depending on whether it fell within Risk Group SH or SM. Discussed the relationship between Uses as defined in the Regulations, Risk Groups in the Acceptable Solutions and Classified Uses in the Act. Also discussed “intended use”, and the Risk Groups in relation to household units located above car parks.

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2015/010: Refusal to grant a modification of clause C3.4a of the Building Code respect of materials used for internal surface linings at a school hall

Discussed whether a modification of C3.4 is reasonable and the possible consequence of non-compliance with that clause. Also discussed the granting of waivers and modifications under section 67 of the Act.

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2014/043: Issuing notices to fix in respect of classified uses of 4 of 8 collectively owned residential buildings

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2012/075: Regarding the issue of a notice to fix and the amendment of a building consent for a 4-storey commercial building

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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: