Building and Planning

Our Building and Planning team works to make sure the District’s natural and built environment is maintained and enhanced in line with legislation like the Resource Management Act (RMA) and the Building Act. The Wairarapa Combined District Plan provides a framework for sustainable resource management in our district. It consists of maps, objectives, policies and rules which set out the activities that are allowed in the district. It also determines when resource consents and subdivision consents are required. The District Plan was developed in consultation with the community and aims to minimise the harmful effects activities could have on the surrounding area and on the environment.

Our Wairarapa Combined District Map viewer provides information that relates directly to our District Plan. On here you can find aerial photos, property boundaries, floodplains, fault lines, heritage properties and more. This is a great place to start if you are looking to undertake any work on your property, or if you are looking to purchase a new property.

All forms and applications are available to download below in either PDF or DOC format.

View all fees and charges »

Earthquake-prone Buildings

New legislation came into effect in 2017 which sets out a new process for identifying and managing earthquake-prone buildings. For information on the new process, watch this video or visit the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

We have also developed a short Question and Answer document (PDF, 413KB).


Building Consents

If you’re planning a new building or an alterations project, you may need a building consent.

Certificate of Acceptance (CoA)

If building works have been undertaken without first obtaining a building consent, you can apply for a Certificate of Acceptance (CoA).

Resource Consents

The Council ensures that development of the District is within the Resource Management Act 1991 and the policies of the District Plan through regulatory consents.


Before you relocate a building, we need to inspect it to determine if it’s fit for moving.

Land Information Memorandum (LIM) 

A Land Information Memorandum (LIM) is a comprehensive report containing everything the Council knows about a particular property or section.

Commercial and Industrial Properties

It is the owner’s decision as to when a building can be occupied however, if your building is open to the public, whether free of charge or by payment of a charge, the building cannot be used or occupied until a Code Compliance Certificate (CCC) is issued.

Project Information Memorandum (PIM) 

A PIM provides information about land and the requirements of other Acts that might be relevant to proposed building work. We will issue a PIM following an application by the owner.


Before installing a new or replacement woodburner, it is important to obtain a Building Consent first.

Building a Fence 

If you’re planning to build a fence around a property or swimming pool in the Masterton District, there are a few things you need to know first.

Swimming Pools

If you are constructing a fence that is intended as a swimming pool fence, then a Building Consent is required.

Applying for a Rural Address Number

The Rural Address Property Identification System (RAPID) System is a  standard numbering  system for rural  properties. In  order  to  supply  a  RAPID  number  Council  needs  accurate  information to identify the property and its location. 

Selected Land Use Register (SLUR)

The SLUR contains information on sites that are known or suspected to have been involved (historically or currently) in the use, storage or disposal of hazardous substances. 

Our Team


Manager Building and Planning:
Susan Southey

Senior Resource Planner:
Godwell Mahowa

Building Services Team Leader
Steven Williams

Building Development Facilitators:
Kieran Blake
Chris Bargh
Tony Anderson
Kelly Saint

Building Development Facilitator (Plumbing & Drainage):
Alastair McDonald

Building Development Support Officers:
Linda Fairbrother
Jayne Goodger



Building Consents

Can a Building Consent Be Issued Prior to a Resource Consent?           

A building consent may be issued prior to the approval of a resource consent, however building consent will be accompanied by a certificate stating ‘No Building Work may proceed’ (or only limited work may proceed) until the resource consent is issued.

At What Size Does a Proposed Building Require a Building Consent?              

A ‘building’ is defined in Section 7, 8 and 9 of the Building Act 2004 . In particular note the definition of Building and Building Work, and Schedule 1 of the Building Act (which specifies what work is exempt from a building consent). It is not just the size of the building that determines the requirement for building consent. You should always check with your Builder/Designer or a member of the building team from council if you are unsure.

You can build a small accessory building (shed, pergola, gazebo, glasshouse, sleepout) without a building consent if the building:

  • is under 10m2 in area; and
  • contains no sanitary facilities; and
  • contains no cooking facilities; and
  • is single storied; and
  • is at least its own height away from the property boundary and from any residential building on the property or any neighbouring property; and
  • is not a spa or swimming pool enclosure or fence.

Even if a building consent is not required, the construction still needs to comply with the NZ Building Code. This includes spouting and storm water control. You will probably need a building consent if it does not meet the above requirements. You should look at Schedule 1 of the Building Act for more information on exemptions

For a full list of building works that do not require a building consent, check Schedule 1

Do I Need a Building Consent to Do Electrical Work in My House?     

No you do not require a building consent. Council has no jurisdiction over electrical work.

Do I Need a Building Consent to Re-pile My House?       

In accordance with the Building Act 2004, a building consent is not required for repairs and maintenance of piles, unless it is ‘substantial’. The act does not define what substantial is, however it is generally accepted that if you are replacing more than 10% of the piles, it would be deemed substantial and a building consent would be required.

Full re-piling also requires a building consent as the structural integrity will be affected, i.e. under pinning, foundation design change, or change of pile layout. In such circumstances a building consent is required. Owners are recommended to obtain a building consent in all cases for the purpose of recording the work.

Do I Need a Building Consent if I Want to Plaster Over the Brick Veneer of My House?    

Plaster rendering over brick veneer work does not require a building consent. The plaster must not cover the weep holes inset in the bottom brick row.

Do I Need a Building Consent if I’m Carrying Out Re-cladding on My House or Building?         

If you are repairing the cladding and replacing with the same materials then no building consent is required, unless the existing cladding has not met the durability requirements of the Building Code which is 15 years. If you are changing the cladding material e.g. from weatherboards to stucco or some other material, then you will require a building consent.

Do I Need a Building Consent to Build a Deck on My Property?     

A building consent is required for a deck where it is more than 1.5m above the ground. The deck must be constructed in accordance with the Building Code and details such as the structure, balustrade and planning requirements will be checked.

What Are the Building Requirements for Double Glazing?      

The energy efficiency building requirements of the 3rd Edition of Clause H1 of the New Zealand Building Code were introduced on 31 October 2007, making double glazing necessary in most new houses to meet the new glazing R-valve of 0.26.

It still may be possible to use single glazing by using a heat loss calculation (Calculation Method – NZS4218:2004) that allows the insulation in one part of a house to be traded against the insulation in another part of the house. You should discuss this with your designer as they will be required to provide calculations demonstrating compliance with NZS4218:2004 with any building consent application.

Note: the new requirements of the 3rd Edition of Clause H1 only apply to building consent applications, applied for on or after 31 October 2007.

My Building Consent Says I Have to Install Smoke Detectors. What Specifically Do I Need and Where Can I Get Them?     

Under Sections 112 and 115 of the Building Act 2004, smoke detectors with a ‘Hush’ facility are required in all dwellings or residential units that require a building consent to be issued. This includes new buildings, altered buildings, or buildings changed to a residential use. Free standing non habitable buildings (i.e. garages or sheds) and site drainage do not invoke the requirement.

Most single level houses will require a minimum of one smoke detector, however it is important to think of the whole escape route. If the hallway adjoining the bedrooms lead (via a door) through another space to the exit door, that space will require a detector as well. Two storey houses will require detectors at both levels, regardless of which level the sleeping activity is on.

All applications for consents will require complete floor layouts with room names, doorways and the smoke detectors clearly marked.

Standard smoke detectors which are already installed can remain but ‘Hush’ models must also be installed. A ‘Hush’ or ‘double button’ smoke alarm differs from older models in that they have an additional button which allows the alarm to be quietened for a period of time while the cause of an accidental triggering of the alarm is fixed (e.g. burnt toast). These detectors are available at most hardware stores.

Do I Need a Building Consent for My Swimming Pool?  

The Building Act requires that all pools intended to hold more than 400mm of water are to be installed under a building Consent. This applies not only to the installation of the pool, but also to the construction of any pool fence.

Do I Need a Building Consent for a Carport?         

A building consent is required if the carport exceeds 20sq m in floor area. A carport that is less than 20sqm and remains open on at least one side at all times is not required to have a building consent.

Can I change my plans later?

Yes, if you need to change anything on your plans, you must apply for an amendment before carrying out any changes to your approved plans. At the end of the building project, the approved building consent documentation needs to be an accurate reflection of what has actually been built. Changing the details of the original consent drawings can be completed in two ways via either a site variation or an amendment. If you have made changes without approval the BCA may stop your job until the changes are resolved. Amendments are those where work is outside the scope of the original consent e.g. additional footprint or increases in floor area, construction method, and significant changes to the layout. An amendment form is required to be completed and fees payable. Minor variations are changes that do not usually affect compliance with the Building Code e.g. changes to types of taps, the position of kitchen joinery, and non-structural walls or doors. You may need to provide information to record the change however it is not necessary to complete a new building consent application form. This may be able to be approved on site by the inspector. There may be a cost involved in approving the minor variation.

What are building consent conditions?

These are conditions imposed on your building consent which are deemed necessary to ensure compliance. For example, all building consents are issued subject to the condition that officers of the building consent authority are entitled at all times, during normal working hours, or while work is being done, to inspect building work which is being carried out. Other conditions may be in relation to building on a site subject to specific hazard conditions or building over two or more allotments for example.

What are building consent endorsements/advice notes/reminders? 

Building consent documents are often endorsed or have notes added by the consenting authority to remind the building owner about specific aspects of construction to achieve compliance. For example, a note may be added regarding specialist inspections that may be required. These endorsements will be noted on the actual consent. It is important that you read and understand all endorsements of the building consent before commencing work. If you do not understand any endorsement imposed, please contact us to discuss.

What are multiproof approvals?

Multiproofs are issued by the National Multiple-Use Approval Service of the MBIE. A multiproof is a statement by the Ministry that a specific set of building plans and specifications complies with the New Zealand Building Code (NZBC).

A MultiProof is not, and does not replace, a building consent. The holder of a MultiProof must obtain a building consent each time they wish to construct the design to which the MultiProof relates. The BCA will only need to assess the Building Code compliance of site-specific features that are excluded from the MultiProof, the BCA has 10 Days to issue a MultiProof consent.

Restricted Building Work

What is Restricted Building Work? (RBW)

Building work, whether design or construction, that is critical to the integrity of a residential or small-to-medium-size apartment.

What is considered to be “critical to the integrity” in this case?

Primary structure, external moisture management systems and fire safety systems.

What buildings are affected by RBW?

New dwellings including additions and alteration to an existing dwelling and residential apartments but only those that are not mixed-use (i.e. do not include a shop, office of other commercial activity in the building).

Other than being a residential building what other rules apply to RBW?

Maximum three stories and a maximum of 10 metres high.

How do I know if RBW is involved at consent stage?

Your designer should tell you that RBW is involved or call the Council and ask to speak to a building officer.

Licensed Building Practitioners

What are Licensed Building Practitioners?

Under the Building Act 2004, the Department of Building and Housing established in November 2007 the Licensed Building Practitioner Scheme. This scheme sets out a regulated process where skilled and/or qualified building practitioners are required to demonstrate their ability to meet industry consulted competencies in order to obtain the status of being a Licensed Building Practitioner (LBP). The scheme has seven license classes: Designers, carpenters, roofers, external plasterer’s, brick and block layers, foundation and floor slab. Registered Architects and Plumbers, as well as Chartered Professional Engineers, are all deemed to be LBP’s.

Is a registered architect an LBP?

Yes, registration as a registered Architect equates to LBP licensing. The Registered Architects Act 2005 protects the title of Registered Architect. Only persons registered with the Registered Architects Board (the Board) ( may use words, initials, or abbreviations of the title Registered Architect. The Act provides a framework for ensuring the competence of registered architects by requiring them to undertake continuing professional development. The Act also puts in place measures to discipline registered architects.

What is the difference between a designer and a registered architect?

An architect has gained a university degree in his / her profession. This is recognised by statute and as such is deemed acceptable. Designers have not.

Is a Chartered Professional Engineer an LBP?

Yes, registration as a chartered professional engineer equates to LBP licensing. The Chartered Professional Engineers Act 2002 protects the title of “Chartered Professional Engineer”. Only persons registered with the Institute of Professional Engineers of New Zealand may use words, initials, or abbreviations of the title Chartered Professional Engineer. The Act provides a framework for ensuring the competence of chartered professional engineers by requiring them to undertake continuing professional development. The Act also puts in places measures to discipline chartered professional engineers.

What is a Chartered Professional Engineer?

Chartered Professional engineers are bound by statute and agree to abide by a code of ethics; they have their competency proven, whereas non-chartered engineers do not.

Does a registered architect, chartered professional engineer or plumber have an LBP number or can they use their professional registration number?

These professionals use the registration number allocated to them under their own statute. All other tradespeople, engineers and designers (i.e. those not registered under a statute) must be LBPs.

I am going to hire a designer, what should I do?

If you are hiring a designer now, be sure to hire someone who can do Restricted Building Work. You may wish to review the public register at the Department of Building and Housing. 

What if I don’t want to use an LBP to do the work?

From 1 March 2012, it is an offence for an unlicensed person to carry out or supervise restricted building work and it is an offence to knowingly engage an unlicensed person to carry out or supervise restricted building work.

I am not licensed can I do the work?

Owner builders are able to carry out Restricted Building Work on their OWN home. You are an “owner-builder” if you:

  • Live in or are going to live in the home (includes a bach or holiday home)
  • Carry out the Restricted Building Work to your own home yourself, or with the help of your unpaid friends and family members, and,
  • Have not, under the owner-builder exemption, carried Restricted Building Work to any other home within the previous 3 years.

Most DIY work is usually minor repair, maintenance or alteration work and does not fall within the category of RBW, therefore, homeowners can continue to do this work as they always have. If you are an owner builder you will need to complete a statutory declaration form showing that you meet the criteria. This form will need to be witnessed by a Justice of the Peace or someone else authorised by law to do so. This form will need to be supplied with your building application or before construction on your new home. There is a more detailed explanation on the MBIE website.

What are my obligations as an owner?

From 1 March 2012, if you undertake structural work or work that affects the weather tightness of a building, and the building is residential, then that work may be classified as “Restricted Building Work” (RBW). From that date, RBW can only be done and/or supervised by a Licensed Building Practitioner (LBP). Most building plans that need building consent from your Council will include Restricted Building Work. Work that needs building consent such as kitchen installation and internal renovation work are examples of exceptions to this. If it doesn’t involve work to the home’s primary structure or weather tightness, it is not RBW. The owner is also responsible for notifying Council who the LBPs are that have been engaged to carry out / supervise the RBW.

If I am not doing RBW, do I still need a building consent?

Yes, quite probably although some work is not classified as RBW it will still need a building consent. Examples may include swimming pools, garages, etc.

What are the license classes for trade RBW? (RoW)

  • Carpentry
  • Roofing
  • Brick and block laying
  • External plastering
  • Foundations and subfloor/slab


I can’t find an LBP what should I do?

Check the LBP register at the Licensed Practitioners website. If you cannot get an LBP, advise the Department by phoning 0800 60 60 50.


What is a Project Information Memorandum (PIM)?

A project information memorandum (PIM) is a memorandum issued by the Territorial authority (Council) under sections 32 – 35 of the Building Act 2004 which sets out information relevant to your building work.

This is information on special land features, including potential:

  • erosion;
  • avulsion (removal of land by water action);
  • falling debris;
  • subsidence;
  • slippage;
  • alluvium (the deposit of silt from flooding);

the presence of hazardous contaminants which are known to Council which are likely to be relevant to the design, construction or alteration of your proposed building;

details of stormwater or wastewater utility systems which relate to your proposed building work, or are adjacent to your building site.

A PIM also identifies any additional approvals required such as:

  • Resource Management Act;
  • New Zealand Historic Places Trust (heritage buildings/sites);
  • Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ).

The memorandum also includes:

Confirmation, subject to other provisions of the Act that you may carry out the building work subject to the requirements of the building consent, and all other necessary authorisations being obtained.

Copies of other information that may have some design impact on your proposed building work like:

  • Drainage plans;
  • Water supply plans;
  • Other utility plans; and/or
  • Any other information that Council holds that is relevant to your project.



A PIM does not give any form of approval under the District Plan or Building Act.  Contact the Masterton District Council’s planning department, or your own planning adviser to determine that your proposal complies with the District Plan.  If it does not, and resource consent is required, you are strongly advised to obtain this before seeking building consent to avoid possible expensive changes to your proposal.

Must I apply a PIM?

No, PIM’s are voluntary. They may be applied for separately or in combination with your building consent.

How to apply for a PIM

An application for a PIM must be made on the application form available from the Masterton District Council or visit our website

This form must be completed in full, and signed and dated before being submitted. To submit your PIM application, please email to [email protected]. If you are unable to submit your application electronically, please contact the Building Team on 06 370 6300 to discuss your options.

Documentation required

All applications must be accompanied by a
copy of:

  • a site plan;
  • floor plan;
  • building elevations;
  • site access; and
  • drainage plan.
  • How long does it take?

Council is required to issue the PIM within 20 working days of the application being received. In most cases the BCA gathers PIM information in order to process your building consent.

Please note:

Providing all fees are paid, the PIM will be posted or emailed to the applicant when it is issued.  If the PIM is applied for with the building consent, the timeframe for issue of both is 20 working days.


Any complaints about our BCA function can be made by completing our complaints form »

Written complaints can be sent to:

Planning and Building Manager
Masterton District Council
PO Box 444
Masterton 5840

You have the right to appeal any decision the Building Consent Authority (BCA) has made, or to complain about any building control function the Building Consent Authority (BCA) undertakes. A customer has a right to complain and have their complaint managed.

A complaint in relation to building control is defined as a complaint about:

  • meeting statutory timeframes;
  • lodgement or vetting of building consent applications;
  • processing of building consent applications;
  • inspection of work under construction;
  • issuing of a notice to fix;
  • issuing of code compliance certificates;
  • issuing compliance schedules;
  • failure to provide appropriate information or advice;
  • fees and charges; and
  • failure to meet legislative or Building Code requirements.

You can make a complaint in person however, it must be accompanied by a written statement. Complaints not made in writing or made anonymously will not be acted upon.

What information is required?

  • date incident occurred;
  • nature of complaint (guidance information, vetting, lodgement, inspection, notice to fix, code compliance certificate or compliance schedule);
  • copies of any supporting information (if applicable); and
  • relationship (customer, regulator, or stakeholder).

All complainants will be responded to within 2 working days acknowledging the receipt of the complaint and advising a timeframe for investigation and response. All complaints will be acted upon within 2 weeks of receipt of the complaint unless a request for further information is made.

You have the right to appeal if you do not agree with the outcome and you may request a review of the decision. All appeals must be made in writing, setting out the reasons why you disagree with the decision.

Appeals should be addressed to:

Chief Executive
Masterton District Council
PO Box 444
Masterton 5840

If you are still unhappy or choose to use an alternative route to settle a matter of doubt or dispute, you may apply to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) for a Determination. In some cases you can seek a determination from the Ministry of Business innovation and employment where there is a matter of doubt or dispute or lay a complaint with the MBIE regarding building control function. Queries of this nature should be made to MBIE direct

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