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Building Consents

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If you’re planning a new building or alterations project in the Masterton district, you may need a building consent from the Masterton District Council. It’s a good idea to read the information in this section or to call us early on, in case you also need to apply for other consents or permits.

The New Zealand Building Act 2004 states that “Buildings are not to be constructed, altered, demolished, or removed without consent”.

If you are applying for a building consent, consult the Proposed District Plan to see if you will also need a Resource Consent. Although parts of this Plan are still under appeal, most of the Proposed Plan can be treated as Operative. If you have any questions, contact a Duty Planner on 06 370 6300.

Building Code Standards

The New Zealand Building Code sets out mandatory national standards for building construction, including structural integrity, weather tightness, durability, drainage and water supply. When considering building consent applications, the Council ensures that both the proposed and the completed building work meets the provisions of the Building Code.

The current New Zealand Building Code is the First Schedule to the Building Regulations 1992. It has 36 clauses containing technical requirements and two clauses of general provisions.

The New Zealand Building Code is what is referred to as a performance-based code. This means there is more than one way to achieve a performance standard.

Compliance documents produced by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) identify the ‘Acceptable Solution’ as one way of achieving compliance. It is also possible to utilise what is known as an ‘alternative solution’ to achieve compliance.

More information on each of the code clauses can be found at www.building.govt.nz

Building Consent and the District Plan

A building consent allows you to carry out building activities in accordance with the consent and any associated plans and specifications. It doesn’t give any form of planning approval under the District Plan.

It is your responsibility to find out whether your building proposal complies with the District Plan; contact the Council or your own planning advisor.

You may need resource consent(s) in addition to your building consent. You are strongly advised to get the necessary resource consent before seeking a building consent, to avoid expensive changes to your proposal.

Benefits of getting a Building Consent

Obtaining a Building Consent before undertaking work is a legal requirement for most building projects. As well as avoiding the possibility of expensive infringement fees, there are a number of other benefits.

Getting building consent ensures your building complies with the quality and safety standards of the Building Code.

Selling

When you sell your house, the prospective buyer will probably request a Land Information Memorandum (LIM) on your property. The LIM shows all permits and building consents issued for your property. The prospective purchaser may ask that you bring un-consented works up to Building Code standard before completing the sale.

Insurance

There may be insurance implications where damage results from unconsented building, plumbing or drainage works.