Building Consents

If you’re planning a new building or any alteration 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 call us early on, in case you also need to apply for other consents or permits.

You can apply online for a building consent through Simpli.

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.

The Building Act

The Building Act 2004 provides for the regulation of building work, the establishment of a licensing regime for building practitioners, and the setting of performance standards, to ensure that:

  • people who use buildings can do so safely and without endangering their health;
  • buildings have attributes which contribute appropriately to the health, physical independence, and well-being of the people who use them;
  • people who use a building can escape from the building if it is on fire; and
  • buildings are designed, constructed, and able to be used in ways which promote sustainable development.

To achieve this purpose, the Act requires anyone proposing to do certain building work to obtain a building consent from a Building Consent Authority (BCA) before commencing building work, with the option of obtaining a Project Information Memorandum (PIM). The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) provide a guide for when a building consent is not required. 

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.

Building Consent and the District Plan

A building consent is a formal approval issued by a building consent authority stating that certain works, if properly constructed in accordance with the plans and specification will comply with the requirements of the New Zealand Building Act, Building Regulations and the Building Code. You cannot undertake any building work which requires a building consent without this approval. Most building work requires a building consent, but some minor work is exempt under Schedule 1 of the Act

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.


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.


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

Building on land subject to natural hazards

Where Council identifies that the land on which the work is proposed is subject to natural hazards, Council will consider if the work is major or minor and what effect the work will have on the hazard. Depending on the circumstances the consent could be refused, granted subject to a condition that a natural hazard notification is placed on the title (This will incur additional fees) or no additional action could be necessary.

Council will discuss with you the refusal or notification process if this relates to your consent.

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