Apply for a Building Consent

To apply for a building consent you will need:

  • A completed application form 
  • A recent (no more than 3 months old) copy of Certificate of Title – MDC can obtain a copy of your title for an additional charge or $20 if required.
  • Plans
  • Specifications
  • Supporting design/and or engineering reports

If the building work is connected to the main dwelling (ie house alterations or a new dwelling), it will likely be considered ‘Restricted Building Works’ (RBW). This is work that has to be undertaken by a Licensed Building Practitioner (LBP).

What is RBW and who are LBPs?

Restricted building work is work that must be completed by or supervised by, a licensed building practitioner (LBP). Building Practitioners are licensed by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. This ‘restricted building work’ applies to, but is not limited to:

  • Foundations;
  • Framing;
  • Roofing;
  • Cladding; and/or
  • Active fire safety systems in small-medium sized apartment buildings


Licensed Building Practitioners include, but are not limited to:

  • Designers;
  • Carpenters;
  • Roofers;
  • External Plasterers;
  • Bricklayers; and/or
  • Block layers.
  • Registered architects, chartered professional engineers and plumbers are deemed to be LBPs.


It is the owner’s responsibility to check that the tradespeople doing and or supervising the work are licensed building practitioners. Restricted work is work on homes and small-medium sized apartment buildings that is critical to the integrity of the building. An exemption is available to owner-builders (do-it-yourselfers) allowing them to carry out Restricted Building Work (RBW) on their own home and build their own home.

There are certain criteria for this and details can be found in the document Obligations and Responsibilities of Owner-builders and Their Building Project (PDF, 64KB). Building consent applications are not accepted unless they include a Memorandum-Certificate of design work from an LBP certifying that the design work complies with the Building Code. Licensed Building Practitioners (LBP) will also need to provide a Memorandum – Record of Building Work when the work has been completed.

How do I Lodge an Application?

Once you have gathered all the necessary information, you can email the application 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.

It is important to ensure that the designer provides site and project specific documentation that clearly shows Building Code compliance. Poor quality applications may delay your consent.

Please note: When emailing an application please use Dropbox (or similar) to submit large files. Always follow up your submission with an email requesting confirmation of receipt.

How is my application processed?

All applications, regardless of how they are received, are vetted to check if all information has been provided, this is not a technical check. Your application may be rejected at this time if insufficient information has been provided.

Providing key aspects of the application form have been completed, the application will be entered into the system as lodged. The BCA has 3 days to vet the application and either request further information or formally receive the application. The 20 working day clock commences from the date a complete application is received. This will be the date the application was lodged or if further information is required, the date that the information is received. The application is then allocated to the various disciplines within the building consent authority for processing, i.e. Planning, Building and Assets. Each discipline will review your application and assess it for compliance against the requirements of the Building Code as prescribed in the Building Act. If there are any questions or concerns, you will be requested to supply further information/clarification. The 20 working day time clock is suspended until this information is provided in full.

Requests for additional information will generally be sent to the person responsible for the consent. Often clouding the area of drawings that have changed in response to an RFI, may help speed up the processing of your consent

Once all disciplines involved in the process are satisfied with compliance, a final check is made to ensure all work has been assessed correctly before the building consent is granted pending payment of fees. 

The granting of the consent shows that the building consent authority (BCA) is satisfied on reasonable grounds that if the project is constructed in accordance with the approved plans the project will comply with the Building Act, Building Code and Regulations.

Payment of Fees

When the building consent has been granted, an invoice will be generated and sent to the person indicated on the application form. It is extremely important to use the correct reference when paying the invoice. Once payment has been received, the building consent will be issued.

Receiving your Building Consent

Your building consent and approved plans along with any supporting documentation will be sent via a Dropbox link to the property owner or nominated person. You will be advised to download and securely save the documents as the link will be deleted in 10 days. If your application has been refused, a letter will be sent advising you the reasons. Work cannot start until the building consent has been granted.

External Parties

Some commercial projects may need reviewing by the Fire and Emergency New Zealand – Fire Engineering Unit. They have 10 days to provide feedback. Your fire designer should notify you of this, if needed, and this should be clearly identified in the consent documentation.
In some cases, the BCA may send applications externally for review, in particular for engineering or fire peer review. When busy, the BCA may also send consents to external contractors to process your consent.

How long is my Building Consent valid for?

The Building Act provides that if work to which the consent relates hasn’t started within 12 months from the date of the issue of the consent the consent will lapse and be of no effect. This means that you will need to apply for a new consent. If a CCC application has not been made by the 2 year anniversary of the grant of the building consent, the BCA is required to make a decision on whether or not to issue a CCC. In either case the BCA will try to contact you to remind you of these provisions. If the project has been delayed, you may apply for an extension to this time.

What sort of information do I need?

Building consent applications can be complex. We recommend that you engage a professional person to help with the design work and drawings. Each application must be accompanied by the information requirements identified in the application pack which includes: –

  • Certificate of Title – 1 copy – no older than 3 months old. Please include any Consent Notices listed under Interests.
  • Plans – (one complete set)
    • Site Plan – Scale 1:200 (recommended scale). The site plan must show the proposed building work in relation to the property boundaries, existing buildings, drainage and water supply systems, spot levels and datum.
    • Floor Plan – Scale 1:100. To be fully dimensional, including wall and partition sizes, designation of rooms, doors and window openings, sanitary fittings, fixed units, appliances such as wood-burners, cooking and heating units.
    • Cross Section – Scale 1:50. To show full details of construction of foundations, reinforcing, floor structure, wall and roof structure, insulation and height above ground level.
    • Elevations – Scale 1:100. Four elevations of the proposed building are required to show all doors, windows, roof heights and external materials and finishes.
    • Drainage Plan – Scale 1:200. To show means and location of sewage and stormwater disposal systems and any existing drains on site. Water supply details must be shown. (Only a certifying plumber/craftsman drain layer or licensed person working under their supervision can carry out plumbing/drainage works.)
    • Details – Scale 1:5. These are generally structural and weathertightness details to show how the critical elements of the building work are to be constructed
  • Specifications (1 complete set) – Specifications must be relevant to the particular building and to the plans submitted. They must give a full description of the type, size and grade of materials to be used, and the method of construction, including other trade section.
  • Snow Loads and Wind Zones – The Mackenzie District has extreme weather conditions that must be taken into consideration for all building undertaken with the district. Please refer to Appendix 1 and 2 at the end of the document for guidance on snow loads and wind zones. Please contact the Building Control team on 03 685 9010 if you have any questions relating to snow loads and
    wind zones.
  • Engineering calculations/fire report (if applicable) – (one complete set) If designs are from a CPEng engineer a site/project specific PS1 will be required.
  • Alterations to existing buildings – Under section 112 of the Building Act, a BCA must not grant a building consent to alter all or part of an existing building unless it is satisfied that, after the alteration, the building will (among other things) comply as nearly as is reasonably practicable (ANARP) with the Building Code provisions relating to means of escape from fire and access and facilities for persons with disabilities. Section 112 of the Building Act also gives TAs some powers to allow alterations to existing buildings. (if you intend to change the use of the building different provisions apply). To determine whether an existing building will comply ANARP with Building Code requirements for means of escape from fire and access and facilities for persons with disabilities after the proposed building work has been carried out, BCAs and TAs will need information on the building’s current level of compliance.
  • Wall bracing layout (if applicable) – (1 set)
  • Roof truss (if applicable) – (1 set) Manufacturer’s Truss Design and Producer Statement
  • E2 risk matrix (demonstrating weathertightness features) – (1 set).
  • H1 analysis (demonstrating insulation requirements) (1 set)


How much will my Building Consent cost? 

This depends on the type of application, cost of work involved and the level of detail provided. Charges are based on the length of time it takes to process an application and include costs such as:

  • levies payable to the Ministry of Business innovation and Employment (payable on all applications $20,444 or more);( Building Levy Order GST inclusive)
  • levies payable to BRANZ (payable on all applications $20,000 or more);
  • time spent processing the application;
  • inspections (type and number vary depending on application);
  • issue of code compliance certificate (CCC)
  • issue of compliance schedule (if applicable);
  • vehicle crossing (if applicable); and
  • water meter connection (if applicable).

See our schedule of fees or collect a copy from Council offices at 161 Queen Street. Fees can be paid at the office or by internet banking.

If you choose to withdraw your building consent application once processing has started, you will be charged for time spent and administration costs.

If your building consent application is refused once processing has started, you will be charged for time spent and administration costs. The BCA may charge additional fees for processing time where an unreasonable amount of time has had to be spent processing the consent or for additional inspections.

Multi-proof 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.

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