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When you need a Building Consent

Even though the Building Act specifically says buildings are not to be constructed, altered, demolished or removed without consent, there are exemptions to this.

Some projects are exempt from the requirement to obtain a building consent. Work that is classed as exempt under Schedule 1 of the Building Act does not require a building consent — however it must still meet the relevant Building Codes to ensure it is safe and fit for purpose.

View a full copy of Schedule 1 

Some examples of works that don’t require a building consent are:

  • Constructing a small outbuilding of less than 10m² that is its own height away from the nearest boundary.
  • Updating your bathroom — provided the work stays in the same room, and the number of fixtures does not change.
  • Moving a non-load bearing wall.

If you decide that your building works fall under the scope of Schedule 1, no Building Consent is required (however you can still chose to obtain one if you wish).

If the proposed work falls outside the scope of Schedule 1, then a Building Consent is required.

In general, you must have a building consent before you start any building work, including;

  • Building, repairing or altering a house, accessory building over 10m² or commercial building.
  • Heating and ventilation work.
  • Plumbing and drainage work.
  • Swimming pools, spa pools and pool fencing.

Please note this is only a small sample of works that require a building consent — if you are at all unsure, please talk to your builder, designer, or a member of the building team here at Council.