Processing of Your Building Consent

This is the process that your building consent goes through from when it is received by the Council.

The Building Consent Process

The consent is received at the Council's customer services counter or by post or our electronic portal Sharefile (Applicant must be registered to use the online portal).

Bookmarks: Please note that our current software does not enable us to maintain bookmarks within the consent documents during processing and granting.  (This may be reviewed once a software solution becomes available).

The consent is vetted. This is where your application will be checked for completeness, (there is a consent checklist in the application form). If information is missing from your application and/or is incorrect, you will be contacted by the Building Unit Administration Team requesting further information (Please note: if applying in person the application may not be accepted by council staff until the application is deemed complete)

During the vetting process, an invoice for a deposit and/or Fixed Fee charges is sent to applicant or agent. (see Building services fees and charges page).

Once a complete application is received, including payment of fees the application will be ‘Formally Received’ - this is when the 20 working day statutory clock starts/10 day statutory clock starts for MultiProof.

If requested a copy of the consent is sent to PIMS Team to be processed (PIM - Project Information Memorandum) A copy of the PIM is sent to the Processing Team and will be included in your consent (you will also receive a copy).Please note: if a PIM is not requested a Compliance & Services check will still be carried out to ensure compliance with District Plan requirements, vehicle crossing bylaws etc..

Once the application is allocated to a Building Consent Officer, your plans and specifications will be looked at to ensure that they show sufficient detail and that they comply with the minimum requirements of the Building Code. If items are found to be non-complying or if extra detail is required to show compliance, you will be sent a request for further information (RFI). In the case where no PIM has been applied for we will also include items that do not comply with the Waimakariri District Council's District Plan that need to be resolved. The processing time clock is paused until the further information is provided.

On receipt of the complete response to an RFI the statutory clock restarts. The RFI response is assessed for completeness by the Building Consent Officer. Once the Consent Processor is satisfied on reasonable grounds that the provisions of the Building Code would be met if the building project was completed as per the plans and specifications submitted, they will then approve the plans and specifications and forward the completed file to the next stage.

If required the consent will be sent to validation. This is a final quality assurance check, and depending on the findings further information may be requested (as with all RFI that statutory clock would again be suspended until the information is provided).

Once satisfied the Consent Processor will make the decision to grant (or refuse) the consent. The building consent authority must grant a building consent if it is satisfied on reasonable grounds that the provisions of the Building Code would be met if the building work were properly completed in accordance with the plans and specifications that accompanied the application (Please note if the consent were to be refused, this would have been discussed with the applicant/agent in detail before such a decision was made).

If the decision is to grant the consent it will be sent to the Building Unit Administration Team to be invoiced, at this time the statutory clock is stopped. This invoice will then be sent to the applicant or agent for payment

On receipt of full payment, the building consent will be issued along with the consent documents.

Information about processing and issuing building consents, as well as alterations to existing buildings, change of use, extension of life, and subdivision of buildings can be found at

Start work. Building work can start once the building consent is received or uplifted, Inspections can then be booked in – see conditions on the consent. (Please note: No building work may start until the invoice has been paid and the consent issued)

Please note that the Council must issue a Certificate if Resource Consent is required. This is also referred to as a “Section 37 Notice”; and it that will advise you if

(a) No building work may proceed or

(b) Building work may only proceed to the extent stated in the certificate.

Conditions on Building Consents

Section 67. the approved plans contain waivers or modifications to the building code issued by the Territorial Authority. These may be subject to their own unique conditions so please check your documentation.

Section 72. the building consent has been issued with a notification, condition, that the land is subject to natural hazards, which can mean flooding or landslips for example.

Section 75. construction of building on 2 or more allotments.  The Council issues a certificate that states that as a condition of the granting of the Building Consent 1 or more of the Lots must not be transferred or leased except in conjunction with any specified other or others of those Lots.  The condition may advise that no building work is to commence until the conditions have been satisfied.

Section 90. the building consent has been issued with the condition that inspections will need to be conducted. This condition will always apply and will need to be complied with fully to ensure that a Code Compliance Certificate can be issued. Inspections may be conducted by council officers and may sometimes be required to be conducted by other professionals like civil or structural engineers. These will usually have to provide documentation that they have conducted these inspections and they will need to be organised and paid for by the builder/developer/owner.

Section 113. the building consent has been issued with the condition that the building has "limited life" as determined by the owner/application.

Referrals to Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ). An application for a building consent that relates to building work to be carried out in respect of any type or part of the following buildings:

  • (a) the gathering together, for any purpose, of 100 or more persons:
  • (b) providing employment facilities for 10 or more persons:
  • (c) providing accommodation for more than 5 persons (other than in 3 or fewer household units):
  • (d) a place where hazardous substances are present in quantities exceeding the prescribed minimum amounts, whatever the purpose for which the building is used:
  • (e) providing early childhood facilities (other than in a household unit):
  • (f) providing nursing, medical, or geriatric care (other than in a household unit):
  • (g) providing specialised care for persons with disabilities (other than in a household unit):
  • (h) providing accommodation for persons under lawful detention (not being persons serving a sentence of home detention)

If compliance with clauses C1-6, D1, F6 or F8 of the Building Code will be established other than by compliance with an applicable compliance document; or

  • Involves a modification or waiver of clauses C1-6, D1, F6 or F8 of the Building Code, or
  • Involves an alteration, change in use or subdivision and affects the fire safety systems, including any building work on a specified system relating to fire safety, except where the effect on the fire safety system is minor

The Council must, on receipt of an application to which this section applies, provide a copy of the application to Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ). After considering the application FENZ will then provide advice to the Council if further information or other considerations are required. The Council will forward these requests to the applicant for their consideration and assess the responses to determine if Building Work will comply with the Building Code to the extent necessary with the Building Act 2004.

Requesting a Withdrawal of a Building Consent

The owner (or applicant or agent with the authority of the owner) of a property may request a withdrawal of a building consent application at any time prior to the consent being granted e.g. your application has been lodged but is not yet granted and you decide that you do not want to continue with the application. Please submit a Request for Withdrawal of Building Consent Application. Depending on the timing of the request, there may be either a refund or a charge for additional fees, as work to date costs will be charged.

Where the consent has been granted and issued, and customer no longer wishes to carry out the building work, then the consent will be lapsed as per section 52 of the Building Act 2004. You may request that your building consent is lapsed prior to the 12 month timeframe, by submitting a Request for Lapse of Building Consent.  A fee will apply where an early lapse of building consent is requested, along with a refund for any unused fees.

Where the consent has been granted but has not been issued, and the customer decides they no longer wish to carry out the building work, then section 93(2)(b) of the Building Act 2004 will apply at the 2 year expiry of the date on which the building consent was granted, where the building consent authority makes the decision whether to issue code compliance certificate where no application is made.

Additional Guidance

REFER TO Let’s Get it Right…Building Consents for further information on this process and the process for applying and obtaining Code Compliance Certificate

REFER TO Let’s Get it Right…Inspections for further information on what is required as part of the building inspections process