Building Consent Process

Let's Get It Right - Building Consents (Brochure)
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Processing of Your Consent

Step One – Consent Received

Your building consent is received via the Council's Customer Services counter, by post or through our online portal – Sharefile. Please note: You must be registered to use Sharefile.

Step Two – Vetting:

Next your application will be checked to make sure everything has been included. If any information is missing or incorrect, our building team will contact you for further information.

An invoice for a deposit and/or fixed fee charges will also be sent to you, or your agent who submitted the application on your behalf. Find out more about building consent fees and charges.

If requested, a copy of the consent is also sent to the Project Information Memorandum (PIM) team to be processed. A copy of the PIM is sent to you and will be included in your consent.

Step Three – Processing:

Once your consent has been checked, any additional information received, and the deposit or fees have been paid, we can start processing your application.

Your consent is then allocated to a Building Consent Officer and must be processed within 20 working days after receipt of the completed application. The officer reviews your plans and specifications to ensure that they show sufficient detail and comply with the requirements of the Building Code. If a PIM has not been requested, your consent will instead go through a compliance and services check to ensure it meets all of all requirements and relevant bylaws in the District Plan.

If any extra detail is required to show compliance, you will be sent a request for further information (RFI), which will be assessed by your officer. If any further information is needed while your consent is reviewed, the processing timeframe is put on hold then continued once all of the information has been received.

Step Four – Validation:

If required, the consent will be sent for a final quality assurance check, known as validation, and depending on the findings, further information may be requested.

Step Five – Consent Granted or Refused:

Once all checks have been completed, the consent will either be granted or refused.

The Council 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.

If a consent is likely to be refused, this will be discussed with your or your agent in detail before a decision is made.

Step Six – Start Building:

If granted, the final invoice will be sent to you or your agent. Once paid, the building consent will be issued along with all of the consent documents. You can start building work as soon as the building consent is received.

After we have issued the consent, we complete inspections during construction and issue a Code Compliance Certificate when the building work is completed. Learn more about inspections and make a booking here.

Please note: The Council must issue a certificate if a resource consent is also required. This is referred to as a “Section 37 Notice”; and it that will advise you if no building work may proceed or if building work may only proceed to the extent stated in the certificate.

If building work has not started within 12 months of the consent being issued, and you have not requested a work start extension, your consent will lapse. A refund for any unused fees will also apply. If the consent has lapsed and you still wish to carry out the building work, you will need to apply for a new consent.

You can request an extension by submitting this form to the Council. A fee for the extension will apply and the Council will decide whether to grant an extension for up to one year.

A second discretionary extension may be granted in certain circumstances, and in this case, the extension period will also be applied to the time in which the Council decides whether to issue a Code Compliance Certificate, as per Section 93 (2) (b) of the Building Act 2004. If no application for a certificate is made, the Council will decide on the extension expiry date whether to issue the certificate.

Amendments and Minor Variations

You can apply for an amendment or minor variation to your building consent once it has been granted. All amendments or minor variations must be approved by the Council and comply with all requirements of the Building Code and Building Act 2004, and must be approved before the building work is carried out, otherwise it may result in a failed inspection.

There are two ways the we handle changes:

  • Amendments – major changes to a project
  • Minor variations – a change which does not deviate significantly from the approved plans and specifications

Please see the amendment and minor variations fact sheet here.

A minor variation is a minor modification, addition or variation to a building consent that does not deviate significantly from the plans and specifications related to the consent.

Minor variations can be approved in two ways, onsite by the Building Inspector or in the office by a Building Consent Officer.

To apply for an in-office minor variation, you will need to complete the Application for a Minor Variation to a Building Consent form and provide the updated plans/documents to the Building Unit to be assessed.

To be accepted onsite by the building inspector, you will need to provide the inspector with information to show how the variation complies with the Building Code.

Where the scope of work is broader than what can be covered by a minor variation, you will need to apply for an amendment.

For more information on minor variations, please see MBIE Guidance – What is a minor variation.

If you want to substitute a building product that was specified in your building consent application, you need to show the council how it meets the Building Code’s requirements.

See MBIE's Product Substitution Guidance for more information.

An amendment is required when the work is outside the scope of the original building consent and is not considered to be a minor variation. Examples can be found on our Fact sheet and by visiting

Amendments require a Form 2 Application for project information memorandum and/or building consent to be submitted.

All amendments have to be authorised by the owner.

The amendment will be processed by the Council within 20 working days. If we need any further information, the processing timeframe is put on hold and restarted once all of the information has been received and accepted.

Withdrawing a Consent

You may request a withdrawal of a building consent application at any time prior to the consent being granted. For example, if your application has been submitted but hasn’t been granted and you decide that you don’t want to continue with the application.

You will need to submit a Request for Withdrawal of Building Consent Application. There may be a refund or a charge for additional fees for processing completed to date.

If the consent has been issued but you no longer want to complete the building work, then the consent will lapse, as per Section 52 of the Building Act 2004. You can also request for your building consent to lapse prior to the 12 month timeframe by submitting a Request for Lapse of Building Consent Application. There may be a refund or a charge for any additional fees.

If the consent has been granted but not issued yet, then Section 93 (2) (b) of the Building Act 2004 will apply at the two-year expiry of when the building consent was granted – when the Council decides whether or not to issue a Code Compliance Certificate where no application has been made.

Multiple Use Approval

A multiple use approval, known as a MultiProof, is a statement by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) that a set of plans and specifications for a building complies with the New Zealand Building Code. Under the Building Act 2004, the Council must accept a MultiProof as evidence of compliance.

This allows a more streamlines consent process for people who are building the same, or substantially similar, buildings several times. It removes the need for the design to be assessed and re-approved by the Council each time. A MultiProof is not a building consent and the holder must still obtain a building consent every time they want to build the approved design.

It enables the Council to confirm and establish:

  • The design, with any permitted variations, is the same as the one in the plans and specifications approved in the MultiProof
  • The proposed site meets the conditions of the MultiProof conditions
  • Any site specific features of the design comply with the Building Code
  • The inspections required

See more information about MultiProofs here.

Last reviewed date: 14 Nov 2023