Building Warrant of Fitness

A Building Warrant of Fitness is a declaration from the building’s owner that certain safety and essential systems, such as sprinklers, emergency lighting or fire alarms, have been maintained. It certifies that the inspection, maintenance and reporting procedures in the buildings compliance schedule have been fully complied with in the last 12 months.

The owner must display the warrant in a public area in the building that should be easily visible when you enter. A copy must also be provided each year to the Council.

Do You Need a Building Warrant of Fitness?

You need to have a warrant if your building contains any of the following specified systems:

  • Automatic systems for fire suppression e.g. sprinklers
  • Automatic or manual emergency warning systems for fire or other dangers, except for systems in household units
  • Electromagnetic or automatic doors or windows
  • Emergency lighting systems
  • Escape route pressurisation systems
  • Riser main for fire service use
  • Automatic backflow preventers connected to a portable water supply
  • Lifts, escalators, travelators or other systems for moving people or goods within a building
  • Mechanical ventilation or air conditioning systems
  • Building maintenance units providing access to exterior and interior walls of a building
  • Laboratory fume cupboards
  • Audio loops or other assistive listening systems
  • Smoke control systems
  • Fire escape exits
  • Cable cars
  • Emergency power facilities for any of the above systems

Inspections and Monitoring

An independently qualified person (IQP) is required to inspect and monitor your building. The South Island IQP register is maintained by Timaru District Council. Waimakariri District Council helped develop this panel and continue to attend the approval process for IQPs and ongoing development. You can search the IQP register on the IQP search page.

Under the Building Act 2004, you must have annual reports from the inspection, maintenance and reporting procedures of the compliance schedule signed by the IQP’s who completed the procedures. Reports must be kept with your compliance schedule for two years and be available during inspections and audits.

Failure to Comply

Failure to comply carries significant penalties ranging from an infringement notice and a fee, to a fine of up to $200,000 if convicted.

We encourage building owners and agents to contact us as soon as a potential issue arises. Should the issue not be fixed, formal enforcement action will be taken. Find out more about fines and penalties for failures to comply.

The Building Unit is here to help and if you need advice, please contact us on

Last reviewed date: 01 Nov 2023