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Rapid Building Assessments

Following a major weather event or a natural disaster, homes may have a rapid building assessment carried out, which is a brief initial check to see if it is safe to enter the building.

Rapid Building Assessments

Following a major weather event or a natural disaster, homes may have a rapid building assessment carried out, which is a brief initial check to see if it is safe to enter the building. It is not an official engineering assessment or an inspection to advise what remedial work needs to be done. Rapid building assessments can only be carried out whist the Territorial Authority has Designation in place after declaring a state of emergency.

Following an assessment, a building or home may be issued with a placard as per MBIE’s rapid building assessment placarding system. A placard is a legal notice that restricts access to a building and should not be changed or removed unless you have permission from the building team.

If your building or home has damaged after a major weather event or natural disaster, you should contact your insurer in the first instance. You may also need to use a suitably qualified tradesperson or chartered professional engineer to do repairs or carry out further inspections.

Most repairs (including septic tank replacements) are exempt from requiring a building consent under Schedule 1 of the Building Act as they are either classed as like for like or similar replacements or covered by a discretionary exemption. However, the following replacements will still require the relevant approval: 

  • Changing the make and model of a solid fuel heater will require building consent approval.
  • All electrical work must be signed off by a registered electrician and a Certificate of Compliance supplied and submitted to Council. Your registered electrician will issue this certificate.
  • If you install a waterproof membrane to a wet area shower or bathroom (tanking) this must be completed by an approved installer who will provide a producer statement that will be submitted to Council, along with the Licensed Building Practitioner Record of Work.
  • In the extreme case that a dwelling needs to be demolished and rebuilt a building consent will be required for the new dwelling, however the demolition of the existing dwelling would be exempt under Schedule 1 as long as it is a detached dwelling.

For further information regarding the Rapid Building Assessment process and placarding system, please go to MBIE’s webpage for Managing buildings in an emergency.

Rebuilding after Cyclone Gabrielle

Following Cyclone Gabrielle, the Building Consents team created a checklist for flood affected dwellings to assist owners in understanding what remedial work needed to be carried out. Once all remedial work is complete, owners should contact our Building Consents team on the inspection line 06 835 1545 to book an inspection. If everything is in order, the existing red or yellow placard can then be replaced with a white placard, which indicates the building can be used. The placarding system will remain in effect while the designation is in place.

checklist of what’s required from flood affected homeowners

Property owners should also be aware that a history of placards issued will be disclosed on future LIM reports requested for the property. Once remedial work has been confirmed as completed, the LIM report will show the original placard issued (red or yellow) and a white placard.

For further advice or guidance please phone our Building Consents team on 06 835 7579 and request to speak to the Duty Building Officer.

Septic tanks and waste water treatment systems

Please seek independent expert advice with regards to cleaning out septic tanks and advanced waste water treatment systems.



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