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What happens next?

When an application has been lodged, the consent is reviewed by various teams, the time to do this varies and depends on the completeness of the information provided with the application. Once a consent is granted and issued, work needs to start within 12 months. A code compliance certificate can be issued when all work in the approved building consent has passed all inspections and all required documentation has been provided and accepted.

The order of attack

Your application may need to be reviewed by several Council Teams for example: Building, Planning, Environmental Health, Utilities, Roading, and sent to Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) where your application is checked and advice is sent in accordance with section 47 of the Building Act.

The application is processed to verify that if the project is constructed in accordance with the application it will comply with the Building Code. Incomplete applications or ones with inadequate details will be suspended for further information.

During processing of your application it may be identified that third party inspections such as those carried out by Engineers for specific design details of the project are required with the agreement of the applicant.

The time required for Council Officers to check your proposal varies and has a bearing on how long it takes before your consent is granted. The Building Act 2004 requires Council to process consents (if not suspended for further information) within 20 working days.

All buildings that have a multi-proof consent from the MBIE will have a processing time of 10 working days.

No building work can be commenced until the Building Consent is granted.

How long is building consent valid for?

Owners should commence building work within 12 months of a building consent being issued. 

If building work has not commenced within 12 months from the date of a building consent being issued, or any further period that the Building Consent Authority may allow, the building consent will lapse under section 52 of the Building Act 2004. Any building work carried out after the lapse is considered illegal. 

For this reason, Building Administration Officers send out letters advising that the deadline is near, and there is no record of the work commencing. The letter will ask you to either advise that work has commenced or apply for an extension.

If you do not respond, the consent is considered lapsed. A new building consent is required for the work to take place.

Extension of building start timeframe

Council can extend the period allowed for work to start after a consent is issued. You must apply in writing before the building consent has lapsed because extensions are not always granted.

An extension does not affect the Code Compliance Certificate application timeframe. If you need an extension to the Code Compliance Certificate timeframe it will require a separate application.

All building work should be completed within two years from the date that the building consent was granted.

When building work can begin

Building work can begin when you have both your Building Consent and if applicable your Resource Consent.  Where a Resource Consent is not yet issued on your property that directly affects your Building Consent a Form 4 will be issued to prevent the start of building work or restrict what work may be carried out until the resource consent is issued.

How long does it take to get a building consent?

Building consent processing time depends on the complexity of your project and whether or not you have provided us with sufficient information.

Building consents are required to be issued within 20 working days, however; if information is deficient the time clock is stopped and a formal request will be made for further information. The time clock is not restarted until all the requested information is received.

From 1 February 2010, volume builders can obtain a  multiproof approval for standardised building designs that are intended to be replicated several times, these building consents are required to be issued within 10 working days.

How is my application processed?

Your application is imported into the system and a formal vetting process is undertaken.  The Vetting Team endeavour to undertake this process within 1 working day. At this point the 20 working day time clock is started. The vetting process is not a technical check it is merely a check to see if all information has been provided. If insufficient information has been provided a list of information required will be sent. You will be given 8 weeks in which to supply the required information.  Your application will be rejected at this time if the required information has not been supplied.

The application is then allocated to the various disciplines within the building consent authority for processing, i.e. planning, engineering, building, water, drainage, services, health etc. against the relevant legislation.

Where the Building Consent Authority does not have competence to process for compliance it shall be outsourced.

Each discipline will review your application and assess it for compliance. If there are any questions or concerns a notification will be sent to you or your agent requesting further information or clarification.

When a request for further information is sent, the 20 working day time clock is stopped and processing is suspended until this information is provided. Once all information has been received the time clock will be started again.

Granting the consent

A 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.

However, a building consent authority is not required to grant a building consent until it receives:

  • any charge or fee fixed by it in relation to the consent
  • any levy payable under section 53.

How will I be notified?

When your application is ready for issue (or refused issue) an invoice will be sent for payment.  Once payment has been made for all fees your building consent will be made available on the online portal, you will be notified by email to the agent nominated on the application form.

If your application has been refused then an email will be sent advising you why your application has been refused.

What are building consent conditions or advice notes?

When a building consent is issued there may be a number of conditions or advice notes attached to the building consent document. Only conditions permitted by the Building Act may be placed on building consents. These may be in relation to:

  • The entitlement to inspect (this is a statutory condition that applies to every building consent).
  • Specified intended life (section 113).
  • Waivers and modifications (section 67).
  • Building on land subject to natural hazards (section 71).
  • Building over two or more allotments (section 75).
  • Advice notes or notices attached to building consents are simply that – advice from Council that certain requirements should be met or may be helpful information in relation to the building consent and building work.

It is important that you read and understand all conditions of consent before commencing work. If you do not understand any condition imposed, please contact us to discuss these.


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