Building Consents and Information

Contents
​​​​​Putting together a building consent application can be complex. Depending on the type of work, we recommend you work with an experienced professional, such as a designer or an architect, to help with putting together plans, specifications and required documentation before applying. 

What is a building consent?

A building consent is the formal approval issued by a building consent authority (Taupō District Council) that ensures certain works meet the requirements of the Building Act 2004 (the Act), Building Regulations and the Building Code.  You cannot undertake any building work that requires a building consent without this approval.

Building work that is considered minor or low risk may not need a building consent under Schedule 1 of the Act. 

Do I need a consent?

A building consent is required for most work including:

  • structural building - additions, alterations to existing buildings and demolition
  • new buildings
  • decks, platforms or bridges more than 1.5 metres above ground level
  • retaining walls higher than 1.5 metres
  • plumbing and drainage work
  • relocating a building
  • changing the use of a building
  • installing a fireplace or airconditioning system
  • fences or walls higher than 2.5 metres
  • swimming or spa pools and their associated fences/safety barriers
  • sheds with a floor area greater than 10 square metres.

Schedule 1 of the Building Act lists the building work exempt from requiring a building consent. 

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment: Schedule 1 guidance
Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment: Work exempt from consent​

As a building owner, you are responsible for ensuring any exempt building work complies with the Building Code and that it doesn’t breach any other Act.

Although the work may be classed as exempt under the Building Act, other approvals such as resource consent may be required. If you’re not sure about other approvals, please phone us on 07 376 0899 and talk to one of our development advisors.

You can formally record your exempt building work on your property file by making an application for exempt building work. 

Application for exempt building work

​Building on land subject to natural hazards

It’s important to consider any natural hazards that could be present on the land when undertaking any building work. 

Natural hazards include:
  • erosion (including coastal erosion, bank erosion and sheet erosion)
  • falling debris (including soil, rock, snow and ice)
  • subsidence
  • inundation (including flooding, overland flow, storm surge, tidal effects and ponding)
  • slippage.
The Building Act allows, depending on the circumstances, the consent to either be refused or granted subject to a condition that a natural hazard notification is placed on the title. This notification warns future property owners of the potential hazard and reduces the liability for the council. We’ll discuss with you the refusal or notification process if this relates to your project.

A project information memorandum (PIM) or land information memorandum (LIM) will identify any hazards we have on file.

Section 71-74 of the Building Act 2004
Taupō District Council Practice Note - Building on land subject to natural hazards

Change of use, alterations and extension of life

If you want to change the use of a building, make alterations, or extend its life, you will need to let us know.

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment: Change of use, alterations and extension of life

The relevant sections of the Building Act are: 
Section 112 Alterations to an existing building​
Section 115 Change of use of a building
Section 116 Extension to specified intended life of a building
Section 116A Subdivision of existing building​​

Change of use application form

Producer statements

Producer statements are documents issued by a suitably qualified professional that give evidence that a design or building work complies, or will comply, with the Building Code. 

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment: Producer statements

Apply for a building consent

Submitting a good quality application with all the necessary information can reduce delays in processing. If you are unfamiliar with building plans and compliance with the Building Code, you may need to engage a professional to supply the required drawings and information. They can also apply for a building consent on your behalf. 

Useful information about applying for a building consent can be found on the Ministry of Business Innovation & Employment website.

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment: Apply for building consent

Our preferred method of building consent application is online. However, you can request a PDF copy of an application if you wish to apply by email or hard copy. Give us a call on 07 3760899 or email buildingconsents@taupo.govt.nz to request. Please note that an additional fee will be charged for applications not lodged through our online services portal.

When applying online, an online services account must be created or your existing account logged into. The progress of your application can be saved throughout and you are able share your application with other users such as your architect or builder.

Application for building consent and/or PIM (including amendment & temporary structures) 

If you need any assistance with your application, please phone 07 3760899.

Use the relevant checklist to help determine what information you need to supply with your application:
Residential building checklist
Multi-residential, industrial and commercial building checklist
Simple buildings checklist (garage, carport, deck, retaining wall, farm building or temporary structure)
Minor build checklist (fireplace, demolition, swimming pool, solar, drainage or wet area shower)
Marquee checklist

​Once you submit your application

Initial applicatio​​n check
All applications are put through a vetting process to check that we have the basic information required to start processing your application.

Your application will either be: 
  • returned as incomplete with a checklist identifying the missing information, or 
  • accepted for processing.

Processing
After your application has been accepted, it will be allocated to one of our building management officers to process. The officer will check your application complies with the requirements of the Building Act and the Building Code. We have 20 working days to process your application. If we need to ask you for further information then the 20 working day clock will be paused until that information has been received in full.

Other reviews of your application
Fire and Emergency New Zealand: There is a requirement (by law) for some applications to be sent to Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) for review. This review provides feedback on the compliance of the proposed design and the ability for people to escape fire safely. There will be additional fees to pay if your application needs to be reviewed by FENZ.

Development Engineer: Your application will be checked by our development engineer for hazards on the site, consent notices, resource consent conditions, soil conditions, geotechnical and stormwater reports, stormwater control design, public services and other site related issues. 

Resource Consents Planner: A planner will check whether your application complies with the District Plan, whether you need to apply for a resource consent or that you are complying with the conditions of an existing resource consent.

If you’re advised that you need to apply for a resource consent or you have a related resource consent that is not granted yet, a section 37 certificate will be attached to your building consent preventing you from starting work until a resource consent is obtained.

Development Contributions: An assessment of your proposed works will be undertaken to determine if a development contribution is applicable.

More information: Development Contributions

Decisi​on
Once your application has been​ assessed and we are satisfied on reasonable grounds that your proposal complies with the Building Code, the application will be approved.

We will advise the decision by email along with an invoice for the relevant consent fees.

Fees

Fees will be calculated based on the time taken to process your application and can include costs such as:
  • levies payable to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (payable on all applications with an estimated value of $20,444 or more)
  • levies payable to BRANZ (payable on all applications with an estimated value of $20,444 or more);
  • administration time spent processing the application
  • building officer time spent processing the application
  • project or council information memorandum
  • inspections (number vary depending on application)
  • building consent authority administration fee
  • water connection (if applicable)
  • notifications made under section 73 of the Act
  • registration of a condition made under section 75 of the Act.
Depending on the type of application, other fees not listed above may also be applicable.
Fees and charges​

Making payment

Payments can be made online by credit card or internet banking.

Be sure to quote your building consent number (e.g. BCXXXXXX) when paying by internet banking to ensure your payment is allocated to the correct account. Payments made without a suitable reference may result in a delay issuing your approved consent.

If your application is declined, we will tell you the reasons why. If you do not agree with the outcome you may request a review of the decision.

What happens next?

Once you have paid the outstanding fees, we will issue your consent as per the delivery method identified when your application was submitted. 

Conditions and advice notes may be placed on your building consent at issue stage. These conditions can be due to:
  • a resource consent is required to be obtained before building work can commence (section 37)
  • building code waivers and modifications
  • building on land subject to natural hazards
  • building over two allotments
  • buildings with specified intended life
  • actions that are required to achieve/or maintain compliance.
Required items, including a list of required inspections and documents, are attached to your approved plans. These are important advice notes and conditions that you need to read and understand.

Once you receive your building consent, the building work needs to start within 12 months of the date of issue. If a resource consent is required, you may need to wait until that is also issued before starting your building work.

Inspections should be booked at the relevant stages throughout your building project.

More information: Building inspections

We have two years from the date of issue to make a decision on whether to grant or refuse code compliance certificate for the building work.

This timeframe can be extended by completing an application for extension of time prior to the deadline date.

Extension of time application form

Lapsed co​​​nsent

A building consent lapses if the building work hasn’t commenced within 12 months after the date of issue. For the work to take place, a new building consent is required to be applied for.
 
We can allow this timeframe to be extended before the consent lapses. Complete an application for extension of time.​

Extension of time application form

Certificate for public use

A certificate for public use allows premises affected by building work to be used by the public before the work is signed off as complete.

You can only apply for a certificate for public use if a building consent has been granted but the code compliance certificate has not been issued. We will assess any safety precautions and plans that have been put in place to allow members of the public to use the premises safely. 

Certificates for public use do not relieve you, as owner of a building, from the obligation to apply for a code compliance certificate after all the building work has been completed.

Certificate for public use application form

Applications can take up to 20 working days to process and fees are payable. An inspection will be carried out to ensure compliance with public safety.

Complaints and appeal process

If you’re unhappy with any aspect of our service you can lodge a complaint. You can also appeal any decision we have made to have it reviewed.
 
You can make a complaint in person, however you must also provide it in writing. Complaints not made in writing or made anonymously will not be actioned.
 
Complaints should be addressed to:
Building Consents Manager
Taupō District Council
Private Bag 2005
Taupō Mail Centre
Taupō 3351
 
You’ll need to provide us the following information:
  • the date the incident occurred
  • the nature of your complaint (guidance information, vetting, lodgement, inspection, notice to fix, code compliance certificate or compliance schedule)
  • copies of any supporting information (if applicable) and
  • the nature of your relationship with us (customer, regulator, or stakeholder).
We’ll respond within three working days of receiving your complaint at which time you may be asked whether you wish to be heard in relation to the compliant or to provide further information.

All complaints will be actioned within 10 working days of receipt of complaint, unless a request for further information is made.

Can I appea​​l a decision?

Yes, if you do not agree with the outcome you may request a review of the decision. All appeals must be made in writing setting out the reasons why you disagree with the decision.
 
All appeals should be addressed to:
Building Consents Manager
Taupō District Council
Private Bag 2005
Taupō Mail Centre
Taupō 3351
 
We’ll respond to your appeal within 10 workings days.

Determinations

If you are still unhappy or choose to use an alternative route to settle a matter of doubt or dispute, you may apply to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) for a Determination.

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment: Determinations​
Page reviewed: 13 Feb 2019 11:30am