The Council's Building Control department is responsible for making sure all building work in the Gore District complies with the Building Code.
Update from Building Control Manager
Gore District Council is part of a group of 11 Building Control Authorities (BCAs) from Timaru south, known as the Southern building Controls Group (SBCG).
One of the aims of this group is to develop and provide common forms for Building Consent applicants across the region, including attachments for waivers and alternative solutions as well as compliance schedule templates for all specialised systems.
Several new forms have been introduced under the SBCG logo to coincide with the implementation of RBW (Restricted Building Work), effective March 1, 2012.
The Building Act 2004
The Act affects the construction, alteration, demolition and maintenance of new and existing buildings throughout New Zealand. It sets standards and procedures for people involved in building work to ensure buildings are built right first time.It covers how work can be done, who can do it, and when it needs to be inspected.
Parts of the Act first came into effect on 30 November 2004, and the rules around building consents and inspections explained in this guide came into force on 31 March 2005.
If you have been involved in a building project before this time, you will find there have been some changes to strengthen the system and ensure building work is right first time.
If your building project was consented before 31 March 2005, most of the provisions in this guide apply to you. The only exception is around issuing your code compliance certificate (CCC), which will follow a slightly different process.If your project received its building consent before 31 March 2005, your final inspection will be considered against the Building Code in place at the time the consent was issued.
The Building Act covers building work, but there are other laws that could affect your project. These include Council bylaws, the Resource Management Act, and the laws specifying that certain plumbing, gas and electrical work must be done by qualified professionals.
The Building Code
The Building Code is an important document. It is a set of regulations that define the performance standards buildings must meet, for example how strong an earthquake they must be able to withstand, or how much natural light there must be in a bedroom.
The Building Code sets minimum standards. You may decide to exceed those standards, but you cannot do less than the Building Code requires.
To ensure your project goes smoothly, it is important the person who draws your project plans understands the Building Code requirements and how to meet them, and that the builder builds the building outlined in the approved plans.
Councils have powers to require that property owners fix work not complying with the Building Code.
What work requires a consent and what doesn't, along with the building consent process and forms, are explained and listed on the following pages.
The Application Process
The Building Act allows the Gore District Council's Building Consents Authority up to 20 working days to either refuse or grant a building consent. When an application is received by the Council it is vetted for completeness and signed-off as "fit for the purpose of processing".
The application is then entered into the Council's system and the 20 working day statutory clock commences. If the Council requires more information during processing, the application is suspended (statutory time clock stops) until the requested information is provided.
Once the information is provided the time clock is restarted and processing continues. It is important for applicants to provide full details (as per the Council's checklists) with their applications.
Do you need a Building Consent?
Basic building jobs, such as laying a patio or installing kitchen cupboards, do not require a building consent; but many more complicated household projects do. If you are considering any building or plumbing work, you need to talk to Council building control staff to discuss if a building consent is required or not.
Work that does not require a building consent is set out by the Building Act 2004 (Schedule 1). Although your particular project may be exempt from the need for a building consent, the work must still satisfy the provisions of the Building Code.
Examples of work that require a building consent:
- Structural - additions, alterations, re-piling, demolition
- Plumbing and drainage (except the repair and maintenance of existing components)
- Relocating a building
- Installing a solid or diesel fired heating unit
- Retaining walls higher than 1.5 metres or taking building/vehicle loading surcharge
- Fences or walls higher than 2.5 metres and all swimming pool fences
- Swimming pools
- Decks, platforms or bridges more than 1.5 metres above ground level
- Sheds greater than 10 square metres in floor area
Examples of work that don't require a building consent:
- Decks, platforms or bridges with a fall height of less than 1.5 metres
- Garden trellis or fences less than 2.5 metres high
- Installing kitchen cupboards
- Small garden ponds less than 400mm depth
- Maintenance of homes, for example, replacing spouting or a piece of weatherboard
- Building a garden shed or outbuilding less than 10 square metres in floor area and greater than its own height from a boundary
If you are unsure, please contact the Council's Building Control Department on 03 209 0330 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The department is managed by Russell Paterson, with two building control officers, one plumbing and drainage inspector and two customer service / building consent processing officers.
Departmental Guide on Building Safety and Warrants of Fitness
Owners' responsibilities to ensure their buildings are safe to use: Guidance on building warrants of fitness and compliance schedules (November 2010, PDF 729 KB). The Department of Building and Housing guide outlines best practice on how building owners can meet the requirements of the Building Act 2004 relating to BWoFs, compliance schedules, and related matters. Standard template forms have also been developed with this guidance that comply with the requirements of the Building Act and Regulations.
- A general guide to the building consent process at the Gore District Council (PDF, 1.5MB)
- A guide to Schedule 1 of the Building Act
- 2012 Building Consent Fees (PDF, 550KB)
- Building Consent Forms
- Certified Builders
- Department of Building and Housing
- DBH Guide to Building Work - Consent Not Required (PDF, 1MB)
- Home Owner's Building Guide
- Master Builders
- New Zealand Homeowner's Building Guide
- Otago Southland Lakes 2011 Building Guide (PDF, 5 MB)
- Restricted Building Work - Build it Right Guide (PDF, 555KB)
- Solid Fuel Heaters - When is a Building Consent Required (PDF, 134KB)
- Water Storage for Firefighting Purposes (PDF, 108KB)
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