Building Consent FAQs
If you are planning to build or renovate, almost all the work you will do needs to meet a number of standards and regulations, such as the Building Act 2004.
It is the Gore District Council’s role, as the Building Consent Authority for the District, to provide building consents for work that needs approval and inspection under the Act.
The Act covers building work, but there are also other regulations that could affect your project. These include Council bylaws, the Resource Management Act, and legislation specifying certain plumbing, gas and electrical work must be done by qualified professionals.
How much does a consent cost? There are different factors we have to consider when setting a building consent fee. Here are our current fees and charges.
Need help? Check out the FAQs below, or for more detailed guidance, try this Building Compliance Information Booklet
For information about land use and subdivision applications, please see our Planning section.
What is a building consent?
A building consent is approval from the Council to carry out building work on a specific property or site.
It ensures there is appropriate sanitary plumbing and drainage, minimum fire safety standards have been met and that works are structurally sound.
A consent ensures the work complies with legislation, such as:
- the Building Act 2004
- the NZ Building Code
- the RMA, and
- the Gore District Plan
A building consent is required for most building work, including:
- Structural - additions, alterations, re-piling, demolition
- Plumbing and drainage (except the repair and maintenance of existing components included in Schedule 1 exemptions)
- 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 pool fences & swimming pools not covered by a Schedule 1 exemption
- Decks, platforms or bridges more than 1.5 metres above ground level
- Sheds greater than 10 square metres in floor area
This Flow Chart of the Building Process details each step of the building process, and who is responsible.
Do I need a building consent?
Basic building jobs, such as laying a patio or installing kitchen cupboards, do not require a building consent.
Work that does not require a building consent is set out in the Building Act 2004 (Schedule 1). Although your particular project may be exempt from needing a building consent, the work must still meet the standards set out in the Building Code.
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has created an interactive guide to help you find out if your building work needs a building consent, and what you need to do before starting physical work. Here's a link to download a guide to work not requiring a building consent.
Who can help me decide if I need a building consent?
If you are not sure if your proposed work is exempt, you should get advice from someone with the appropriate building knowledge and expertise.
You should also seek advice if you are considering building work that is close to load-bearing walls.
People who can give you advice include:
- Registered Architect
- Chartered Professional Engineer
- Registered Building Surveyor
- Building Consultant
- Registered Electrician
- Licensed Building Practitioner – check they hold the relevant licensing class before seeking advice
- Registered Certifying Plumber or Drainlayer
- Independent qualified person (IQP)
You may need to pay a building consent authority or other adviser for their advice.
My building work is exempt - What next?
Some exempt building work can be carried out by anyone, while others need the help of a Plumber or Drainlayer, Licenced Building Practitioner or Chartered Professional Engineer. As a building owner, you are responsible for:
- deciding whether or not your building work is exempt
- making sure that any exempt building work complies with the Building Code.
You may want to contract a building practitioner for some types of work – even if you don't need a consent.
You can still choose to apply for a building consent, even if building work is exempt.
On completion of any exempt building work, the altered building must comply with the Building Code to at least the same extent as it did before the building work was undertaken.
You can find 'fill in' forms for Schedule 1 and Schedule 1 (Item 2) exemptions using our Do It Online portal.
How does the building consent process work?
Building consent applications are processed in the order they arrive to us. In some cases your application will wait in a queue until it can be processed by a building control officer, or other building officials with specific skills and knowledge, such as building, plumbing and drainage.
- Application stage - All applications are checked to confirm we've got all information we need. This is not a technical check. Your application may not be accepted at this time if there's insufficient information. You will be sent an invoice for the building consent fees when your application is lodged.
- Technical assessment - Once accepted, the application is entered into our system and the statutory 20 working day time clock starts. The application is allocated to our various teams for processing, i.e. planning, engineering, building, water. Each team will review your application and assess it for compliance against the requirements of the Building Code, as prescribed in the Building Act.
- Request for further information (RFI) - If there are any questions or concerns, you will be requested to supply further information/clarification. The 20 working day time clock stops until this information is provided in full.
- Granting & Issuing - Once any requests for information/clarification have been satisfied, your building consent gets granted by a BCO & issued to you along with a stamped copy of your documents, which must remain on site for the entire job.
- Timeframes - If consented building work hasn’t started within 12 months from the date the consent was granted, the consent will lapse. This means you will need to apply for a new consent if you wish to start that work. If consented building work hasn't finished within 24 months of the granted date, the council may refuse the code compliance certificate. We will try to contact you to remind you of these dates. There is an option of applying for an extension of time for both the start work date, and the work completion date - these must be submitted before the due dates.
- Code Compliance Certificate - A code compliance certificate is the final step. The Code Compliance Certificate (CCC) confirms that the completed building work has been built in accordance with the approved Building Consent documents and complies with the Building Code.
- Refused Code Compliance Certificate - The council may, in some cases, refuse the code compliance certificate. Things such as missed inspections, or building work not matching the consented documents can result in a refused CCC.
What is a Code Compliance Certificate?
A Code Compliance Certificate (CCC) is the final certification confirming we are satisfied all work undertaken complies with the building consent and Building Code.
You must apply for a CCC after all work has been completed. A CCC should be retained for future reference.
Failing to have a building consent
You are breaking the law if you carry out building work without a building consent, unless the work is exempt. You may be fined up to $200,000 and, if work continues, a further fine of up to $20,000 for every day or part day during which the offence continues.
You may also get a notice to fix for carrying out building work without consent, including instant fines of up to $1,000. We can remove the building work if it is dangerous or insanitary.
Certificate of Acceptance (COA)
A CoA provides a limited assurance we are satisfied, on reasonable grounds, that unconsented building work complies with the current New Zealand Building Code.
You can apply for a CoA only if building work was constructed without a building consent from 1 July 1992 onwards, or in specific circumstances, when a code compliance certificate (CCC) can't be issued.
A CoA may be issued for building works in the following circumstances:
- when urgent work is carried out to protect life or health, or prevent serious damage to property, and it is not practical to obtain a building consent in advance
- when a building consent authority (that is not a territorial authority or regional authority), or an organisation accredited to the BCA regulations, is unable or refuses to issue a code compliance certificate for work carried out under a building consent.
You can apply for a CoA for all or part of a building, but you need to supply as much information as possible in relation to the work that has been done. Application can be made via the Simpli portal.
For all compliance schedule forms and guidance material please follow the link to the Southern Building Control Group (SBCG Cluster) forms available on the Dunedin City Council website. These are the revised forms, maintained and stored for all eleven SBCG councils from Timaru to Invercargill.
What's the process for inspections?
It is the owner’s responsibility to ensure all required inspections, allocated within the issued building consent, are arranged and undertaken at the appropriate stages of the construction process.
You can request an inspection by:
- Email [email protected]
- Phone 209-0330
- GoBuild app, which you can download from your app store.
Please allow two to three days notice for your inspection request.
Your request goes on to a waiting list. One of our building team will call you to confirm the date and time of your inspection. It may not be the same date or time as you requested, but our staff will do their best to accommodate you.
When you request an inspection, have your building consent number ready. We will need to know your name, phone number and the type of inspection you want. Before requesting an inspection, make sure you have completed every aspect of the stage you want inspected. If there is unfinished work, the inspector will have to return – and you will face an extra inspection fee.
The purpose of inspections is to verify that the construction has been completed in accordance with the consented documents. At the conclusion of each inspection, you will receive an inspection sheet outlining the findings of the inspection. We expect the person who is responsible for the site or the work to be inspected to be on site for the inspection and have their LBP number/current registration on hand for verification depending on the work being inspected and the project.