Remove a Chimney

To help make buildings more resilient in an earthquake, some chimneys may now be removed without having to get a building consent.

Unreinforced masonry chimney.

Unreinforced masonry chimney

If you want to remove an unreinforced masonry or concrete chimney, you may be able to apply for an exemption from the need to get a building consent under the Building Act. Here you can find out what's required, and other issues that may need to be considered.

Exemption from building consent

Under the Building Act 2004 (Clause 1(k) of Schedule 1), no building consent is required for any building work that the Council considers:

  1. is unlikely to be carried out otherwise than in accordance with the building code, or
  2. if carried out otherwise than in accordance with the building code, is unlikely to endanger people or any building, whether on the same land or on other property.

The Council considers that a building consent is not needed for the removal of an unreinforced masonry or concrete chimney if the following conditions apply:

  1. The work is assessed and determined as meeting either of the tests (i) or (ii) above by a carpentry licensed building practitioner.
  2. The work is completed by that carpentry licensed building practitioner.
  3. A written report on the work to be done, expected start date and date of completion is provided to the Council by the carpentry licensed building practitioner.
  4. The work involves the complete removal of the chimney from a single level or two storey dwelling, with a maximum chimney height of 7m from the lower hearth level.
  5. The chimney is not a common joint chimney stack that forms part of, and is integral to, a masonry inter-tenancy fire wall between two semi-detached dwellings.
  6. The chimney does not provide structural support to an upper floor or roof structure.
  7. If the work for the removal of the chimney requires openings to be made to the external weatherproof claddings, the building is to be made weathertight using appropriate framing and cladding materials. All such work is to be completed using acceptable trade practices, including making good all gaps and holes in the floors, ceilings and internal partitions.

Any proposed building work that fails to comply with any of the conditions above will require the owner to get a building consent for the work.

If only partial removal of a chimney is proposed, you will need to discuss this and get approval from Building Compliance and Consents - charges will apply for this.

The report provided for condition 3 above will be disclosed on any future Land Information Memorandum issued for the property.

Complying with the City Plan

In most cases the removal of your chimney will be a permitted activity. However, there are some cases where resource consent may be required so it will pay to double check if you live in a listed heritage building, or are within a heritage area, a character area, or an area where consent is required for pre-1930s demolitions. You can get help by calling a Council planner on (04) 801 3590 or email:

Residential character areas include:

  • Thorndon
  • Mt Victoria

Pre-1930s areas include:

  • Thorndon
  • Mt Victoria
  • Newtown
  • Berhampore
  • Mt Cook
  • Aro Valley

Application form

Use this form to apply for an exemption from the need to get a building consent to completely remove an unreinforced masonry or concrete chimney.

Notice of Removal of Unreinforced Masonry or Concrete Chimney (46KB PDF)

Location map.



More Information

Building Compliance and Consents
Wellington City Council

Phone (04) 801 4311
Fax (04) 801 3100
Postal Address PO Box 2199
Wellington 6140
Street Address 101 Wakefield Street
Wellington 6011
Monday – Friday:

8.00am – 5pm