Applying for a building consent

A building consent confirms that proposed building work complies with the Building Code.

COVID-19 update

During alert levels 1-4 many of our services and facilities are impacted, including building consents. For more information visit our COVID-19 Services and facilities page.

 

How it works 

If you need a building consent, you must get it before building work starts.

Before you apply for a building consent

Using an agent

Your designer or lead contractor can apply for a building consent on your behalf. If you're not familiar with the Building Code, this may save you time and money in the long run.

Using an agent to prepare your application

 

How to apply

After your application is submitted and you've paid your application fee, the process takes up to 20 working days. It may take longer if there’s information missing from your application.

If your building work is using an approved design – MultiProof building consents

1. Know what you need to provide

You'll need to provide supporting documents and plans with your application to show:

  • the type of building work you're doing
  • how the work will meet the Building Code
  • who will be doing the work.

To avoid delays and extra costs, it's important that you provide detailed, high-quality information.

Supporting documents for a building consent application

2. Understand the costs involved

We'll send you an invoice once your application is lodged. Once you've paid, we'll begin the assessment process.

If you want to find out what fees to expect, use our calculators to work out the estimated fee for your project.

Building consent fees

3. Submit your application

Our preference is for applications to be submitted through the Simpli portal online.

Applying online allows us to process your application faster and you will be able to track the processing of your application online. You will also save money as you will not need to supply printed plans.

Granted consents submitted online will be sent to customers electronically.

Apply online with Simpli

Note: There is a $51.75 (incl GST) fee for submitting an application through Simpli.

If you need your building consent faster

Hard copy applications

4. We assess your application

Your application will be assessed in two stages:

  • An initial check for missing information or inaccuracies in your application
  • Full assessment for compliance with the Building Code.

How we assess your building consent application

 

If your building consent is granted

When we grant your building consent, we'll check the fees we estimated when your application was submitted against the work we did during our assessment.

If we did more work than we estimated – for example, we had to issue multiple RFIs – we'll send you an invoice for this extra work. Once you've paid, you will be notified through Simpli that the consent has been issued and you can begin building work.

Make sure you read your Consent Letter carefully to understand any building consent conditions or advice notes.

When you'll need to start building work

Once a consent has been issued, work must begin within 12 months and follow the approved building plans. If you don't start work within 12 months you can apply for an extension of time to start works. Otherwise your building consent will lapse and you'll need to apply again.

Check your consent documentation carefully to see what you must do while work is under way.

While building work is under way

If you don't start your building work within 12 months

 

If your building consent is refused

You'll receive a letter giving the reasons why your application was refused.

Your application can be refused if:

  • you haven't included enough information to prove your project will comply with the Building Code
  • there are outstanding fees you still need to pay.
 

Contact us

The Building Compliance and Consents team is available Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm.

Phone: 04 801 4311

Email: bcc@wcc.govt.nz