Applying for a building consent

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


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.

Note: The actual amount of time to determine a building consent application may be longer or shorter depending on the quality of the application, whether further information is required, and the need for specialist advice.
The statutory timeframe for determining a building consent application is 20 working days.
‘Working days’ excludes weekends, public holidays and the period between 20 December and 10 January (inclusive).
If further information is required for your application, this timeframe is on hold until it is supplied.

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.

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. Wellington City Council may grant one nine-month extension of time. 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 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 4pm.

If you have a Building Compliance and Consent related query, you can submit it through our online form:

Send a query

Phone: 04 801 4311