Find out if you need a building consent

You will need a building consent for most building work.

How it works

A building consent confirms that proposed building work complies with the Building Code and will be safe and fit for purpose. If you need a building consent, you must get it before building work starts.

When you need a building consent

You need a building consent if you're:

  • building a new house
  • doing any work on a house that will affect the structure of the building
  • making an addition to a building
  • building a garage
  • building a retaining wall that's load-bearing or over 1.5 metres
  • building a deck more than 1.5 metres above ground level
  • building a fence higher than 2.5 metres or a pool fence
  • adding a building closer than the measure of its own height to any residential building or legal boundary (for example, if your shed is 2 metres high, you'll need a building consent to place it closer than 2 metres from your house)
  • relocating an existing structure
  • substantially re-piling
  • adding insulation to external walls
  • installing a solid fuel heater or fireplace
  • doing plumbing or drainage work other than simple plumbing repairs.

If you're building a garden shed, see the new exemptions to find out if you need a building consent. 

Consents and permissions for common projects

When you don't need a building consent

For a full list of building work that doesn't need a building consent, please visit the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment website. 

Building Performance – Exempt building work guidance

You can also visit New Zealand Government - Can I Build It to use their new tool to find out if your project needs a building consent.

All work must still comply with the Building Code.

If you want to build across two or more allotments

Adding a record of exempt building work to a property file

If your property has old or unconsented building work without a code compliance certificate

If you're not sure

Contact us, or seek advice from a draughtsperson, architect, or engineer – they can tell you if your project needs a building consent.

You can also visit New Zealand Government to use their Can I Build It tool to find out if your project needs a building consent.

Contact us

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

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