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.

If you need your building consent faster

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

If you're submitting your application online, 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, or are submitting your application on paper and want to pay upfront, use our calculators to work out the estimated fee for your project.

Building consent fees

3. Submit your application

Please note: We will no longer be issuing any consents in hardcopy. All new hardcopy applications received from Monday 4 May will be scanned and digitised to be worked on and sent to customers electronically.

Any request for information (RFI) responses supplied in hardcopy will be scanned and digitised prior to being accepted for assessment. This may result in an additional delay of 24-48 hours for the assessment of hardcopy RFI responses and additional administration costs related to this process.

Apply online with Simpli

We recommend using our online application service, Simpli to apply for all building consent applications.

To use our online application service, you'll first need to create an account. 

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

Apply online



Download the form

Application for building consent (406KB PDF)

In person

By post

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

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 emailed to advise that the consent is available and you can begin building work.

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.

Need help?

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

Building Compliance and Consents
Phone: 04 801 4311
Email: bcc@wcc.govt.nz