Remove a chimney

To help make buildings more resilient in an earthquake, some chimneys can be removed without a building consent. Some buildings may still need resource consent.

Resource consent

In most cases, you won't need resource consent to remove your chimney.

You may need resource consent if your building:

For more information, phone a Council planner on 04 801 3590 or email planning@wcc.govt.nz

Note: If you need resource consent, you should get it before you apply for any other consents or permissions.

Building consent

You don't need a building consent to remove your chimney if:

  • it is an unreinforced chimney made of brick, stone or concrete
  • the building is three storeys high or less
  • removing it won't have an adverse affect on the primary structure of the building
  • it is not a shared joint chimney stack between two semi-detached buildings
  • it does not provide structural support to an upper floor or roof structure.

All work must meet the Building Code, including using acceptable trade practices, including fixing any holes in floors, ceilings and internal partitions, and making the roof weathertight.

New building consent exemptions – Building Performance

If your chimney doesn't meet the criteria above, you will need to get a building consent before work begins.

Building consents

What's an "unreinforced" chimney?

Amending your property record

If you don't need a building consent, you may want to notify the Council once the work is finished so we can amend your property record.

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

Other rules that may apply

If your building is earthquake-prone

Partial removal of an unreinforced masonry or concrete chimney may not meet the requirements of the earthquake-prone building legislation.

Before the earthquake-prone status can be removed, a registered chartered structural engineer must certify:

  • any remaining portion of the chimney
  • any other identified structural elements.

The earthquake-prone building status of the building will remain until the status of the remaining part of the chimney and other structural elements has been resolved.

Using an agent to prepare your application