Remove a chimney

To help make buildings more resilient in an earthquake, some chimneys may now be removed without having to get a building consent.

Unreinforced masonry chimney.

Unreinforced masonry chimney

If you want to remove an unreinforced masonry or concrete chimney, e.g. to make your building safer in an earthquake you may be exempt from the need to get a building consent under Schedule 1 of the Building Act 2004. However there are some situations where you need a resource consent.

Exemption from building consent

Building consent is not needed to remove an unreinforced masonry or concrete chimney if these conditions apply:

  • removing chimneys from buildings of no more than three storeys will not have an adverse affect on the primary structure of the building
  • the chimney is not a common joint chimney stack that forms part of, and is integral to, a masonry inter-tenancy fire wall between two semi-detached dwellings
  • the chimney does not provide structural support to an upper floor or roof structure
  • if the work for the removal of the chimney requires opening to be made to the external weatherproof claddings, the building is to be made weathertight using appropriate framing and cladding materials. All such work is to be completed using acceptable trade practices, including making good all gaps and holes in the floors, ceilings and internal partitions.

For more detailed information, visit Building consent exemptions for low-risk work and check out Number 31 – Removal of a building element.

Complying with the City Plan

In most cases removing your chimney will be a permitted activity. However, there are some cases where you may need a resource consent. For example if your building is heritage listed on the District Plan, within a heritage or character area, or an area where consent is required for pre-1930s demolitions. For more information, phone a Council planner on 04 801 3590 or email

Residential character areas include:

  • Thorndon
  • Mt Victoria

Pre-1930s areas include:

  • Thorndon
  • Mt Victoria
  • Newtown
  • Berhampore
  • Mt Cook
  • Aro Valley

Advising the Council of works

Once a chimney is removed you may choose to advise the Council of the work that was done so your property record can be amended. To advise the Council, complete the form below.

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

Building Consent

If the removal of a chimney will not meet the criteria above, a building consent will be required.

Earthquake-prone buildings

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

The remaining portion of the chimney and any other identified structural element will require certification by a registered chartered structural engineer and be accepted by the Council as not being earthquake-prone.

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.

Location map.



Building Compliance and Consents
Wellington City Council

Phone 04 801 4311
Postal Address PO Box 2199
Wellington 6140
Street Address 12 Manners Street
Wellington 6011
Monday – Friday:

8.00am – 5pm

Public holidays: