1. Application and fee check – clock starts
Our team will do an initial check of your application. We will send you – or your agent if you're using one – a Submission Request for Information (sRFI) if your application:
- is missing information or supporting documents
- has been filled in incorrectly.
We don't charge a fee for sRFIs.
Once all sRFIs have been resolved, if you haven't paid already, we'll review the type and value of your project and invoice you the estimated fee for your consent.
Once you've paid, the clock starts and we'll begin assessing your application.
How building consent fees work
2. We review your application
Our teams will review the application against the requirements of the Building Act 2004 and the Building Code to check that the proposed building work (including plumbing and drainage) would meet the provisions of the building code, if completed properly in accordance with the approved plans and specification.
We'll also check:
- if your plans match your resource consent (if you have one)
- if you need to apply for any additional permits – for example, vehicle access.
Different ways to comply with the Building Code
There are several ways to comply with the Building Code. You will always need to meet the performance criteria of the Building Code, but how you show compliance is up to the designer. There are three methods of compliance:
- Acceptable Solution (a typical building plan using common materials or methods)
- Verification Method (proving your non-standard solution will work)
- Alternative Solution (a solution that differs a lot from those in the other two categories)
To show compliance, a designer can use one of these compliance paths, or a combination of two or more.
If your proposal:
- is within the scope of an Acceptable Solution or Verification Method, and
- you can provide evidence that the proposal is designed to meet the requirements in the code,
then the BCA must accept the proposal. This falls under Section 19 of the Building Act 2004.
If your proposal is outside the scope, or not in accordance with, an Acceptable Solution or Verification Method, you will need to show compliance as an Alternative Solution.
More information on the methods of compliance:
Different ways to comply - Building.govt.nz
Case studies - renovate.org.nz
If you need a resource consent
As the building owner, you're responsible for finding out if you need resource consent. If you do, we recommend that you wait for resource consent to be granted before applying for your building consent.
We check each building consent application to make sure resource consent isn't required. If we discover you need a resource consent and you haven't got one, we will continue to process your application but will issue a Form 4 notice that advises building work cannot start until a resource consent has been granted.
Find out if you need a resource consent
If your building is for commercial use
We will also check:
- health and safety requirements
- trade waste permissions
- building warrant of fitness requirements
- backflow prevention.
Some applications may also need to be sent to the Fire Engineering Unit of Fire and Emergency NZ. You will not be charged a fee for this.
3. Receiving and responding to RFIs – clock stops
We issue a Request for Information (RFI) when we need more information from you or your agent.
We send RFIs through Simpli once all our teams have assessed the application.
The clock then stops until we've received a response to all the RFIs.
Note: If we need to send multiple RFIs you may be charged a re-assessment fee of $209 per hour.