How we assess your building consent application

Assessing your building consent application and supporting documents takes up to 20 working days.

Assessing your building consent application

Once your application and supporting documents have been submitted and you've paid your application fee, the assessment process takes up to 20 working days.

It will take longer if:

  • we need more information
  • you want to make a change to your plans.

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 -
Case studies -

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 $217 per hour.

4. Final assessment and payment or refund

We'll grant your building consent once we're satisfied that if the work is done according to the plans, it will meet the provisions of the Building Code.

We may impose conditions on the building consent to make sure it complies with the Building Act. It’s important that you (and your contractors) read the consent documents and are clear about the requirements.

Different types of conditions can be applying to your building consent, including:

  • section 67, waivers and modification of the building code
  • section 73, conditions on your building consent relating to natural hazards may be applied, such as flooding
  • section 75, relating to buildings built on two or more allotments, if the allotments are held by the owner in fee simple. 
  • section 90, inspections of building work
  • section 113, relating to the specified intended life of the building.

Building Act 2004

If we did more work than we initially estimated, you'll be sent a final invoice through Simpli or by email. You'll need to pay any outstanding fees before we issue your consent.

If you disagree with our decision, you can make a complaint or apply to MBIE for a determination.

Building consent complaints

Contact us

The Building Compliance and Consents team is available Monday to Friday, 8am to 4pm.

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