How it works
A building consent confirms that proposed building work complies with the Building Code and will be safe and fit for purpose. If you need a building consent, you must get it before building work starts.
When you need a building consent
You need a building consent if you're:
- building a new house
- doing any work on a house that will affect the structure of the building
- making an addition to a building
- building a garage
- building a retaining wall that's load-bearing or over 1.5 metres
- building a deck more than 1.5 metres above ground level
- building a fence higher than 2.5 metres or a pool fence
- adding a building closer than the measure of its own height to any residential building or legal boundary (for example, if your shed is 2 metres high, you'll need a building consent to place it closer than 2 metres from your house)
- relocating an existing structure
- substantially re-piling
- adding insulation to external walls
- installing a solid fuel heater or fireplace
- doing plumbing or drainage work other than simple plumbing repairs.
If you're building a garden shed, see the new exemptions to find out if you need a building consent.
Consents and permissions for common projects
When you don't need a building consent
For a full list of building work that doesn't need a building consent, please visit the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment website.
Building Performance – Exempt building work guidance
You can also visit New Zealand Government - Can I Build It to use their new tool to find out if your project needs a building consent.
All work must still comply with the Building Code.