Applying for a certificate for public use

A certificate for public use allows premises affected by building work to be used by the public.

How it works

If you want members of the public to be able to access all or part of your building while building work is ongoing, you need a certificate for public use (CPU) to show that the building can be used safely.

To get a CPU you'll need to:

  • restrict access to the area of the building where building work is happening – for example, by putting up barriers or closing part of the building
  • have a safe way for members of the public to access the building without passing through the building work
  • have functioning and commissioned specified system
  • keep building materials and any tools out of sight.

Note: If you don't have a CPU, you could be fined up to $200,000 – and then a further $20,000 each day until you get a CPU, close the building to the public, or a code compliance certificate is issued.


If you're adding an outside extension to a public restaurant, and members of the public can use another door and eat inside safely while the work is ongoing, you could apply for a CPU to remain open while the building work is done.

How to apply

Once your application is submitted, the process takes up to 20 working days.

You can apply for a CPU at the same time as you apply for a building consent.

1. What you need to provide

You may need to provide supporting documents and plans with your application that show how members of the public will use your premises safely – for example, an engineer’s report or certificates concerning specified systems.

Supporting documents for a building consent application

2. What it costs

What you need to pay


Lodgement fee


Initial fee (includes 1 hour processing time)


Additional processing time per hour (if required)


3. Submit and pay for your application

You can submit and pay for your application online, in person or by post.

Apply online

If you apply using our online application service, you'll receive an invoice through Simpli.

Apply for a certificate for public use – Simpli

How to apply online video

Download the form

Application for certificate for public use (362KB PDF)

Guide to applying for a certificate for public use

4. Your premises is inspected

To book an inspection, phone the Building Inspections team on 04 801 3813.

Appointments are available:

8am–12 noon and 1pm–4pm

Note: As the availability of our inspectors can vary, we recommend booking in advance to avoid delays.

If we are satisfied the premises are safe for the public to use, a CPU will be granted.

If your premises does not pass the inspection, you'll receive a report that will tell you what needs to be done or what extra information must be provided. You may need to book a follow-up inspection.

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