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Building consents

Ngā tatūnga waihanga

Everything you need to know about the building consent process.

Apply for a Building Consent Residential applications Commercial Fires Compliance Schedules Amendments and minor variations Inspections Certify (CCC)

Building consent processing timeframes

The time it takes to process building consents may be longer than has been the case for the last 12 months, due to a very high number of building consents received in the months of March, April and May, combined with the departure of a number of staff from the Building Control team.

QLDC's Building Services team is working to overcome the resource shortage and will be employing new staff shortly. We hope to reduce the time taken to process building consents by July/August.


The Building Act 2004 can be complex, especially when considered with other legislation.  We are here to help you through the building consent process. A building consent means a consent to carry out building work granted by a building consent authority under section 49 of the Building Act.

We recommend that you engage an experienced professional (e.g. an architect or draughtsperson) to help with design work, drawings, specifications and documentation before applying for a building consent.

This is an overview of the building consent process.

  • Work with your agent (e.g. an architect or designer) to come up with a concept design first. Unless you are confident that all matters have been considered, we recommend you do not proceed to final drawings early in your project until;

    • Obtaining a Project Information Memorandum (PIM).  A PIM will identify any special features of the site and regulatory requirements such as resource consent. Even though getting a PIM is not mandatory, requesting one could save you time and money as you progress your design. 
    • Contacting us
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  • Your application will go through a quantitate acceptance check to assess if the relevant information has been provided.

    A decision will be made whether to accept or not accept your application for processing. We will advise you in writing of the decision and include an invoice.

  • The application is assessed against the Building Act, Building Code 2004 and associated regulations. Regardless of weather a PIM is applied for we will check your project for compliance under the resource management act (RMA) and notify you of any planning non-compliances and restrictions for building (known as a section 37 certificate).

  • Once your application is accepted, the statutory time frame or clock, of 20 working days for processing, begins. We make a decision on your building consent within 20 working days.

    The clock is reduced to 10 working days if the building that you are proposing has a MultiProof approval.

  • During processing of your application, the clock stops if we have to request further information (RFI). Please respond quickly with accurate and full information. Once the full information is provided the clock will be started again and processing of the consent will resume.

  • We process your application to become satisfied on reasonable grounds that the provisions of the building code would be met if the building work was properly completed in accordance with the plans and specifications.

  • ‘Restricted Building Work’ is work that’s critical to make a home structurally sound and weathertight.

    Licensed Building Practitioners (LBPs), licensed in the relevant trade class, must be used to:

    • Design this building work
    • Do, or supervise, this building work

    More information is available from MBIE at Restricted Building Work.

    Restricted building work is residential design, construction or alteration work that:

    • Requires a Building Consent, and
    • Involves or affects a home’s:
      • Primary structure
      • Weathertightness (external moisture management)
      • Certain fire safety design

    Licensed Building Practitioners (LBPs) are assessed before getting a licence. LBPs have to keep their knowledge up to date to keep their licence. They must only work within the scope of their license class. LBPs are all listed on the searchable national LBP Register.

  • Once we are satisfied on reasonable grounds that the documentation demonstrates compliance with the building code, we will grant the application under section 49 of the Building Act 2004.

    The date your building consent is granted is the date your building consent was approved pending payment of all fees due by you.

    • When all fees are paid, your building consent will be issued. Once your building consent is issued, make sure you read the full documentation carefully.
    • Once the building consent is issued the building work may begin, but in some circumstances, other legislation has a role to play that may mean that construction cannot start, such as waiting for resource consent approval. These conditions will be listed on a certificate attached to your building consent (section 37 of the Building Act).
  • Your building consent documents consist of:

    • The building consent form (Form 5). The building consent will also list any Building Act conditions. It will always list the condition under section 90 regarding inspections. If applicable, it may also list conditions under:
      • section 67 regarding waivers and modifications of the building code
      • section 73 regarding conditions for granting a building consent under section 72 for building work on land subject to natural hazards
      • section 77 for conditions imposed under section 75 for construction of building on 2 or more allotments
      • section 113 for buildings with specified intended lives
    • Building consent construction documentation and advice notes.
    • Schedule of specified inspections. These are the inspections that are intended to be carried out by the Council. There also may be some inspections being carried out by your engineer and others these will be noted on the above building consent construction documentation and advice note document.
    • Project information memorandum (PIM) if you requested one, or one was previously issued for the work.
    • Development contribution notice (Form 3) if there are development contributions that are required to be paid before the code compliance certificate is issued (commonly referred to as a section 36 certificate).
    • Certificate attached to PIM (Form 4) if a resource consent is required and there are restrictions on carrying out the work (commonly referred to as a section 37 certificate).
    • New or altered specified systems forms with inspections, maintenance and reporting procedures.
    • Stamped and approved copy of the documents that you have submitted. This may be split into various documents.
  • Building consents are valid for 12 months from the date of issue. 

    Work must have commenced within the 12 months or the building consent will automatically lapse (unless an extension to start work has been requested), requiring a new application if you want to proceed with the work.

    Unless the owner requests an extension of time for issue of the Code Compliance Certificate the Building Consent Authority must make a decision to issue the Code Compliance Certificate within two years of the building consent granted date. 

  • There are two types of changes that can be made to building work under a Building Consent:

    • Amendments
    • Minor Variations

    All proposed changes must comply with the Building Code. All implemented changes must comply with the Building Code.

    Detailed information on how to changes to your consent can be found at Building – Building Consent – Amendments & Minor Variations.

    • Under sections 90 and 222 of the Building Act 2004, agents authorised by QLDC (acting as a building consent authority) are entitled, at all times during normal working hours or while building work is being done, to inspect:

      • land on which building work is being or is proposed to be carried out; and

      • building work that has been or is being carried out on or off that building site; and

      • any building.

    • A number of QLDC inspections are to be carried out during the project. Remember to book inspections online or phone 03 450 0369 as you complete stages of the project. 

    • Sometimes it's necessary for specialists to do inspections in addition to those carried out by QLDC. If third party construction monitoring (e.g. by your structural or fire engineer) has been agreed, these inspections will be listed in the consent documentation and advice notes provided to you.

    • To book an inspection, click here.

    • If you are a commercial building owner where the public is to be admitted, and you want to start using premises before a code compliance certificate is issued, you must apply for a certificate for public use. This certificate enables members of the public to use the premises until a code compliance certificate is issued.

    • Certificates for public use can be used only where a consent has been granted for the building work, but a code compliance certificate has not been issued yet.

    • Once your complete application has been received, the statutory time frame, or clock of 20 working days for processing begins. The clock may be stopped if a request for further information (RFI) is made. The clock does not restart until all of the information requested in an RFI has been received. We make a decision on your certificate for public use within 20 working days whether to issue or refuse your certificate for public use.

    • Anyone who owns, occupies, or controls premises intended for public use may apply for a certificate for public use.

    • For more information, please see Certificate of Public Use.

    • As soon as practicable following completion of the building work, you must apply to QLDC for a code compliance certificate using the prescribed form.  If restricted building work supply records of building work.

    • Once your complete application has been received, the statutory timeframe, or clock of 20 working days for processing begins. The clock may be stopped if a request for further information (RFI) is made. The clock does not restart until all of the information requested in an RFI has been received. We make a decision on your code compliance certificate within 20 working days whether to issue or refuse your code compliance certificate.

    • A code compliance certificate is issued by QLDC at the completion of building work, once it is satisfied on reasonable grounds that the building work complies with the building consent.

    • For more information, please see Code Compliance Certificate.

    • It can take up to 20 working days to process your code compliance certificate (CCC) application.

    • If an application for CCC has not been made within two years of the date that the building consent was granted, or any further period agreed between the owner and QLDC, we must make a decision whether to issue the code compliance certificate.

    • If an application for a code compliance certificate is refused, you may apply again once any identified non-compliances have been remedied.

    • If you have any queries, concerns or complaints about our building control functions, you should talk to the Team Leader or if you wish to express your complaint formally please complete the online feedback form.

    • Council's customer complaints management policy.

    • The Building Act has provision to obtain a determination. A determination is a legally binding ruling made by MBIE about matters of doubt or dispute to do with building work. Guidance about determinations can be found here.

  • A building consent is a formal approval to undertake building work in accordance with approved plans and specifications. A building consent establishes that your proposed building work complies with the building code. If you need a building consent, you must get it before building work starts.

    It is an offence to build without a consent if one is needed. It could result in fines and possibly the removal of the building work. It may also make it difficult for you to sell the building or get insurance.

    Building Consent is not required in some instances. Please refer to Exempt Building work.

  • The Ministry of Building Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has clear guidance on what does and does not require a building consent and the implications of not gaining a building consent.

    Click here for MBIE guidance information.

    Please note other legislation may still need to be considered including any requirements under the resource management act (RMA) and District Plan.

  • A PIM is a report purchased, and issued by us either before, or at the same time as, a Building Consent.

    A PIM is recommended, if you are proposing building work. It helps establish service connections (e.g.water, sewer and stormwater) and information known about the land features and hazards.  This will help in deciding whether the building project is feasible and for the designer to provide complying documentation.  It may prevent delays and reduce costs in the design before getting to the Building Consent stage.

    More information can be found at here.

  • Include the following information:

    • Application for a building consent Form 2 (It is important to get this correct. Please see our guidance on completing your building consent application (Form 2)).

    • The relevant check sheets for specific projects (e.g. CS 19R, CS 19C).

    • Building Consent Fee Calculator (AF CALC).

    • Proof of ownership - a current copy of the certificate of title (less than three months old).

    • All applicable plans, specifications and supporting documents as detailed on the relevant check sheet, demonstrating how the work will comply with the building code.

    • Other forms specific to your project (e.g. application for an alternative solution).

    • Reference any issued project information memoranda (PIMs) or resource consents.

    • If restricted building work: A memorandum from licensed building practitioner (Certificate of design work).

    • Any pre-lodgement correspondence.

    Click here to see all required forms and documents.

    For information on all requirements for file names and correlation, click here.

  • The most efficient way of making payments is online, linked to the application using the BC number. The link to online payments can be found here.

    • An easy to use fee calculator ‘AF CALC’, is required to be used to work out the initial fees for the Building Consent.  This is submitted with your building consent.

    • Building work estimated values, match exactly on Form 2 and AF CALC.

    • Estimated building work values should be GST inclusive.

    • A guide to fees and levies can be found at 'AF CALC Building Consent Initial Fee Calculator'.

    • Once the application is accepted, payment is required to start the processing clock for the application.

    Payment may be processed through your own bank, with all following BNZ and QLDC required details:

    • Account number:  02  0948  0002000  000
    • Particulars: Payee Name
    • Code: Property Address
    • Reference: BC Number (important)
  • Providing a high standard of documentation is the best way to get approval for your consent. All applications will be checked for completeness prior to acceptance. Make sure that you have compiled your documents carefully to avoid delays in accepting your application.

    Please note: if your application is incomplete it will not be accepted and the statutory processing timeframe will not start until the missing information has been provided and resubmitted.

    If you are unable to provide the information for a complete application we will send an email / letter. This will include details of the information required to accept the application.

    The BC number is sent after the successful initial screening and acceptance of the application documentation.

    Once the application is accepted, payment is required to start the processing clock for the application (this may take one working day).

  • Restricted building work is residential design, construction or alteration work that requires a building consent and involves or affects a home’s:

    • primary structure.

    • weathertightness.

    • certain fire safety design.

    Meaning of ‘residential’

    The rules about restricted building work cover residential building work to a house or small to medium sized apartment.

    A house is:

    • a free-standing, fully detached building consisting of a single residential unit.

    • A small to medium sized apartment is a building that:

    • contains two or more residential units (apartments or townhouses) or residential facilities (such as a foyer, laundry, garage, etc)

    • does not contain commercial units or facilities

    • has a maximum height of less than 10m (the vertical distance between the highest point of its roof – excluding aerials, chimneys, flagpoles and vents – and the lowest point of the ground).

    All RBW must be carried out or supervised by a Licensed Building Practitioner (LBP) who is licensed and competent to carry out or supervise the work. The design class for LBPs includes persons that have successfully applied under the Building Act 2004 (the Act) to be licensed, as well as CPEng (under the Chartered Professional Engineers of New Zealand Act 2002) and registered architects (under the Registered Architects Act 2005) that are automatically treated as LBPs licensed in the design class. CPEng are also automatically treated as LBPs licensed in the site class.

    Certificate of Design Work

    If your project involves restricted building work (RBW) a Certificate of Design Work (CoW) is required under section 45(3) of the building act with your building consent application.  Detailed information on restricted building work (RBW) can be found here.

    DIY and restricted building work

    You can do work on your own home or holiday home yourself, including restricted building work, as long as you meet the requirements of the owner builder exemption and obtain any necessary building consent before starting work.

    Remember, any building work you do must comply with the Building Code and, if it is restricted building work, you still need to obtain a building consent. Click here for more information on this.

    Applying for and using the exemption

    You need to complete a statutory declaration form to show you meet the owner-builder criteria before you can use the exemption.

    The form has to be witnessed and signed by a Justice of the Peace or someone else authorised to do so.

    You will need to give the form to your local council when you submit your building consent application.

    Owner-builder statutory declaration.

    Giving notice

    If you do not give your council the form with your consent application, you will need to provide them with a notice that you, as an owner-builder, are going to carry out restricted building work on your home.

    As an owner-builder, you will also need to give them a notice if:

    • there is a change in you carrying out the restricted building work.

    • you cease to carry out the restricted building work.

    Owner-builder notice form.

  • Definition

    This is defined in Schedule 1 of the Building Act 2004. It is titled 'Building work for which building consent is not required'.  More guidance is on the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) Building it has a detailed guidance document with examples of exempt and non-exempted work.  Click here for more information on this.

    Even if exempt, the owner may consider applying for a Building Consent and a Project Information Memorandum (PIM). These ensure legal requirements are identified and provide appropriate documentation on the property file that completed work is compliant.

    Discretionary exemption

    QLDC can make a discretionary exemption, under Schedule 1, Exemption 2.  See more information at How to Apply for Discretionary Exemption?

    Keeping a record of your exempt work

    Keeping records will assist if selling your home in the future. Purchasers and agents are likely to have questions about building work done.

    The ' AF EXOWN Notification of Building Work- Owner Decided Exemption' form can be filled in.

    Importantly this information is simply uploaded. It is not checked or assessed by QLDC.

    The form, along with required supporting documentation, can be uploaded to QLDC's online property file for the address. This assists record keeping of compliance and may assist with future property sale.

  • Alterations to an existing building

    If your application is for an alteration to an existing building, you need to consider section 112 of the Building Act 2004 and provide analysis of:

    • How the building provides for means of escape from fire.

    • How the building provides access and facilities for persons with disabilities (where this is a requirement).

    • How the building will comply with other provisions of the building code at least as much as it did before the building work began.

    • Proposal for upgrade of the building for the above matters (unless it already fully complies) including a list of benefits and sacrifices (e.g. pros and cons) involved in the proposals.

    • Further guidance is available on MBIE's website.

    Change of use

    In some circumstances, an owner who intends to change the use of a building (or part of a building) must give notice in writing to the Council of that intention.

    How is building use defined?

    Every building is designed for a specific use and has to meet Building Code requirements that ensure it will be safe, healthy and durable when used in the way it was designed. If that use changes, the building may need to be altered to support the new use. The regulation divides the uses for all or parts of buildings into four broad activity groups:

    • Crowd activities.

    • Sleeping activities.

    • Working, business or storage activities, and,

    • Intermittent activities.

    The four broad activity groups each have a number of uses adding up to 15 uses overall. Definitions and examples for each of these uses are also given in Schedule 2 of the regulations.

    When does a change of use occur?

    A change of use occurs when:

    • a building’s (or part of a building’s) use, as defined in the Regulations, changes and

    • the new use has more onerous or additional Building Code requirements than the old use. The additional or more onerous requirements will usually mean that the fire hazard or the risk to life has increased in the building's new use.

    A building consent may not be required:

    • where written notification has been received and the Council is satisfied that the building already complies with Section 115 of the Building Act without the need for any upgrade; or

    • the proposed building work is exempt from requiring a building consent under Schedule 1, Building Act 2004. This includes provision for the Council to approve a discretionary exemption.

    How to notify the Council of a change of use?

    To notify council of a change of use the owner gives notice to Building Services at Queenstown Lakes District Council (see our Contact Us page). The notification must be accompanied by sufficient supporting documents and reports to satisfy the building upgrade provisions of Section 115 of the Building Act 2004 which are outlined in more detail below.

    Most commercial applications need to consider:

    • Access and facilities for people with disabilities to be assessed and achieve compliance that is as near as is reasonably practicable. This would include toilets, accessible routes and signage, among other items.

    • Means of escape from fire, fire rating performance and protection of other property to be assessed and a proposal made to achieve compliance that is as near as reasonably practicable. A design professional, fire engineer or someone suitably knowledgeable would need to provide a gap assessment against the relevant acceptable solution to determine whether the building is currently as near as reasonably practicable or some upgrade is required.

    • The structure of the building to be assessed and a proposal provided to achieve compliance that is as near as reasonably practicable.

    Where the change of use incorporates a new residential unit there are further requirements to consider. The request for a change of use needs to address as nearly as is reasonably practicable compliance with all aspects of the building code.

    The 'as near as is reasonably practicable' test is a weighting exercise and involves a sacrifices and benefits assessment where the sacrifices and difficulties of achieving full compliance are balanced against the advantages of upgrading. Protection of life is to have a high weighting in these considerations. For more information on as near as reasonably practicable there is guidance from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) website. 

    How will your notification be processed?

    Your notification of proposed change of use will be assessed by a building consent officer and specialists as required. Depending on the complexity of the project this assessment is likely to be processed within 20 working days.

    During the assessment we will:

    1. Identify and advise customer of any other authorisations that may be required - e.g. resource and building consent.

    2. Establish if the proposed use is a change of use under the Building Act.

    3. Assess if the building complies ‘as nearly as is reasonably practicable’ to the provisions in section 115.

    4. Identify and advise customer if any building work or upgrades are required to achieve ‘as nearly as is reasonably practicable’ for the required provisions of the building code.

    5. Provide the owner with written notice that either;

    a. the proposed change is not a change of use and does not require  notification or written approval, or;
    b. the Council is satisfied on reasonable grounds that the building in its new use will comply as nearly as reasonable practicable with the relevant provisions of the building code and therefore no upgrade is required, or;
    c. the Council is not satisfied that the building in its new use will comply as nearly as reasonable practicable with the provisions of the building code  and reject the change of use. A notice to fix may be sent to the owner if the building in its current use does not comply with the provisions of the building code.

    Once you have submitted an application, you will need to pay a deposit fee as set in our fee schedule.

    Neglecting to notify a change of use

    When an owner neglects to notify the Council of a change of use that has already occurred, the consequences can be as follows:

    • A maximum fine of $5,000 may be imposed if it is found that the owner has committed an offence by failing to give the Council written notice before changing the use of a building.

    If there has been work carried out that would have required Council approval then:

    • An infringement notice might be issued.

    • A notice to fix or a requirement that the owner apply for a certificate of acceptance might also apply as the Council still needs to be satisfied that the building in its new use will meet the requirements under section 115 of the Building Act.

    More guidance

    You can also refer to the MBIE website – Change of use, alterations and extension of life(external link).

    Buildings with specified intended lives

    The definition of a building in the Building Act includes 'any temporary or permanent movable or immovable structure'. If you want your building to have a specified intended life of less than 50 years, you must state its specified intended life on your application form.

    The specified intended life applies to a whole building, not a building element (such as a solid fuel burner) or a building system (such as a cladding system). We will then assess your application and if applicable grant the building consent with a specified intended life subject to the conditions in Section 113, Building Act 2004.

    The standard condition will state that the building must be altered, removed or demolished on or before the end of its specified intended life. Council will also add to the condition that, should an application to alter the building to extend its life be made under section 116, the durability of the building must be shown to be of a standard appropriate to the extension of life requested.

    If you want to extend the life of your building that has a specified intended life, Section 114 requires that you must give written notice to Council. For Council to be able to give written consent it will require a building consent application to assess the building has been altered as per Section 116.

    Subdivision of an existing building

    The Council cannot issue a subdivision affecting a building or part of a building unless it has considered section 116A of the Building Act 2004. This will be assessed with your application for unit title subdivision.

    New Subdivisions

    It is strongly recommended the subdivision certification is completed before finalising design details and starting building work. Starting it before is done so at the owner's risk.

    QLDC accepts no liability for any changes resulting from the subdivision certification that may result in additional changes and costs to you.

    A subdivision is not complete until certification is completed, under Sections 223 and 224c of the Resource Management Act 1991. Prior to this, individual site requirements may be subject to change.

    Commonly, assessments are required through the subdivision process, to:

    • Establish how a site is serviced.

    • Finalise finished floor levels to avoid flooding.

    • Establish foundation requirements.

    • Establish if building levels are required to increase to ensure servicing can work effectively.

    If subdivision is not completed before building start, and titles are not issued, any building constructed may have to be retrospectively amended, at your own cost.

    Ongoing conditions may be registered as Consent Notices, which will be finalised prior to the subdivision that will create the land title. If the building does not comply with the yet to be confirmed Consent Notice requirements, the building may need to change. The subdivision consent may also be varied before it is finalized, which may change any requirements of the original consent.

    Commercial applications with specified systems

    If your application is for a commercial project, you need to include a specified system form for each new or altered specified systems in the building work and provide their inspection, maintenance and reporting requirements. More information can be found on the Compliance Schedule page.

  • Statutory clock

    Once your application is accepted the statutory timeframe, or clock of 20 working days for processing your application begins. We make a decision on your building consent within 20 working days.

    The clock is reduced to 10 working days if the building that you are proposing has a MultiProof approval. See the MBIE website for information on the MultiProof service that is available to builders proposing standardised building designs.

    Request for further information and the statutory clock

    During processing of your application, the clock stops if we have to ask you for further information. Please respond quickly with accurate information. Once the full information is provided the clock will be started again.

    Verifying your application against compliance with the building code

    We process your application to verify that if your project is constructed in accordance with your building consent application, it will be considered compliant with the Building code.

  • Granted

    The date your building consent is granted is the date your building consent was approved pending payment of all fees due by you before it can be issued. Your building consent is not released until all outstanding fees have been paid. 


    The date your building consent is issued is the date your building consent was approved and all outstanding fees due by you have been fully paid.

  • We send you a link of documents for you to download.  These should be printed off and available on site.


Residential applications

The Building Act 2004 can be complex especially when considered with other legislation. We are here to help you through the building consent process.

We recommend that you engage an experienced professional (e.g. an architect or draughtsperson) to help with design work, drawings, specifications and documentation before applying for a building consent.

Commercial Application

The Building Act 2004 can be complex especially when considered with other legalisation.  We are here to help you through the building consent process.

We recommend that you engage an experienced professional (e.g. an architect or draughtsperson) to help with design work, drawings, specifications and documentation before applying for a building consent.

  • These documents must be submitted with your building consent for a commercial project;

    Select one of the following checksheets:

    If the building consent has specified systems, please supply an application form:

    Supply specified system forms if appropriate:

  • Additional forms and information as appropriate:

    Altering an existing commercial building

    • Building Score Sheet (Required for alterations, the score assists with the level of information required for means of escape and accessibility.)


    Some building consent applications are required by law (Building Act/ Gazette Issue Number 49) to be referred to Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) for relevant buildings that have:

    • Alternative solutions for fire compliance

    • Waivers or modifications for fire compliance

    • Alterations, change of use or subdivisions where the effect on the fire safety system is more than minor

    FENZ have 10 working days to review the application and prepare a memorandum for matters relating to;

    • provisions for means of escape from fire;

    • the needs of persons who are authorised by law to enter the building to undertake firefighting

  • In some higher risk applications, the BCA may require the design to be validated by a PS2.

    Due to complexities raised in recent building failures and limitations of technical expertise within the BCA we require a PS2 to verify compliance for some structure, fire and façade designs.

    • PS2 required for B1 – Structure in the following cases

      • retaining structures over 5m in height.

      • new buildings and significant alterations to buildings with importance levels 3, 4 and 5.

      • new buildings greater than 5 levels above ground.

      • structures containing structural member spans greater than 20m.

      • untested alternative solutions for structural designs.

      • other buildings the BCA deems of a complex nature.

    • PS2 required for C1-C6 – Fire in the following cases

      • Alternative solutions to buildings listed in section 75(1) Fire and Emergency New Zealand Act.

        • the gathering together, for any purpose, of 100 or more persons.

        • providing employment facilities for 10 or more persons.

        • providing accommodation for 6 or more persons (other than in 3 or fewer household units.)

        • a place where hazardous substances are present in quantities exceeding the prescribed minimum amounts, whatever the purpose for which the building is used.

        • providing an early childhood education and care centre (other than in a household unit.)

        • providing nursing, medical, or geriatric care (other than in a household unit.)

        • providing specialised care for persons with disabilities (other than in a household unit.)

        • providing accommodation for persons under lawful detention.

    • PS2 required for E2 – External Moisture in the following cases 

      • Where the proposed means of compliance is achieved via,

        • E2/VM1 or E2/VM2 and,

        • greater than 10m in height and,

        • contains more than 10 household/accommodation units.

  • What is it?

    A Certificate for Public Use (CPU) means premises intended for public use meet minimum safety requirements to open before a Code Compliance Certificate is obtained.

    A Certificate for Public Use may be granted and issued if the inspected premises are determined safe for members of the public to use, and the required application and supporting documentation support this.

    An application can be for a part or all of the premises.


    A Certificate for Public Use application and issue does not replace the requirement for a separate Code Compliance Certificate (CCC) to be applied for and issued.

    Building owners should apply for a Code Compliance Certificate in preference to a Certificate for Public Use.

    Certificates for Public Use should be for extenuating circumstances. They will be issued where it can be clearly demonstrated that applying for Code Compliance Certificate prior to intended opening or access is not an option.

    How to prepare:

    • This option must be prepared and applied for well in advance, to avoid delays in opening.

    • Builders and building owners frequently do not research the Certificate for Public Use process and legislation thoroughly enough. 

    • Often they are late to apply for a Certificate for Public Use.

    • A Certificate for Public Use can only be applied for if a Building Consent was granted.

    • QLDC cannot allow buildings intended for public use to be accessed, occupied or used, unless demonstrated safe for use.

    • Manage supporting documentation, checklists and certificates in advance to assist in applying for a CPU and CCC.


    If premises or part of premises for public use are being used without a CPU or CCC issued, the result can be a conviction and fine of up to $200,000.

    Further fines are up to $20,000 for every day the offence continues. 

    How long does processing take?

    Applications should be processed within 20 working days, after passing initial screening.

    Incomplete or supplementary information needs will lead to requests for information that delay processing, and stop the processing clock.

    The processing clock stops between 20 Dec 20 and 10 Jan 21 by legislation. Applicants should plan on limited processing during this period.

    CPU inspection

    After initial application screening and processing, a CPU inspection will need to be requested for booking, and passed.

    The recommended timeframes for requesting the booking of CPU inspections are the same as for other building inspections.

    A Building Control Officer will conduct the inspection, under their strict criteria, and advise of the decision to pass or fail the inspection element.

    After CPU Issued

    A Code Compliance Certificate (CCC) still needs to be applied for once the building work has been completed to the requirements of the Building Consent and the Building Code.

    More Information

    See more information on the MBIE website - requirements for public access while building or altering a public building.


    The application process and request for inspection booking takes time. It should be considered well ahead of intended opening.

    Anyone who owns, occupies or controls premises intended for public use may apply for a Certificate for Public Use.

    Download and complete both these documents. The check sheet needs to be completed to confirm all the required information is provided:

    After submission, the application and supporting documents are initially screened for minimum processing requirements.


Solid & Liquid Fuel Burner Building Consents

A building consent is required to install or move solid or liquid fuel heaters.  After installation you will need to apply for a code compliance certificate, this will allow for a final inspection to be booked.  You must not use your fire until the code compliance certificate has been obtained.

Compliance Schedules and Specified Systems

  • Click here to see the Specified Systems compliance triangle.

  • If you own or manage a building that has installed specified systems, MBIE has a guide to help you understand and meet Building Act requirements related to building warrants of fitness and compliance schedules:

    MBIE website

    The Compliance Schedule Handbook is intended as a guide for understanding compliance schedules and how to comply with the regime:

    Compliance Schedule Handbook

    As a building owner, you need to renew a building’s warrant of fitness (BWoF) every 12 months, signing, issuing and publicly displaying it to prove the building’s life safety systems (called specified systems) have been maintained and inspected.  MBIE has specific information on managing your BWoF:

    MBIE - Managing your BWOF

  • Specified Systems help ensure a building is safe and healthy for people to enter, occupy or work in.

    Buildings that contain certain safety and essential systems, known as Specified Systems, need a Compliance Schedule.

    They require ongoing inspection, maintenance and reporting based on procedures to ensure they function as required. If they fail to operate properly, they have the potential to affect health or life safety.

  • A compliance schedule is a document (issued by the Council) that lists the specified systems (for example, automatic fire sprinklers, fire alarms, lifts, air conditioning systems) within a building and the performance standards for those systems. The compliance schedule also states how the systems will be monitored and maintained to ensure they are performing in accordance with the performance standard to make sure the building is safe and healthy for people to enter, occupy or work.

    A compliance schedule is required for a building that:

    • is not wholly a single household unit (for example, includes commercial and industrial buildings but not stand-alone houses) and contains one or more specified systems (including cable cars)

    • is wholly a single household unit and has a cable car attached to it or servicing it.

    Building consent applications are assessed to determine whether specified systems are being added, altered or removed as part of the project. When the building consent is issued, a list of the specified systems being added or altered and their performance standards is attached. Compliance schedules as a result of building work are issued with the code compliance certificate.

    A compliance schedule must be kept on-site unless at another place by mutual agreement with Council. It must be made available to Council officers, independent qualified persons and authorised agents at all times.

  • Complete Appendix 1 of Form 2 Building Consent Application, for new, altered, added to our removed specified systems. 

    Identify each specified system by ticking appropriate boxes.  These have default design and installation standards which will populate default reporting and maintenance procedures on the compliance schedule, a full list of these can be viewed on our (IS SS) Information Sheet for Specified Systems.  If you intend to use other design, installation, reporting and maintenance procedures please complete a (SS Form) Specified System Form.

    The QLDC building control authority will issue the building consent listing specified systems to be included or altered on the compliance schedule. 

    At the time of Code Compliance Certificate (CCC) application we will prepare a compliance schedule for issue with the with the CCC.

  • Amendments are required where specified systems are installed or removed.  Where systems are altered we will assess the extent of the changes to the installation, inspection and maintenance performances.  Generally, if the performance standards remain unchanged an amendment will not be required.

    For example, where the only building work related to a specified system is the relocation of a couple of sprinkler heads and the performance standard of the system remains the same, the code of compliance certificate can be issued without an amended compliance schedule.

  • Complete (Form 11) Application for Compliance Schedule where the compliance schedule requires an amending outside of a building consent (e.g. as a result of an audit by QLDC Territorial Authority).

  • At the time of issuing the Code Compliance Certificate, QLDC issues the Compliance Schedule confirming the inspection, maintenance and reporting procedures to be followed to keep these specified systems in good working order.

    In addition to the CCC the owner will get:

    • A copy of the Compliance Schedule.

    • A Compliance Schedule Statement (which is the document to be displayed in a public place within the building for the first 12 months, after which it is to be replaced by a Building Warrant of Fitness - BWOF).

    • A letter providing information about the anniversary date by which the BWOF is to be supplied each subsequent year, and details about the requirement to engage a suitably authorised Independent Qualified Person (IQP) to certify the ongoing performance of the Compliance Schedule features.

  • Where a compliance schedule has been issued for the first time, a compliance schedule statement (Form 10) is also issued by Council. This is a temporary public notification of compliance with the compliance schedule requirements and is replaced after 12 months by the building warrant of fitness.

  • An independent qualified person (IQP) is a person approved by Council as qualified to inspect certain compliance schedule items and ensure that the necessary maintenance occurs. ‘Independent’ means that the person has no financial interest in the building.

    The IQP is responsible for:

    • inspecting specified systems to make sure they meet the standard listed in the compliance schedule

    • issuing a Form 12A and annual report for each specified system they are testing and maintaining

    • liaising with the building owner regarding the need to maintain or replace specified systems.

    Search the Independent Qualified Person Register.


Amendments and minor variations

There are two types of changes that can be made to building work under a Building Consent - Amendments and Minor Variations. All proposed changes must comply with the Building Code. All implemented changes must comply with the Building Code.

Click the image below to see the Approved Documents Assessment Tool.

  • This is a proposed significant or major variation to a Building Consent.

    Early spotting of this potential change to building work is very important. Whether it is for designers, builders and/or building owners.

  • Designers, builders and project managers should ensure the property owner and QLDC are informed of any proposed variations as soon as identified.

    They can seek guidance from QLDC on how the variation can be handled.

    Early identification and notification means QLDC can evaluate and make a decision earlier. This means work has a greater chance of staying on schedule.

  • These include, but are not limited to a proposed:

    • Significant increase in the building footprint.

    • Significant increase in the building envelope.

    • Reduction in the number of units included in a multi-unit development.

    • Code Compliance Certificate (CCC) application which will not include all units in a multi-unit development.

    • Change of use.

    • New PIM requirement (due to for example a significant time lapse, or new hazards identified.)

    • Significant building work value change.

  • Use the same form as for Building Consent applications (Form 2).

    It requires details and supporting documentation justifying the proposed changes. These must show how the changes comply with the Building Code. Examples include calculations, schematics, technical specifications and drawings.

    Along with Form 2, a newly filled out AF CALC Building Consent Initial Fee Calculator for needs to be supplied.

    If there is to be no additional project cost associated with the change, use a nominal value of $1.

  • Building work must cease on the area of work affected by the amendment until a decision has been made, and the change approval potentially issued and granted.

    The application for the Amendment is reviewed initially. If what is provided is in the correct format and meets minimum requirements for processing, it will be assigned an 'AM' number e.g. AM190001.

  • To be specific, this means the Amendment is granted and issued.

    Building work relating to the Amendment application can restart.

    Stamped approved Amendments must be kept on site with the original building consent and available for the start of all building inspections.

    All Amendments are reviewed for approval and completion when a CCC application is made for the original Building Consent.

  • This is a minor modification, addition, or variation to a Building Consent that does not deviate significantly from the Building Consent's plans and specifications.

  • Use AF MV Application for Minor Variation to an Existing Building Consent and compile with relevant plans depicting the work involved.

    A fee may be payable. Refer to AF CALC Building Consent Initial Fee Calculator.

  • Examples of changes that may be considered as Minor Variations include, but are not limited to:

    • Changing a room's layout (for example, changing the position of fixtures in a bathroom or kitchen.)

    • Substituting comparable products (for example, substituting one internal lining for a similar internal lining.)

    • Minor wall bracing changes.

    • Any changes (including structural changes) that do not significantly increase the value of the work.

    • Changes that do not increase the footprint of the building.

  • The proposed variation is assessed for compliance with the Building Code, including the effect on compliance of other building work.

    Minor changes can sometimes comply with the Building Code, but result in a lesser or greater degree of building performance. So it is important that the owner is aware of, and approves, the variation.

    Where a Licensed Building Practitioner (LBP) has provided a Certificate of Design Work, the owner may have to engage the LBP to certify the variation.

    QLDC has the discretion to accept/approve a Minor Variation application on site, where it does not affect the scope or compliance of the consented work.

    Where a Minor Variation will not comply with the Building Code, the application will be refused and the owner/applicant advised.



Once you have an issued building consent (with no restrictions) your building work can begin. All consented building work requires inspections, to verify it is being completed to the consented design and the NZ Building Code.

Work cannot proceed past defined stages, until that stage is inspected and approved by QLDC.

  • The Building Consent lists the inspections required. Use these inspection names when contacting us.

    The list is not always exhaustive. Additional inspections may be required. This depends on the specific construction methods used and their scheduling.

    When Building Consent is issued, it includes a letter titled “General Consent Information and Site Inspection Requirements”. It specifies the process and requirements for inspections.

    A description of the types of building inspections that can be required can be found in IS SI Site Inspection Descriptions.

    • Request the correct inspection type using its full name.

    • Arrange access and ensure appropriate people are available for the inspection.

    • Work cannot proceed past each step until that step has been inspected and approved.

    • Only one inspection is done per booking. For two inspections, two booking requests are required.

    • QLDC Building Control Officers will identify themselves when on site. They carry a warrant card to formally confirm identity.

    • A contact person must be nominated for each building project. They are emailed a copy of the inspection report. Submit the Inspection Contact Nomination Form (below) for this.

    • Construction documentation requested with the building consent is required before booking a Final Inspection.

  • Where drainage is built differently to what was consented, this plan is to be completed, before the Underslab Plumbing & Drainage and/or External Drainage inspection(s):

    AF ADP As-Built Drainage Plan.

    • A copy of the stamped approved documents must be available on-site when the Building Control Officer arrives. If not, the inspection maybe failed.

    • If non-compliant building work is identified, the Building Control Officer fails the inspection.

    • The Building Control Officer will require either a re-check inspection or will issue a Notice to Fix if warranted.

    • All failed inspections must be passed before further building work relating to the failed result can continue.

    • An agreement for conditional continuation of work may be agreed for building work not related or impacted by the failed result.

    • No further inspections relevant to the failed area can be booked until the identified problems are resolved and the inspection passed.

  • A record of the inspection is completed on site by the Building Control Officer. They use a tablet computer inspection system. Due to network availability inspection results may sometimes sync with QLDC records at the end of the working day or the next day.

    The inspection record provides information on what was inspected and the outcome of that inspection.

    A copy of the inspection record can be emailed to a nominated person. To nominate an email address complete the AF ICN Inspection Contact Nomination Form and email it to 


  • In addition to inspections by QLDC, external experts may be required to conduct their own inspections. An example is having structural elements checked by a chartered professional engineer, or specific product installations checked by manufacturers during their installation or application.

    In this case, a Producer Statement (PS3 or PS4) is required for an application for Code Compliance Certificate (CCC).

    Additional inspections by other specialists may also be required in the Building Consent. With prior written approval from QLDC, general Producer Statements (PS3’s) may be accepted as verification of compliance with the Building Code.

    Failure to gain prior approval from QLDC for third-party inspections or the use of Producer Statements results in QLDC not being able to issue the CCC.

    Check the Conditions and Advice Notes of the Building Consent for more information.

  • With prior approval 3rd party verification or other evidence in support of compliance maybe acceptable in lieu of an inspection by the BCA.

    The applicant is to make a request before undertaking the building work using AF 3P 3rd Party Verification Form.  Upload via our Community Portal.

    If the BCA can be satisfied on reasonable grounds from the level of evidence and certification offered that the work complies with the consent, they may approve and notify the applicant.

  • Timeframes and information for inspection bookings:

    Certain locations have generally have inspections only on specific days.

    • Glenorchy - Monday and Wednesday.

    • Kingston - Tuesday and Thursday.

    • Generally inspection bookings should be booked a week in advance (this can be variable check when booking.)

    • Specific Building Control Officers (BCO) cannot be requested.

    • Partial inspections are permitted.

    • A courtesy call request can be made when booking.

    • Have your BC number ready when you book.

    • Quote the full and accurate name of the inspection type with your request.

    • Each inspection needs a separate booking request.

    • Large projects and multiple units may need more than one booking (45 minutes.)

    To request an inspection booking, please click the button below or call us on 03 450 0369.


Certify (CCC)

A Code Compliance Certificate is the last step for certification of consented building work.

An owner must apply to QLDC for a Code Compliance Certificate after all building work to be carried out under a building consent granted to that owner is completed. The application must be made as soon as practicable after the building work is completed and in the prescribed form.

You or your agent should provide construction documentation to QLDC as the build progresses to help speed up the process.

  • A Code Compliance Certificate (CCC) gives you and future owners an assurance that the building work was done to the appropriate standards, making it safe, healthy and durable.

    Lack of a CCC may prevent a bank from releasing a final builder payment or increase the cost of insurance cover. If you don’t get one then you may also have trouble selling your house.

    This certificate is issued by QLDC under Section 95 of the Building Act 2004, confirming that we are satisfied on reasonable grounds that the building work complies with the building consent.

  • We encourage you (or your agent) to provide the construction documentation, as listed on the Building Consent Construction Documentation and Advice Notes document provided with your building consent, throughout the build – it will assist with the timely processing of your application for code compliance certificate.

    Submit documents using the Community Portal below:

  • An owner must apply to a building consent authority for a code compliance certificate after all building work to be carried out under a building consent granted to that owner is completed.

    The application must:

    • be made as soon as practicable after the building work is completed

    • be made on in the prescribed form

    • include with the application any records of work provided by licensed building practitioners (if applicable)

    • include energy work certificate (if applicable)

    Download the Application for a code compliance certificate (Form 6).

    Submit using the Community Portal.  In some cases we may accept small applications (e.g. solid fuel heater) over the counter in hardcopy.

  • Fees vary for applications depending on the type of project. Where the cost to make a code compliance certificate decision exceeds the fee paid at the point of lodging the consent then additional fees may be charged for additional time and or inspections. .

    Please refer to the AF CALC Building Consent Initial Fee Calculator.

  • The statutory timeframe of 20 working days for processing your application begins once the application has been received.

    If the application is incomplete you will be notified with a request for information. The statutory clock will stop. Once the full information is provided the clock will be started again.

    Please note that any outstanding fees must be paid before the Code Compliance Certificate (Form 7) is issued. This includes payment of any applicable development contributions.

  • The owner of a building may apply for a Code Compliance Certificate where more than five years has passed since the building consent was granted and the first inspection was undertaken five or more years ago.

    We reserve the right to inspect building work and verify ongoing compliance with the Building Code prior to deciding whether to issue a Code Compliance Certificate. This inspection may take into consideration the passage of time since building work was significantly completed, condition of building work, performance and durability of claddings and completed building work.

  • Why hasn’t QLDC dealt with this before now?

    There could be a number of reasons why this has not been brought to your attention previously. Sometimes people don't realise it's their responsibility to request a CCC, others might think their builder will take care of it.  Some projects are never finished or people simply forget to submit their application. Whatever the reason, it can lead to significant problems when you go to sell your property or re-finance it.

    What happens if I don't obtain a CCC?

    It may have an impact on insurance policies you have. The status of a code compliance certificate decision will be listed on the LIM and it may have implications if you ever decide to sell your property. The Building Act 2004 highlights the need to obtain a CCC following completion of work carried out under a building consent.

    What do I need to do to get a CCC?

    This is outlined in detail in CCC Applications for Historical Building Consents (IS 3.4) including

    • Documents to be supplied.

    • Cost.

    • Modification of durability.

    • Time.

    • FAQs & Case Studies.

    Do I have any other options?

    Following this process, if a final inspection cannot be approved or a code compliance certificate cannot be issued then an option may be to contact MBIE for information with regards to a determination.

  • Under section 94 of the Building Act 2004 in deciding to issue a Code Compliance Certificate, we must:

    • issue a code compliance certificate if it's satisfied on reasonable grounds the building complies with the consent and, if applicable, new or altered the specified systems are capable of performing to the performance standards set out in the building consent.

    • have regard to whether a building method or product to which a current warning or ban.

    • receive energy work certificate(s).

    • seek development contributions.

  • We may refuse to issue a code compliance certificate if:

    • the work is not complete; or

    • we do not have adequate evidence that the work complies with your building consent; or

    • we do not have adequate evidence that the work complies with the building code (this may include required documentation not being supplied).

    If you haven't applied for a CCC within two years of the building consent being granted, under section 93(2)(b) QLDC must make a decision whether to issue a code compliance certificate.

    When you apply for your CCC, you must attach, where applicable, any outstanding documents not already submitted to us.

    We also reserve the right to re-inspect building work where the period between the passed final inspection and application for a CCC give rise for concern in respect to the passage of time, durability, scope and nature of building work.

  • You may require a Compliance Schedule and annual Warrant of Fitness if the building has certain Specified Systems.

    Altered or amended Specified Systems are listed on the issued building consent (Form 5) document.

    A Compliance Schedule details the inspection, maintenance, and reporting requirements for the Specified Systems in a building as defined by the applicant and is issued at the same time as the Code Compliance Certificate, along with a Compliance Schedule Statement (Form 10).

    For more information see Building Consents - Compliance Schedules.

  • Unless a certificate for public use has been issued, members of the public cannot use or occupy public premises which have not had a Code Compliance Certificate issued. Any breach could result in enforcement action by the Council.

    For more information see Building Consents – Certificate of Public Use.

  • If you are building, or arranging to have built, a household unit for the purpose of selling it you must get a CCC before completing the sale, or before allowing a purchaser to take possession of the household unit. The only exception is if the on-seller and purchaser sign an agreement to waive this requirement.

    There is a standard form for this agreement which advises of any potential extra costs being passed on to the buyer. For further reading, see Building Act 2004 – revision section 362V.

    • New or altered specified systems.

    • Stamped and approved copy of the documents that you have submitted. This may be split into various documents.


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