What is a Building Consent? 

A building consent is the formal approval granted by a Building Consent Authority that building works meet the requirements of the New Zealand Building Act, Building Regulations, and Building Code.  A building consent is required before you can begin building works.

Only a Building Consent Authority can issue a building consent.  Building Consent Authorities are councils, regional authorities, or private organisations registered under section 273 of the Building Act 2004.

If your project requires a building consent, it must be obtained before any of the work starts, so please make sure that you start the application process well before building is due to start.

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What Information do I Need to Provide for a Building Consent? 

The building consent application is made up of:

  • Information about the work and the people involved
  • A Certificate of Title for the property
  • Plans of the work
  • Specifications for the materials used in the work
  • Supporting design and/or engineering reports
  • Details of any specified systems, including the proposed inspections, maintenance and reporting proceedures. Check out our information on Compliance Schedules to see if this applies to your building work.
  • A lodgement checklist to help ensure you have provided all the information we need in your plans (not required for sheds, garages, solar or wood-burners).
  • Download BC78-Residential Building Consent Lodgement Checklistor BC78A-Commercial Building Consent Lodgement Checklist

Depending on the nature of your project, you may also be asked to provide specialist reports, such as geotechnical reports.

If you would like more information about how the process works, read our guides:

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How do I apply for a Building Consent?

First, compile the information listed above.  Then you're ready to submit your application through the GoShift online consent application portal.

You will need to create a login the first time you use the portal, and then create a "submission".  The application portal will guide you through the information required.  When you have completed the required information and uploaded your lodgement checklist, Certificate of Title, plans and specifications, you can submit your application.

If you do not have appropriate internet access, it is still possible to make your application on paper.

How Applications are processed

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Commercial Building Consents

Due to the greater complexity of commercial work, applicants for commercial buildings are asked to make an appointment with a duty building control officer by phoning 03 543 8400. Visit our Commercial Building Consent page for more information.

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How to Make an Appointment for Further Advice          

The duty officer is available from Monday to Friday in our Richmond office between 9.00 am and 3.00 pm. To make an appointment call 03 543 8400, and ask for a time.

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