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How we assess your building consent application

The building consent process

We have 20 working days to process your building consent application.

The building consent process involves trained professionals in a range of building disciplines including architecture, engineering, construction and plumbing.

Initial application check

Once you lodge an application and we receive the payment, we use the building consent lodgement checklists to check that we have the basic information we need to start processing your application.

We may:

  • return the application as incomplete with a letter explaining what is missing
  • contact you to ask for more information
  • accept the application and confirm acceptance in writing.


After we accept your application, we will allocate it to a processing officer who will also be your main contact.

The processing officer will check that your application complies with the Building Act and the Building Code, using our processing checklists.

We assess all applications against the act, associated regulations and the section 49 requirements within.

At times, we may use an external Building Consent Authority to assist us in processing a consent. In these situations, the consultant is working on behalf of us.

​Waivers and modifications of the building code

Section 67 of the Building Act 2004 allows territorial authorities (TA) to grant a building consent subject to waiver or modification of the Building Code.

Complete this form when requesting any waiver or modification of the building code. When complete, email to:

Specialist review

Development engineer review

A development engineer will check the application for:

  • hazards on the site
  • consent notices
  • resource consent conditions
  • soil conditions
  • geotechnical and stormwater reports
  • stormwater control design
  • public services
  • other site related issues.

Structural engineer review

If your application includes a design by a structural engineer or includes complex structures, one of our engineers may review the design to check it complies with the Building Code.

Fire engineer review

Our fire engineer or specialist may review your application if it includes complex fire design.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand review

We send applications requiring review (by law) to Fire and Emergency New Zealand (section 47 of the Building Act).

Applications are reviewed within 10 working days.

This review provides feedback on the compliance of the proposed design, and the ability for people to escape a fire safely.

We will review their feedback and let you know if any changes are required.

Environmental health review

Designs for health and beauty, hairdressers, camping grounds and funeral parlours are reviewed by Environmental Health Officers.

They will contact you if they need more information, or if you need to make changes to your application.

Development contributions review

The development contributions team will let you know if development contributions apply. 

Planning review

We do planning checks as part of processing building consent applications and Project Information Memorandums.

This planning check is not a substitute for any independent planning advice that you can seek on your building work's compliance with the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA).

A planner will check:

  • whether your application complies with Auckland Unitary Plan provisions
  • whether you need to apply for a resource consent
  • whether you are complying with your resource consent conditions (if applicable).

There are multiple ways the building work might be authorised under the RMA. For example, the work may:

  • be a permitted activity under a plan or National Environmental Standard (NES)
  • be approved by a resource consent
  • be the subject of a certificate of compliance
  • have existing use rights.

For further information on the RMA see the Ministry for the Environment website.

To help us carry out the planning check more efficiently, your building consent application should show if the building work is authorised under the RMA or a resource consent has been lodged.

Consent issues during planning checks

If works shown on your building consent drawings are not authorised under the RMA by any of the means above, then we must issue a certificate under section 37 of the Building Act.

This puts on hold the part of the project that is not authorised under the RMA, until a resource consent or certificate of compliance is obtained, or existing use rights are established.

If a planner advises that you need to apply for a resource consent, or you have a related resource consent that is not granted yet, a section 37 certificate will be attached to your building consent. This states no building work may proceed, or may proceed only to the extent shown in the certificate, until the certificate is removed.

To avoid this limitation you can change your design to comply with the restrictions.

You should know

 If you are planning to change your design, let us know as soon as possible.

You will have to pay extra charges if we need to re-check your application.

Request for information (RFI)

The 20 working day processing timeframe goes on hold if we need to request more information, and it doesn't start again until we receive the information we request.

Incomplete applications take longer to process.

Additional processing time is charged accordingly.

Decision on your building consent application

If we grant a building consent application

If we grant your consent, you will receive the decision and an invoice via email.

We will grant your building consent if:

  • we are satisfied that the provisions of the Building Code will be met
  • the building work is properly completed in accordance with the plans and specification on your application.

Once you have paid any outstanding fees, we will issue your consent.

If you sent us a hard copy application, we will post you a printed copy of your consent. Otherwise, you can download your consent from the online portal.

The approved consent will direct you to build what is shown in your consented plans. Make sure you read and understand any building consent conditions or advice notes. 

The documentation will also include a list of inspections that will be required during construction.

During inspections, building officials will assess the work against your plans.

Construction must start within 12 months from the date the building consent was issued (or any specified extended period already granted to you by us). If work hasn’t started by then, you may apply for an extension of time, otherwise the consent will lapse.

Conditions of a building consent

Conditions may be imposed on the building consent to ensure it complies with the Building Act. It is important for you (and your contractors) to read the building consent documentation and be clear about the requirements.

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

If we decline a building consent application

If your application is declined, we will tell you the reasons why.

We recommend you seek advice from a professional if you are considering appealing the decision.


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