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2. Check if you need a consent to add a rainwater tank

There are two types of consent — resource consent and building consent. You may need one, both or neither of these, depending on the type of tank you have, what it is for and where it is located.

How to check if you need a consent to add a rainwater tank


This consent tool is currently unavailable due to maintenance work. In the meantime you can view our rainwater tank standards document (PDF 596KB).

 By phone

 In person

V​isit your nearest library with council services.

​When a building consent may not be required for a rainwater tank

You may not need a building consent if all of the following applies to your tank:
  • It is for outdoor use only (for example, watering the garden or washing a car).
  • It has no mains water network top-up connection.
  • It is not connected to internal plumbing.
  • It is not positioned on a retaining wall.
  • It doesn’t require alterations to drainage and does not change the way stormwater flows onsite.
  • It doesn’t exceed 35,000 litres capacity.
  • It is placed directly on the ground, not on a supporting structure.

See the Exemptions Guidance for Schedule 1 of the Building Act 2004 (PDF 8.9MB) for more information.

If you plan to connect your rainwater tank to your internal plumbing, you will need a building consent and a licensed registered plumber must carry out the work.

All building work must comply with the Building Code.

Non-potable water signage

All non-potable water outlets and supply pipes (e.g. a garden hose tap) must be clearly identified as not suitable for human consumption by displaying a sign that says ‘non-potable water’ or ‘not for drinking’.

You can find out more about the NZ Building Code Clause for Signs (PDF 786KB).

Resource consents for rainwater tanks

Resource consents ensure property development zone standards in the Auckland Unitary Plan are met.

Where your rainwater tank is positioned on your property, the size of the tank, and any special environmental and ecological traits of the area and the zone you live in will determine whether you need a resource consent.

An Auckland Unitary Plan Change and a Hauraki Gulf District Plan amendment decision has recently been passed. This may mean, in most cases, your rainwater tank may not require a resource consent.

See Consent requirements for rainwater tanks or email for more information.