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1. Check if you need a consent to build a retaining wall

Tirohia mēnā me tono whakaaetanga rānei koe mō te whakatū pātū pupuri

​Have your plan ready

Before checking whether you need a consent for your retaining wall you need to know:

  • dimensions of the project (height, total area)
  • location on property where the project will go
  • size of the property in square metres
  • total pre-existing building coverage on property
  • total pre-existing hard surfaces on property.

There will be an explanation on how to calculate these factors in the online consent tool.

Our tip

If your retaining wall is close to a boundary, and you have the written approval from your neighbours, you can apply for a Deemed Permitted Boundary Activity.
This application replaces the need to apply for a resource consent.
You will still need to apply for a building consent, if required.

​How to check if you need a consent to add a retaining wall


​Our online tool helps you check if you need a building or resource consent for your retaining wall.

This tool doesn’t apply to properties with unstable soil conditions.  It also only covers residential zoned properties. Rural, non-residential retaining walls of up to 3m could be allowed (PDF 8.9MB).

Have your plans ready before you start.

It should take you about 10 minutes to complete.

Check now

 By phone

​Contact us on 09 301 0101.

 In person

​Visit your nearest library with council services.

You should know

If there is a fall of a metre or more from the retaining wall, you may be required to include a safety barrier (see Building Code clause F4 - Safety from Falling).  Factors to consider include the purpose of the wall, how accessible it is, and whether young children will be around.

Your building work must:
  • comply with the Building Code, even if no building consent is needed
  • not damage public service drains if its foundations are close to the pipes.