Building Consents and Inspections

What is a Building Consent?

The Building Act 2004 regulates building work, establishes a licensing regime for builders and sets building standards so that our buildings are safe, healthy and well designed. The building consent process ensures these important objectives are achieved.

Why do I need a Building Consent?

You need to apply for building consent before starting work to ensure that your project complies with the Building Act 2004.  In some cases, you will also need resource consent prior to starting work.

Contact the Building department to see if your project requires building consent and for questions about the building consent process. Some very helpful links and documents describing the building consent process are:

Understanding the building consent process
The Homeowner’s Home Building Guide

What is a Project Information Memorandum (PIM)?

A Project Information Memorandum is a report compiled by Council about your specific building project for a specific site. PIMs are not required but can help you decide whether your project is feasible and likely to be approved. A PIM identifies known information on the land that can affect your project like:

  • Building restrictions
  • Flooding
  • Subsidence
  • Hazardous material on site
  • If Resource Consent is required
  • Outstanding water contributions
  • Materials

How do I apply for Building Consent?

You can apply online for a building consent via the Simpli portal www.simpli.govt.nz. You can also apply for a building consent via email to building@swdc.govt.nz or hardcopy posted to PO Box 6, Martinborough 5741.

Simpli provides the following:

  • Standardised processes, forms, templates and checklists for building consent applications.
  • An online service for submitting, viewing and managing your building consent applications.
  • If you are using Simpli for the first time you will need to register as a new customer.

If you want to apply for the building consent yourself you will need to know how to comply with the Building Act 2004, Building Regulations and the Building Code, all of which are essential for safe and healthy buildings in New Zealand.

If you are not familiar with building plans and compliance with the building code you may need to engage a design professional (an architect for example) to supply the required drawings and information and to apply for a building consent on your behalf.

Our schedule of fees can be found here: Building Consent Fees

What is a Building Inspection?

Inspections are carried out by Council’s inspectors during and after the construction process as defined by the Building Act. Inspections carried out at the prescribed times ensures Council has enough information to issue a Code Compliance Certificate when the project is complete. Your building consent document will detail the inspections that must be carried out.  It is your responsibility to email the Building Department or ring 06 306 9611 to book the inspections; be sure to have your building consent number handy. Plans and documentation must be on site during the inspection, otherwise the inspection will have to be rescheduled. We will attempt to do inspections as soon as possible, but depending on workloads a delay may be experienced. 

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