The Basics of Building Consents

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The Basics of Building Consents

We have covered what it takes to build a home in New Zealand and we briefly mentioned that a lot of the process consists of obtaining the right building consents from your local council. If you are just starting out or considering building a new home, or addition to an already built home, here are some basics to get you started.

When building a home or making additions to your property it is crucial to get the right consents before you build, many people are surprised to find what actually falls under the criteria of getting a building consent, and if one is not obtained the council is within its rights to tear the structure down. These can be for homes, garages, sleep outs, pools, decks, to even treehouses. it’s always worth double checking the council website to see what and if you need consent, to avoid fines and loss of money.

Some builders will obtain or help you through the consent processes, if you are building yourself it will be slightly harder as it becomes your sole responsibility. There are a handful of things to consider when building including trees, stormwater drains, natural hazards, and if the property will hinder other existing properties. Finding out what activities are allowed in your property zone will help answer many of these questions.

Once you have done the research and applied it can take up to twenty days to get a response, so be sure to plan well ahead of time, depending on your application and project, you may need to apply for building consent, resource consent, or both. A call or appointment with your local council can be a major helping hand in this process, finding out what’s involved in approving your consent can save you valuable time and money.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) website has valuable information about getting professional help to prepare your resource consent application.

During and after the building process you will undergo a series of inspections that will need to be booked in advance to make sure that your project doesn’t get affected, this is where an experienced planner can come in handy. You need to start building your work within twelve months of receiving your building consent and have two years to complete the work once the consent is granted.

This can all seem like a lot of paperwork and double checking, but at the end of the day it is your money, time and energy going into the build, and if you are planning to live on the property, you want to make sure it’s a safe and maintainable place to invest in. check out the Auckland City Council’s Website for more information on building and consents.


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Daniel Vernon