New online tool to find out if building consent is needed

Published: 12 August 2021

A new online tool to help homeowners find out if their next project needs building consent is now available at building.govt.nz.

“The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has introduced a new online tool as a first port of call for homeowners to help them follow the rules when doing DIY or low risk building work,” says Sarah Sinclair, Manager System Design and Implementation in MBIE’s Building Performance branch.

“The tool will help homeowners find out what building jobs need consent and what might not, so they can make sure any projects they complete meet compliance requirements. Even projects that don’t need consent still need to follow the rules to ensure safety and durability and reduce any issues down the track if the house is sold,” says Sarah.

In August 2020, changes were made to building consent exemptions that made it simpler and more cost efficient for homeowners to complete a number of common, low-risk building projects. The new exemptions allowed more building projects to be completed by homeowners and licensed building practitioners without a council approved building consent.

“The tool invites users to answer a short series of questions about their home projects. It then provides information on whether their project fits into the building consent exemption requirements or if their project may need a building consent from their council,” says Sarah.

“Even though we have lifted building consent requirements for many types of low-risk building work, it’s still important that all home projects meet the requirements of the Building Code,” Sarah says, “The Building Code covers aspects such as structural stability, fire safety, access, moisture control, durability, services and facilities, and energy efficiency. It ensures that all building work is safe and fit for purpose.”

“The tool will help point homeowners in the right direction for their home project requirements. If people are still unsure, the best thing they can do is pick up the phone and speak to their local council, licensed building practitioner, engineer or plumber.” Sarah says.

The online building consent exemptions tool is available on building.govt.nz(external link)

MBIE media contact

Email: media@mbie.govt.nz