Guidance for gaining building consent if your project includes: a single stand-alone dwelling; an accessory building such as a garage, car port, gazebo or shed; a deck or retaining wall.

Do you need consent?

Most structural and significant building work requires building consent. Some exemptions apply for low-risk, minor work, or work that is carried out or supervised by qualified professionals. Schedule 1 of the Building Act(external link) sets out a detailed list of work that is exempt from requiring a building consent. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has a guide on work that does not require building consent(external link). Please also refer to exemptions from building consent for more information.

Even if it is exempt, all work must be carried out in accordance with the building code and other relevant legislation.

Sometimes you may not need a building consent but may be required to get a resource consent.

We recommend:

  • engaging a professional to help with design work, drawings, specifications and documentation.
  • finding out early in your project if you also need to apply for resource consent.
  • requesting a pre-application meeting before you draw up your final plans. This will help you understand what you need to do, including finding out if you need resource consent and what documents you need to supply. This could save you time and money.
  • using the Eco-design advice service. Eco Design Advisors provide free, independent, expert advice on new home design and renovation. Advice is available for homeowners, home designers, builders and industry professionals.

What forms do you need to fill out?

You may also need to fill out other forms to show us what you’re doing as specified on the application form or check sheet.

See Applying for building consent for information on how to complete and submit your application.


Refer to the Building Consents Fee Schedule.

Building on land subject to a natural hazard

Section 72 of the Building Act 2004 is concerned with building on land which is subject to a range of natural hazards, such as flooding, slippage, erosion. There are difficulties in building on hazardous land for both the owner and the Council. Refer to Building on land subject to a natural hazard for more information.

Other useful information

The following documents contain information that may help you to prepare your application: