The Building Act 2004 allows for some types of building work to be carried out without obtaining a building consent. We explain how to apply for an exemption from a building consent from the Council.

All building work must comply with the building code and any other legislation (in particular the district plan) even if a building consent is not required.

Exemptions from building consent fall into two categories:

Before making an application please refer to information sheet B-391 Guidance on presenting high-quality applications for exemption [PDF, 113 KB].

Apply for your building consent exemption using Online Services

Alternatively, you can download and complete an application for an exemption from building consent - Form B-004 [PDF, 154 KB]

You can also pick up an application form from any Council Customer Service Hub, or we can post one to you if you call us on 03 941 8999.

We encourage you to submit your application using Online Services. You will need to register to use this service, however, using it minimises Council administration time and can lead to faster processing times. Also, the B-004 application form is not needed if you complete the online application form as part of submitting your application through Online Services.

Work automatically exempt under the Building Act

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) provides guidance on building work that is automatically exempt(external link) under the Building Act.

MBIE has also released an online Buildit tool (external link)to help homeowners with building consent exemptions. It allows homeowners to answer a few questions about an upcoming project and see if it needs building consent, or if it could qualify as exempt building work.

Exemptions considered by Christchurch City Council

The Council considers applications for exemption on a case-by-case basis where the building work is:

  • carried out by suitably qualified and experienced persons with a proven record of competence doing similar building work, and
  • a clear understanding of the Building Act and building code is demonstrated in the application, and
  • assurances are given to show how compliance with the building code will be achieved.

A team dedicated to processing exemption applications will carefully consider each application.

For further information on the Council's process refer to information sheet B-390 Building work that does not require a building consent [PDF, 524 KB]


Refer to the Building Consents Fee Schedule for information on exemptions from building consent.

Fixed fees and minimum application fees do not always cover all of the consent related costs of an application.