The building consent process is about ensuring buildings meet the building code so that when they are built, they are safe, sanitary and durable.

When your building work is inspected and a code compliance certificate is issued, you will have documented assurance that the Council has reasonable grounds to believe that your building work complies with the building consent.

All building consents are conditional on being able to inspect the building work. At various stages during construction, you will need to arrange inspections to verify that the building work has been completed in accordance with building consent requirements.

Your building consent will include an estimate of construction inspections to be undertaken during the course of construction. Inspections are project-specific, and the estimate is decided during the processing of your building consent.

Under section 90 of the Building Act 2004, agents authorised by the Council (acting as a building consent authority) are entitled, at all times during normal working hours or while building work is being done, to inspect:

  • land on which building work is being or is proposed to be carried out; and
  • building work that has been or is being carried out on or off that building site; and
  • any building.
  • A number of Council inspections are to be carried out during the project. Remember to book your inspections following the instructions below.

Sometimes it is necessary for specialists to do inspections in addition to those carried out by the Council. If there has been an agreement for third party construction monitoring (e.g. by your engineer), these inspections will be listed in the building consent construction documentation and advice notes provided to you.

Book, change or cancel an inspection

Book an inspection


Our Inspections Support team on 03 941 8222, 8am to 5pm Monday to Friday.

  • We will schedule the next available appointment with an inspector who is able to undertake your inspection.
  • Waitlist - Our waitlist system is working extremely well and often inspections are able to occur much earlier than booked. If your work is ready to be inspected please request to be put on our waitlist and keep your phone near as we call customers from 7am each morning.
  • LBP Details.
  • Inspections for historic consents(external link) over five years old.


Complete our building inspection booking form(external link).

  • You can request your preferred date and whether you require a morning or afternoon or anytime appointment.
  • A morning inspection will take place between 8am and noon.
  • An afternoon inspection will take place between noon and 5pm.
  • Once you submit this online form, our team will review the information. If your requested date and time are not available, we will call you to book the next available appointment.
  • We will also text or call the day before your booked inspection to confirm you are ready.
  • LBP Details.

Change or cancel a booking

If you wish to change or cancel your inspection booking, please call our team on 03 941 8222.

Cancellations must be made by 4pm on the working day prior to when your inspection was scheduled to take place.

The Council charges an inspection fee for cancellations made on the day that the inspection is scheduled to take place.

Inspections for historic consents over five years old

A historic consent is when your first inspection was undertaken more than 5 years ago and the most recent inspection was undertaken more than 6 months ago.

This inspection will consider the passage of time since the building work was substantially completed and the current condition of the building work.

If your consent is considered historic, please contact our Inspections Support Team on 03 942 8222 to start the historic consent process.

What to provide when booking

Please have the following information available:

  • building consent number (this is a unique number given to each building consent e.g. BCN/2022/1234).
  • site address
  • site details (e.g. lot number or subdivision details)
  • confirmation your approved building consent documentation will be onsite and available (this may include hard copy or electronically readable (i.e. tablet not a mobile) for the inspection
  • name, phone number and email address of person onsite during the inspection
  • email address(es) to send a copy of the inspection site notice to
  • Licensed Building Practitioner (LBP)(external link) registration number (residential only)
    • From 1 November 2022 we will be looking at collecting relevant LBP information at the time of inspection booking, so have your license number handy when you ring or book online.
    • From this date onwards please be prepared and have your LBP card ready onsite so the building inspector carrying out your building inspection can confirm your LBP number/license.
  • chosen date and time (morning or afternoon)
  • type of inspection

Estimated time allocated to undertake residential inspection

The following are estimates only on the amount of time allocated to undertake the relevant inspection:

Inspection type

Estimated inspection

Standalone residential building Res 1-2

1 hour

Complex residential buildings Res 3 or multi units
(based on first four units)

between 1 to 2 hours

Additional blocks of four units

30 minutes

Please note:

A standalone residential building is a building with less than two storeys and with a E2/AS1 risk matrix score(external link) of less than 12.

A complex residential building or multi-unit is a residential building with less than three storeys or a multi-unit, and with a E2/AS1 risk matrix score between 13 to 20. The estimated time allocation differs depending on the inspection type:

Inspection type

inspection time
(Res 1 and 2)

Estimated inspection time
(Res 3)

255 - Erosion and sediment control 1 hour 1 hour
252 - Drainage  1 hour 1 hour
251 - Foundation  1 hour 1 hour
221 - Blockwork   1 hour 1 hour
204 - Subfloor  1 hour 1 hour
217 - Pre-roof  1 hour 2 hours
253 - Pre-clad  1 hour 1.5 hours
211 - Half high masonry  1 hour 1 hour
214 - Pre plaster  1 hour 1 hour
205 - Pre-line  1 hour 1.5 hours
207 - Fire-line  1 hour 1 hour
209 - Pre-stop  1 hour 1 hour
216 - Interior Tanking  1 hour 1 hour
210 - Residential Final  1 hour 2 hours

As an example:

If a builder wanted to book a foundation on a multi-unit dwelling with 12 units, the total time allocation would be 2 hours.

  • First block of 4 units: 1 hour
  • Second block of 4 units: 30 minutes
  • Third block of 4 units: 30 minutes

On-site requirements

Who and what documentation must be onsite

It is preferred that you or a representative are on-site for an inspection.

You must be on-site when we are attending a final inspection and all the approved building consent documentation must be onsite and available (this may include hard copy or electronically readable) during all inspections.

Access to above-ground areas

The area to be inspected may also include those that cannot be easily accessed. An example may be the second or third storey of a building or another area that cannot be easily seen from ground level.

You will need to provide the building inspector with a safe and suitable method (for example, scaffolding) for accessing the above-ground areas so that the inspection can take place.

The building inspector is not responsible for organising this so make sure you organise for this before the building inspector arrives.

Verification of construction and inspection findings

The building inspector will check to ensure that the building work is carried out in accordance with the approved building consent documents. This may be viewing all or a sample of the work, depending on the specific job. At the end of each inspection, the outcome will be recorded on a site inspection notice and emailed to you.

The building inspector will also check to see that all other experts involved with the project, such as engineers and surveyors, have carried out their inspections as agreed and have left records of their visits on site.  An inspection may be failed if these records are not available. These records should be provided to the Council as soon as they are available. Refer to the submitting construction documentation section below.

If an inspection outcome is recorded as failed, the details of the building work to be rectified will be recorded on the site inspection notice. It is likely you will need to book another inspection to allow inspection of the remedial work.

You will be charged for all re-inspections, usually at the current applicable rate. If the building work is not remedied to the satisfaction of the building inspector, a notice to fix may be issued.

Non-compliant building work

If the inspection finds non-compliance with the building consent documents, the reasons for non-compliance will be recorded on the inspection record that will be provided to you. The outcomes of a non-compliant inspection may mean:

  • All or some building work may have to stop while the non-compliance is being remedied. When the remedy has been completed, the building inspector will need to confirm that the remedy has been complied with.
  • Serious breaches may result in a notice to fix being issued:
    A notice to fix (Form 13) is a formal notice issued by the Council advising that a specified person is contravening or failing to comply with the Building Act. If a notice to fix is issued, you must address the issues identified within a prescribed timeframe stated on the notice to prevent further action from being taken. All or some of the building work may have to stop until the non-compliance is remedied and the building inspector has confirmed that the notice to fix has been complied with. Further enforcement of a notice to fix may be undertaken by the Council.
  • You may need to apply to amend your building consent(external link).

Building inspection types

See guide to the common types of building inspections(external link) for the main checks that are undertaken during the common types of building inspections carried out by Hurunui, Waimakariri, Christchurch, Selwyn and Ashburton Councils (the Greater Canterbury Region).

Further details are available in our guide to building inspections(external link). This information will be updated regularly when requirements change.

Additional types of building inspections may be necessary, depending on the nature of the building work and the manner of construction, or as a result of non-complying or incomplete work.

Ensure you have a clear timeline for carrying out your building work and book inspections in advance to avoid delays on site.

In addition to the common types of building inspections undertaken by the Councils within the Greater Canterbury Region, the Christchurch City Council also undertakes the following building inspection types:

Site meeting monitoring inspection

This inspection should occur before work starts on site. Items to be covered include:

  • Erosion and sediment control.
  • Construction hazards.
  • Excavations.
  • Construction monitoring by design consultant.
  • Construction documentation required and public use or premises.

Erosion and sediment control

  • This inspection should occur before any excavations or site clearance of erosion and sediment control measures.
  • Erosion and sediment discharge from building sites can adversely affect waterways so control measures need to be in place before any excavations or site clearance begins. 
  • Consult our Building on Small Sites booklet [PDF, 4.9 MB] for erosion and sediment control requirements.

Fire-resistant lining

This inspection should occur before the plasterboard stopping or installation of skirting or scotia. Check if:

  • All linings to fire-rated elements are completed and correctly fixed.
  • Fire-resistant filler and sealant are in place.
  • Suitable fire-resistant electrical fittings and fire collars are in place for penetration through fire-rated walls and ceilings.

Concrete construction

  • A type of inspection of building work that is usually covered by the engineer's construction monitoring as a building inspector is not normally an expert in this work.
  • Where covered by construction monitoring, a Producer Statement - Construction Review (PS4) [DOC, 152 KB](external link)will be required before a code compliance certificate can be issued.
  • Check Building Consent Construction Documentation and Advice Notes attached to the building consent.
  • The building inspector may check reinforcing steel placement, the configuration of proposed concrete work, tilt panels lifting points and connections.

Steel construction

  • A type of inspection type of building work that is usually covered by the engineer's construction monitoring as a building inspector is not normally an expert in this work.
  • Where covered by construction monitoring a Producer Statement - Construction Review (PS4) [DOC, 152 KB](external link)will be required before a code compliance certificate can be issued.
  • Check Building Consent Construction Documentation and Advice Notes attached to the building consent.
  • The building inspector may check beam sizes, steel placement and connections.

Shelf angles

  • All flashings, shelf angles, slip joints and associated fixings to be inspected prior to laying of the masonry veneer. 
  • Generally carried out for two-storey buildings or specific design of the masonry veneer cladding system.
  • Includes shelf angles over windows and doors.

Notice to fix inspection

  • Confirmation on whether or not the contraventions recorded on the Notice to Fix (Form 13) have been rectified. 
  • If specified, building work must cease until the Notice to Fix has been lifted.

Audit inspection

  • The audit inspection may be used for non-specific inspection types.
  • The audit inspection may also be used to inspect building work under historic building consents, complex projects, and can be used as a type of final inspection.

Certificate for public use

  • An inspection type used for commercial buildings that intended to be open to members of the public. Check if:
  • The safety management plan is being adhered to.
  • Measures are in place to protect the public where they may be affected by building work.
  • Check that members of the public can use the premises safely.

11-month inspection

  • Building consents are valid for 12 months from the date of issue.
  • Building work must have commenced within the 12 months or the building consent will
  • This inspection is carried out to assess if building work has commenced.

24-month Inspection

  • The council may carry out an inspection approximately 24 months after your building consent was granted.
  • The Building Act, under section 93(2)(b), requires us to make a decision at this time whether to issue a code compliance certificate.
  • The purpose of this inspection is to assess the building work to assist us in making a decision on whether to issue a code compliance certificate.

Once the building work and inspections are complete

Once the building work and inspections are completed, you must apply for a code compliance certificate(external link). Include all remaining construction documentation with your application.

For commercial buildings, if you’re not ready to apply for a code compliance certificate because your building work is not quite finished, but you wish to open your premises (or part of your premises) to members of the public you will have to apply for a certificate for public use(external link)

Inspections by other parties

Sometimes during the processing of the building consent application it will have been agreed for specialist consultants to conduct inspections in addition to or in lieu of the inspections carried out by the Council. If inspections need to be carried out by specialist consultants, you will usually be advised on the Building Consent Construction Documentation and Advice Notes attached to the building consent. 

Typically these types of inspections may involve having a geotechnical engineer confirming the ground bearing of a foundation excavation or a structural engineer checking the construction of a specific design element.

Please ensure you read the inspection requirements in the Building Consent Construction Documentation and Advice Notes attached to the building consent and are familiar with them before commencing building work.

If agreed inspections by other parties are not carried out, there are likely to be difficulties in obtaining a code compliance certificate.

Submitting construction documentation

Submitting your construction  documents as soon as it is available will ensure the code compliance certificate is processed more efficiently.

The construction documentation required for your project will be listed on the building consent construction documentation and advice notes provided with your building consent. 

Construction documents may include:

  • Licensed Building Practitioner records of work(external link) for restricted building work.
  • Building location certificate, email to or via online services(external link) .
  • As built drainage plan.
  • As built truss design.
  • Engineer’s site reports.
  • Producer statement for construction review (PS4).
  • Producer statements for construction (PS3).
  • Energy work safety certificates (electrical or gas).
  • Certificates related to specified systems.

We encourage you to provide your construction documentation while the building work progresses. Reviewing your documents as we receive them, prior to the final building inspection being passed, will result in faster processing of your code compliance certificate.

The status of the documents will be displayed on your inspection site notices. This allows you to easily see what documents the code compliance assessor has received and accepted and which documents are still required.

Before sending us your documents, check to ensure they are fully completed:

  • Correct building consent number (BCN) and property address.
  • All required names, addresses and contact details.
  • An accurate description of the building work carried out.
  • Signed and dated by the person who carried out or supervised the work.
  • The author's relevant qualifications, registration number(s) or experience.

Where to send your construction documentation

Online:  Submit documents via Online Services(external link) using the upload additional information for building approval option.

Email:  Email documents to

Making changes after your building consent has been issued

You can amend your building consent by either a minor variation or an amendment. 

Please refer to Minor variations or amendments to a building consent(external link) for further information.