The building consent process is about ensuring safe and durable buildings meet the requirements of the Building Act, primarily by ensuring that they are safe and sanitary.
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 granted 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 an estimate is decided during the processing of your building consent.
Under sections 90 and 222 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:
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.
Our Inspections Support team on 03 941 8222, 8am to 5pm Monday to Friday.
Complete our building inspection booking form(external link).
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.
Please have the following information available:
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.
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.
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.
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:
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 inspections types:
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 completed you will then need to apply for a code compliance certificate(external link) including supplying all remaining construction documentation.
For commercial buildings, if your building work is not quite finished and you’re not ready to apply for a code compliance certificate, and 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).
Sometimes it is necessary 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 before the building consent is issued.
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 your construction documents while the building work progresses means faster code compliance processing.
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:
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:
Online: Submit documents via Online Services(external link) using the upload additional information for building approval option.
Email: Email documents to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.