Details to help you with your earthquake repairs and rebuilds.

Rebuild with confidence

This guide is designed to assist you in the process of planning your repair or rebuild. It will help you to ask the right questions, rebuild with confidence and ensure your home is built right.

Do your homework

If you’re considering residential building work, there are consumer protection measures to help you and your contractor have a professional, no-surprises relationship. Knowing your rights and obligations should help you make informed decisions about your building work.

Building or renovating? Do your homework(external link).

Repairing and rebuilding houses affected by the Canterbury earthquakes

If you are working on Canterbury’s earthquake-damaged houses, this guidance (commonly referred to as the Residential guidance) includes building regulation requirements and Acceptable Solutions.

Repairing and rebuilding houses affected by the canterbury earthquakes(external link).

Repairing and rebuilding multi-unit residential buildings

This booklet will help you better understand the challenges of repairing and rebuilding multi–unit buildings. It has information and contacts to help you progress the rebuild or repair of your multi-unit property.
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Repairing and rebuilding multi-unit residential buildings(external link)

A beginner's guide to the building consent processes

Information to help you plan your building project, get consent, build to the consent and legally complete your project.
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Projects and consents(external link).

Build Smarter

Free advise to homeowners on making homes warmer, drier, healthier and cheaper to run. An advisor will come to your home and talk with you about options in a Healthy Home Improvement Plan tailored to your needs and budget. Available to all Christchurch homeowners including landlords. Particularly useful when undertaking earthquake repairs.

Build Smarter

Community Energy Action

Free or subsidised insulation, efficient heating, recycle curtains and independent energy advice. Assisting homeowners and tenants in the greater Christchurch area including Mid and North Canterbury.

Community Energy Action(external link)

Energy Smart

Information and home assessments on insulation solutions for your particular situation and budget.

Energy Smart(external link)

Consents and licences

The Christchurch City Council is responsible for issuing building consents within Christchurch and Banks Peninsula.  A building consent is a formal approval to undertake building work in accordance with authorities (BCA), such as the approved plans and specifications. A building consent establishes that your planned building work complies with the Building Act 2004 and the building code.

Consents and licences

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE)

Resolving problems, if you have concerns about the building work that has been carried out on your property the information visit resolving problems(external link) to see what steps you can take to resolve the problem.

Other useful links

New Zealand Registered Architects Board (NZRAB) is a statutory entity tasked with registering, monitoring and, if need be, disciplining architects. NZRAB registers architects who have been assessed by their peers as competent to practice independently, maintains an online register, so the public can confirm that an architect is registered, reviews the competence of architects every five years, and investigates complaints and, if need be, disciplines architects.

Find an architect(external link).

Building contractors may be a member of an industry association, such as Certified Builders Association of New Zealand (CBANZ) or Registered Master Builders Association (RMBA). These associations may offer additional guarantees and benefits to their members, and their members’ clients. Associations usually hold members accountable to standards of workmanship and business practice.

Visit Certified Builders Association of New Zealand(external link) and Registered Master Builders(external link) for advice on finding a building contractor.

Engineering New Zealand(external link) is the professional body representing engineers in New Zealand. Information about employing an engineer, including how to find the right engineer, standard contracts and what to do if dissatisfied with the quality of an engineer's work can be found on the Engineering New Zealand website.

Information about finding a financial adviser can be found from the Financial Markets Authority and Institute of Financial Advisers visit link).

How to choose an adviser(external link) [PDF 57.1 KB].

A Licensed Building Practitioner(external link) (LBP) is a tradesperson you can trust to know how to “build it right”. LBPs have been assessed as being competent to do the type of building they hold a licence for.

LBPs have to show certain skills, give proof of practical experience and comply with the building code to get their licence. They also have to gain enough skills maintenance points every two years to keep it. 

There are a number of licences that can be held by a tradesperson. These each specialise in an area of the building process.

These licences are: design, carpentry, foundation, roofing, brick and block laying, and external plastering.

Registered Architects and Chartered Professional Engineers are automatically treated as design LBPs and you can employ them to do any Restricted Building Work design.

The Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board(external link) (PGDB) is the statutory body which regulates these trades. While New Zealand law allows anyone to purchase fittings and appliances it is illegal to do restricted sanitary plumbing, gasfitting or drainlaying work without authorisation.

Ask for the card. You should ask to see the current authorisation card of a tradesperson – this is confirmation that the plumbing, gasfitting and drainlaying work will be completed by someone qualified or competently supervised. A public register of all certifying and licensed tradespeople is available at You can use the search function to find contact details of specific individuals, or to find the names and contact details of certifying or licensed tradespeople in your area. If you are building or renovating find out all you need to know and obtain the handy consumer guide at the Board’s website.

A quantity surveyor is the person responsible for figuring out just what a construction project is going to cost. They aim to keep projects on budget, among many other roles. The New Zealand Institute of Quantity Surveyors(external link) (NZIQS) is the professional organisation in New Zealand for quantity surveyors, estimators, cost managers and cost consultants in the construction industry.