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Building consents

BCA background

The Westland District Council is a Building Consent Authority and is charged with many tasks and responsibilities under the Building Act 2004.

As a Territorial Authority, the Council has further responsibilities for functions directly related to building under the Local Government Act and other relevant statutes.

This legislation gives rise to many documents which are relevant to the functions of the Council acting as a Building Consent Authority.

The roles and responsibilities of the Westland District Council as a Territorial Authority which are directly related to building control functions include the following:

  • Issuing project information memoranda, building consents subject to waivers or modifications, certificates of acceptance, compliance schedules and amendments, and certificates for public use;
  • Administering audits, and enforcing building warrants of fitness;
  • Undertaking functions in relation to dangerous, earthquake-prone and insanitary buildings; and
  • Determining exempt works under schedule 1 of the Building Act 2004.

The roles and responsibilities of the Westland District Council as a BCA include the following:

  • Receiving, considering and making decisions on applications for building consents within set time limits;
  • Undertaking inspections of building work to ensure it is compliant with the Building Code and Building legislation; and
  • Issuing building consents (except consents subject to waiver or modification), code compliance certificates, compliance schedules and notices to fix.

Although the Building and Compliance staff have an inspection role to undertake, they will provide as much assistance as possible.

If any residential building work is structural and/or affects the weathertightness of the building, it is classed as Restricted Building Work. This means you must employ a Licensed Building Practitioner (LBP) to design and undertake the work. The LBP engaged must either do the work themselves or supervise the work being undertaken by others, and must provide a Record of Building Work detailing the work carried out.

Further information is available on the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment's Building Performance website, by phone 0800 242 243 or email

Our customer guide to PIMs and Building Consents is available to view or download here. 

There are also a number of helpful websites that you can access to find more information and guidance about building and construction. Check them out here:

The New Zealand Home Building Guide gives a good overview of the designing and building process.

Building Performance - Projects & consents has guidance on every aspect of building.

BRANZ has fantastic information on designing and building to our country's climate, earthquake and energy needs, amongst other things. BRANZ Map will take you to an interactive map of climate and earthquake regions. 

Level is the NZ Authority on Sustainable Building, it has everything you need to know about building houses and living in a sustainable way, on or off the grid.

From 1st January 2017, pools are required to meet the Building (Pools) Amendment Act 2016.

Pool safety barriers are now regulated by the Building Act 2004, under provisions of Clause F9 of the New Zealand Building Code (Building Regulations). Swimming and paddling pools over 40cm deep require a  pool fence, which needs building consent to comply with the Act. Pools over 35,000 L capacity require a building consent.

Gates or doors entering the immediate pool area must have self closure devices, and only pool related equipment should be in the enclosure - so a fence around the whole  garden does not comply. 

Please refer to the Safety guidance and the Pool Safety Checklist for further details.

New Zealand is extremely prone to seismic activity and ensuring the safety of people is paramount. Buildings need to be safe for occupants and users.

The Building (Earthquake-prone Buildings) Amendment Act 2016 came into force on 1 July 2017. It categorises New Zealand into three seismic risk areas and sets time frames for identifying and taking action to strengthen or remove earthquake-prone buildings.

Westland District Council has a duty to identify and register these buildings, and to encourage owners of EQP buildings to take action to make them safe. 

There is guidance for building owners on the Building Performance - Managing Earthquake - prone buildings web page. 

There is a publicly available national register of buildings that are earthquake-prone.

See our page Building Consent Documentation for details on how to apply for a building consent.

We use an online consenting system called Objective Build to receive, process and issue consents.

Getting Started with Objective Build: 
Click here to access the portal and start your application.

For further enquiries, please contact the Building Inspection Team at