Skip to main content

Building consents

Building consents documentation

Building Consent is required for the following:

  • New residential, commercial or industrial buildings.
  • Alterations to existing buildings.
  • Accessory buildings - garages, sheds, sleepouts, greenhouses. Some exemptions apply, see 'Building Consent Exemptions'.
  • On site waste water disposal systems.
  • New and replacement solid or liquid fuel heaters.
  • Foundations and services for relocatable buildings.
  • New bathrooms and toilets.
  • Alterations to Specified Systems in commercial buildings.

These projects may also require Resource Consent. Check the Resource Consents page of this website for information. 

All building consents are lodged online via an electronic consenting system called Objective Build. See the tutorials here:

Please see the links below for information relating to your application – relevant forms should be downloaded, completed, and attached to your online application. Feel free to contact us if you need assistance, or visit our FAQs section for additional information. 

You will need the following documents (in pdf form) before you can submit your application:

  • A Record of Title (less than 6 months old).
  • Project plans, including site plans, floor plans, drainage and services, elevations, electrical plans.
  • Specifications relevant to the project.
  • Supporting documents. This includes a Ground Report for any foundations or drainage, brace calculations, truss certificates, on-site wastewater details, engineers documents and calculations, cladding specifications (specific to the job and not the entire document), memorandum of design work etc.

This guide from  MBIE (the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment) will also be able to assist you with what you need to provide when applying for a building consent. 

From 31 August 2020, some building projects no longer need a building consent, making it faster and easier for people to turn their building dreams into a reality.

These are the types of building projects that may no longer require a building consent:

  • SOME single-storey detached buildings such as sleepouts, sheds and greenhouses up to 30 square metres (see 'Sleepouts' and 'Accessory Buildings'). 
  • Carports (up to 40 square metres )
  • Ground floor awnings, verandas and porches (up to 30 square metres ).
  • Repairing and replacing some existing building elements. 

Solar panel arrays, permanent outdoor fireplaces or ovens, water storage bladders for irrigation and firefighting purposes, short-span small bridges, hay barns and pole sheds are also included.

Even though these building projects may not need a building consent, all work must meet the Building Code and some work requires a professional. Some projects also require Resource Consent (see 'Resource Consents' tab in the side bar). It's important that homeowners know there are still rules that need to be followed.

You're responsible for your building projects.

If you own the property, you own the responsibility. This means you must check whether your building project requires a Building Consent or Resource Consent.

All the information you need to make your decision is available at

Lodging a building consent application is subject to fees and charges, which are applied as soon as the consent is lodged. Please ensure your application is complete before lodging, as time spent on Requests for Further Information, or RFIs, is charged hourly.

You will be invoiced when processing is complete, and the building consent is issued when the invoice is paid. 

If a consent is withdrawn before issue, some charges such as processing time still apply. 

Typically a building consent incurs a range of charges. For a new dwelling for example, you will be invoiced for consent fee, inspections, code compliance certificate, processing fee (time), MBIE and BRANZ levies, BCA Accreditation levy, compliance check, online system charge and insurance. 

See Fees and Charges for the complete list of Fees.

Application documentation and instructions

Objective Build User Guide

The Westland District Council now processes all building consents online via an electronic system called Objective Build.

To allow unfinished work of any Building Consent to continue beyond two years from the date that consent was granted, an application for an extension of time must be applied for. If no application is made then consent will expire and the Code Compliance Certificate will not be issued.


A minor variation is a minor modification, addition, or variation to a building consent that does not deviate significantly from the plans and specifications to which the building consent relates.

Application for a minor variation to building consent

To install a new or replacement log burner, diesel heater etc., you or your plumber need to apply for Building Consent via the Objective Build online consenting system. 

Click here to lodge a consent or create an account.

This Spaceheater Specification form should be filled in and attached to your application as a pdf. 

WBCA 002 Spaceheater Specification V1.0.12

If your heater has a wetback for hot water, it must be fitted by a Licensed Plumber. 

Once fitted, the installer should use this declaration to record their work:

Installers Declaration for Solid or liquid fuel heater and wetback

Upload this document to the online consenting system 'Required Documents' tab.

Where work has been undertaken without a Building Consent having been uplifted and certification is required as to the apparent standard of the work, application can be made for a Certificate of Acceptance. It is likely that a Certificate of Acceptance would be associated with other legal proceedings relating to the unlawful building work. It may be necessary for you take legal advice. These applications should be submitted through the AlphaOne online portal.

All applications MUST be accompanied with detailed plans, including site plan, floor plan, elevations, cross sections etc and supporting information including, bracing details, engineer details (if any), ground bearing report, specifications, truss certificates and any other information to support your application. If these details are not provided your application may be rejected.

Often a building that is to be used by the public will only be partially completed before being opened. A Code Compliance Certificate can not be issued until all the building work has been issued and so the Building Act requires a Certificate of Public Use to be issued for either the whole premises or part of the premises while waiting for the building work to be completed to be issued a Code Compliance Certificate. You can only apply for a Certificate of Public Use for work being undertaken with a Building Consent.

A Building Consent is required for the installation of all on-site wastewater disposal systems. All applications require the form 'Evaluation and Information for Onsite Wastewater Disposal'  to be completed by a plumber/drain layer/engineer for inclusion with the building consent application. The form can be found on the West Coast Regional Council website at this link :

Residential and small to medium sized apartment buildings are classed as Restricted Building Work and must be designed and constructed by Licensed Building Practitioners. LBP’s include Designers/Carpenters/Roofers/External Plasterers/Brick and Blocklayers/Foundation Specialists/Professional Engineers/Architects/Plumbers and Gasfitters.

The following forms are required to be completed by the Licensed Building Practitioners:

Residential and small to medium sized apartment buildings are classed as Restricted Building Work and must be designed and constructed by Licensed Building Practitioners.

LBP’s include Designers/Carpenters/Roofers/External Plasterers/Brick and Blocklayers/Foundation Specialists/Professional Engineers/Architects/Plumbers and Gasfitters.

The form is required to be completed for a request for waiver or modification in respect of Compliance with Building Code Clause B2 Durability on a Code Compliance Certificate. This form must be completed by the owner or agent.

Where a premises has an existing Compliance Schedule and a change needs to be made to the Schedule because of building work undertaken or changes to the way the building is used, it is likely that a change could be required to the Compliance Schedule.

On the 1st January 2017 the following legislation came into effect. The Building (Pools) Amendment Act 2016 replaced the Fencing and Swimming Pools Act 1987.

Key changes include:

  • Residential swimming pools must be inspected every three years
  • Safety covers will be able to be used as barriers for spa pools and hot tubs
  • Territorial authorities will have better tools to enforce pool barrier requirements, including notices to fix and infringement notices.
  • The Amendment Act created new Building Code clause F9.
  • The Building (Pools) Regulations 2016 sets out the fees payable by independently qualified pool inspectors, and the certificate they will issue if a pool has compliant barriers.
  • The Building (Pool Manufacturers and Retailers) notice in the New Zealand Gazette sets out the requirements for notices that manufacturers and retailers must supply with pools from 1 September 2017.

You can read more about restricting access to residential pools on the Building Performance website.

Swimming Pool barriers and fences require Building Consent. 

New Zealand is prone to seismic activity, and Westland is zone 4 -  high risk - due to the Alpine Fault. See Seismic Resilience for more information.

We need to ensure the safety of users of public and commercial buildings in our area. Some of these buildings may be earthquake-prone, that is, under 35% of the standard of a new building.

Westland District Council as a Territorial Authority has the role of identifying these buildings, assigning them ratings and issuing notices based on engineer's reports, and publishing the information in the public register.

You can view the national register of buildings that are earthquake-prone here:

Register of earthquake-prone buildings

If you are the owner of a commercial or public building, there is very good guidance on MBIE's website: 

Managing earthquake-prone buildings

If you think your building may need to be assessed for seismic risk you can View MBIE's Seismic Risk Guidance for Buildings .

A sleepout is an Accessory Building to a main dwelling and cannot be built on its own. It can not contain drinking water supply or kitchen facilities - if it does, it is considered a dwelling. 

If you obtain building consent, a sleepout can contain a solid fuel heater and bathroom, as can a shed or garage. 

You will need to consider Building Code requirements regarding durability, storm water disposal and smoke alarms - you must install smoke alarms if the detached building is going to be used for sleeping. 

If the existing dwelling uses an onsite wastewater disposal system (septic tank) you will need to check whether the system has the capacity for the extra person/people. 

You should also check the planning regulations with WDC Planning Department. 

Some sleepouts can be built under the Schedule 2 Exemptions, and may not need building consent. The above considerations would still apply, and it must still meet Building Code requirements.

To be exempt from a building consent, a sleepout should be less than 30m2 and under 3m in height should have no plumbing or bathroom facilities. 

See MBIE's guide: Constructing a sleepout that does not require building consent