PIMs and LIMs – Why they’re important

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PIMs and LIMs are both issued by your local council. The main difference is that the PIM is specific to a proposed project – hence the name Project Information Memorandum. Whereas the Land Information Memorandum (LIM) gives information on the council’s files on land and buildings that already exist.

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Project Information Memoranda (PIM)

Project Information Memoranda (or PIM as they are commonly referred to) are Council documents issued under Section 31 of the Building Act 2004. The Land Information Memorandum (LIM) has a different purpose. A Project Information Memorandum must be obtained for all building work that requires a Building Consent.

They are the first step in the process to gain legal approval for building work.

Project Information Memoranda provide information relevant to the proposed project that is known to Council about land including such features as:

  • Potential inundation / flood risk
  • Potential erosion
  • Falling debris
  • Subsidence
  • Slippage
  • Heritage status of the building
  • Identification of cut and filled land
  • Wind zone
  • Vehicle crossing requirements
  • The possible presence of hazardous contaminants
  • Details of stormwater, and wastewater utilities systems.
  • Resource Consents and other authorisations that may be required.
  • Need for an evacuation scheme where applicable
  • Site vehicular access restrictions during construction work
  • Notification of any Development contribution that may be payable
  • Any notification that building work cannot be undertaken because some necessary authorisation has been refused despite there having been a Building Consent issued.
  • Confirmation that building work may be undertaken subject to the requirements of any Building Consent, Resource
  • Consent or all other necessary authorisations being obtained.

For Project Information Memorandum purposes the term land means the land on which building work is to be undertaken and any other land likely to be affected by that work.

Project Information Memoranda should be issued within 20 working days of the application receipt date provided all required information is supplied with the application.

What are development contributions?

The Local Government Act 2002 provides a mechanism for Councils to set development contributions to provide for infrastructure projects. Where these have been set for a particular development area, the Building Act allows for a notice to be attached to the PIM advising of the contributions payable.

The code compliance certificate (CCC) may be withheld until such time as the development contribution has been paid.

When and how do you apply for a PIM

You may apply for your PIM:

  • Before lodging any related Building Consent application, or
  • Jointly with the Building Consent application using the combined application form identified above.

Your application:

  • must be on the prescribed application form and be completed in full,
  • must be accompanied by the prescribed application fee,
  • must be accompanied by plans, specifications and other information required by Council.

There are checksheets and guidance documents available to help you prepare applications and to put together the necessary information. Note: The Council will not accept incomplete applications.

Land Information Memorandum (LIM)

A Land Information Memorandum (LIM) is a Council document that provides all information held by that Council in respect of a specific property. It is recommended you obtain a Land Information Memorandum (LIM) on a property before you purchase, as it could disclose information that could influence your purchase decision. A LIM only provides the information that the Council has on its records. The Council may not have all the information required to make a sound decision about purchasing the property. You should inspect the site and get expert opinion on the property.

A LIM typically contains all or any of the following as available in each case:

  • Rates information i.e. annual rates payable and rates outstanding on the property.
  • Land features.
  • Restrictions on land or building use.
  • Land use approvals granted or required.
  • Environmental issues i.e. potential for erosion, slippage, subsidence or flooding.
  • Potential contamination by hazardous substances.
  • Drains – public and private (where known to Council).
  • Septic tank disposal system approvals (if applicable).
  • Resource Consents issued.
  • Building Consents and permits issued.
  • Building plans and drawings.
  • Code Compliance Certificate details.
  • Compliance Schedule details.
  • Certificates issued by a Building Certifier.
  • Aerial photographs.
  • Licence details i.e. food premises, health, hair dressing, hazardous substances, etc.
  • Information given to Council about the land or buildings and/or site designations imposed by any statutory body i.e. Historic Places Trust etc.


A LIM will not provide full details of building restrictions applying to a site. If you are intending to buy a property for redevelopment, check your proposal against the rules of the District Plan. Council officers are available if you wish to discuss your proposal before committing yourself to a purchase. A LIM will not tell you that unpermitted or illegal work has been done on the property.

Your LIM may contain aerial photographs depicting boundaries and/or other information. They are provided as a guide only. To confirm property boundaries you will need to view the Certificate of Title at Land Information New Zealand, locate the property survey pegs, or have the boundaries set by survey. You will need to employ a registered surveyor to do this.

NOTE: Councils cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information held on its files. If you have any queries or concerns you should discuss them with a Council Building Compliance Officer or Resource Consents Planner (as applicable in each case) or obtain appropriate independent professional advice.

Meadow House by Office Mian Ye

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