Building Consent Form

Consent Form Applications Are Complex

Each council may have different requirements for submissions for a building consent form. The list below is only an indication of what may be required.

To complicate matters, requirements are constantly being updated so you must check with your council.
Application forms can be uplifted from Council offices and most Council websites have them available as a downloadable pdf.

Examples of Work Requiring a Consent Form:

  • any structural building including new buildings, additions, alterations, accessory buildings (sheds), and re-piling
  • plumbing and drainage
  • heating (fireplaces), ventilation and air conditioning systems
  • siteworks for a building
  • retaining walls higher than 1.5 metres, or retaining walls with a building or driveway near the top
  • fences higher than 2.5 metres and any swimming pool fence
  • swimming pools
  • decks more than 1.5 metres from ground level.

Generally you are required to provide the completed building consent application form including an estimated value of the building work, with the following information attached:

Building Consent Sample Application

Proof of Ownership
Locality planincluding building in relationship to neighbouring streets, north point, name of building and lot and DP number.
Inspections and Monitoringdetails of the inspection regime, including those by council offices, other professionals such as architects, engineers, etc, and by you, the owner.
Site planshowing dimensions of all boundaries, finished floor levels, ground contours and/or levels, lot and DP number, street name and number, site area, outline of building and distances to boundaries, designated wind zone.
Foundation planshowing dimensions which provides details of footings, reinforcing sizes and layout, foundation elements, sub-floor ventilation and engineering information, reinforcing and contractions joints in concrete slabs, upgrading of existing foundations if an upper story is to be added, Subfloor bracing and Foundation details.
Drainage planshowing fixtures and fittings, hotwater system(s), upper floor sanitary fittings with isometric layout showing wastes, pipes and falls, drainage layout with inspection bends and junctions for both stormwater and sewage, other drainage on site, ventilation of sanitary rooms, calculations for sizing of downpipes.
Floor plansexisting (for additions and alterations) and proposed providing details of floor dimensions, walls, windows, doors, stairs, barriers, handrails, floor joists, beams, fixtures and fittings, stove, plumbing, and smoke detector layout.
Wall Bracingplans showing detail of wall layout with windows, doors, roof layout, bracing type, the location and fixing details of bracing panels and calculations for all floors, subfloor bracing for decks projecting more that 2m from the house.
Elevationsshowing accurate ground lines, levels, height recession planes, location of doors, windows (with opening windows clearly shown), floor levels in relation to finished ground levels, exterior claddings, roof covering, down-pipes, spouting, sub-floor ventilation and flues.
Sections and detailsshowing details of the foundations, reinforcing, damp-proof membrane, stud heights, floor levels, wall structure (including proprietary wall-bracing element details), roof structure, roof covering, wall cladding, flashings, insulation, fire-rated systems, lintels and beams, stairs, handrails, decks and decking, barriers, truss layout.
Cladding detailsproviding details around all penetrations, joinery and other junctions at a level appropriate to the level of risk, , e.g. roof/wall, balcony/wall, junction of different types of cladding, backflashing details for cavity systems.
Specifications providing a clear description of the materials and building elements that cannot be shown on the drawings. For example, durability issues would be shown here
Engineer’s reports and calculations
Producer statements where the application is relying on a statement to certify compliance of the plans, specifications or completed works with the Building Code, a copy of that producer statement and the calculations it is based on must accompany the application.
Solid fuel heatersthese may need separate building consent application and must include the manufacturer’s specifications and installation instructions and a floor plan of the building that clearly shows the proposed location of the heater unit and adjacent rooms, doors and windows.
Water supply detailswhere the property will not be connected to the council reticulated water supply. The location and size of tanks, the location of bores, test results, etc must be included.
Alternative Solutionsif the proposal uses products or systems that are not covered in the Acceptable Solutions of clause E2 of the building code, provide supporting current information including independent test results (full signed reports), case studies, expert opinion (and proof of expertise) to demonstrate compliance.
List of specified systems(if applicable).


This list is not comprehensive but covers most of the exemptions pertaining to domestic situations. If you are unsure, ask your local council before doing any work.Building work that is exempt from having a building consent must still comply with the building code.

The BCA (council) will often request additional information to that supplied and the 20-day clock will stop until that information is provided to the BCA.

Important Information

Each BCA (Council) may have different requirements for how many sets of plans you have to submit – the list above is not exhaustive. Some require that plans are drawn to a particular scale. Check with your BCA.

The details provided in the documents listed in the checklist must be good enough to show that what is being proposed will meet the performance requirements of the Building Code. For example, the documentation should clearly show how the house will keep water out by giving ground clearances, balcony and deck details, and information about claddings, including flashings and guttering.

Each aspect of the Building Code requirements has to be covered in detail in the documents. If the documents are not full enough, the BCA will have to come back to you for further information. When this happens the 20-day clock stops and doesn’t restart until you return with the amended documents. This delays the whole process.

Original text courtesy of Consumerbuild – the Consumers’ Institute building information website (now part of the Consumer website) and the Wellington City Council building consents division
Consent form results.