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The Building Division is responsible under the Building Act 2004 for the regulatory control of all building work (including plumbing) in the Invercargill and Bluff areas.
This is to ensure that substandard or inappropriate building materials or practices do not become a problem for building users, now or in the future. Among the division’s duties and responsibilities are processing and issuing building consents, building inspections and issuing code compliance certificates.
Building Compliance Information Booklet plus links
The Building Compliance Information Booklet (link below) contains important information about applying for a building consent from the Council. It covers the whole process, from the application stage, through to the Code Compliance Certificate phase. Links to the guide – and to related information:
Building Consent User Guide [PDF]
Building work which does not require a building consent has been updated as of 31st August 2020 to include new exemptions please refer to the below link for guidance.
Work that does not require a building consent Schedule 1 of the Building Act 2004. This link is to the Government guide on building work that does not require a building consent.
Building or renovating? Know your rights (advice from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment)
Otago-Southland-Southern Lakes 2018 Annual Building Guide
Tiny home guidance
Guidance below from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) on tiny houses. Please note that there may also be requirements from the ICC Planning department around the District plan.
Tiny House Guidance (building.govt.nz) [PDF]
The application process
The Building Act allows the Council’s Building Consents Authority up to 20 working days to either grant or refuse to grant a building consent. When an application is received by the Council it is checked for completeness and signed-off as “fit for the purpose of processing”.
During the checking process, we examine the application to ensure that all the relevant information is included so that we are able to start processing the application. At this stage, we are not checking the correctness of that information
We recommend that the information is presented in a similar order to the vetting check sheet to aid in the process.
Checklist – New Dwelling or Alteration
Checklist for commercial buildings or alterations
NOTE: The links above are also available on the Building Forms page.
The application is then entered into the Council’s system and the 20 working day statutory clock commences. If the Council requires more information during processing, the application is suspended (statutory time clock stops) until the requested information is provided. Once the information is provided, the time clock is restarted and processing continues. It is important for applicants to provide full details (as per the Council’s checklists) with their applications.
Building safety and Warrants of Fitness
Owners’ responsibilities to ensure their buildings are safe to use: Guidance on building warrants of fitness and compliance schedules (November 2010). The Department of Building and Housing guide outlines best practice on how building owners can meet the requirements of the Building Act 2004 relating to building WoFs, compliance schedules, and related matters. Standard template forms have also been developed with this guidance that comply with the requirements of the Building Act and Regulations.
More useful links
- Registered Master Builders
- Certified Builders Association of New Zealand
- Licensed Building Practitioners
- Smarter Homes (independent information about how to design, build and renovate “smarter” homes)
- Association of Consulting Engineers NZ
- Fire and Emergency NZ
- FENZ – Fire Fighting Water Supplies and Appliance Access
Building WOFs and IQPs: summary
Buildings with specified systems (alarms etc) installed have ongoing requirements through the Building Warrant of Fitness regime. These will be commercial buildings unless the specified system is a cable car installed in a dwelling. A Building Warrant of Fitness (Form 12) is a statement from the building owner confirming that the systems in the building have been checked and the inspection and maintenance required (stated in the compliance schedule) for the building has complied for the previous 12 months. After a new building is constructed or existing building altered, Council will issue building owners with a compliance schedule covering requirements for any specified systems in the building. The owner pays for an Independent Qualified Person to inspect and maintain the buildings specified systems.
It is important that you get a LIM (a report by the Council noting all the information that is available on file for a particular section of land) or view the property file to establish what information the Council has about your property. This is particularly important before purchasing or developing a property. Visit the LIMs page for more information.