FAQs - Compliance
How long is my building consent valid for?
Building consents are valid for 12 months from the date of issue. Work must have commenced within the 12 months or the building consent shall lapse requiring a new application.
All building work should be completed within two years from the date that the building consent was granted. If the project has been delayed, it may be possible to apply for an extension to this time.
Can I start building before a building consent is issued?
You must wait until the consent has been issued, and granted (ie. upon payment of all associated fees), before you can proceed with the consented building work.
How do I apply for a code compliance certificate (CCC)?
The most efficient method to apply for your Code Compliance Certificate is online via AlphaOne. If your consent was submitted prior to July 2018 you can apply in hard copy on the Application for Code Compliance Certificate (Form 6) and bring it into Council, or provide to the inspector onsite at final inspection.
If you lodged the original building consent online you will automatically have access to the job to lodge the CCC. If you are a registered user you can log in to AlphaOne and click on "view existing applications". Find the relevant consent and click on the "Action" button, then select "Apply for CCC".
Where you are a contractor responsible for the build and applying for the CCC you can phone us with the building consent number and request access to the job to enable you to complete the CCC Application online.
We encourage CCC applications to be made prior to the final inspection being booked. Please also ensure you provide only one copy, for example, if you completed a hard copy form you do not need to provide a copy to the inspector also.
What is restricted building work?
Restricted Building Work (RBW) is design and building work that can only be carried out or supervised by a Licensed Building Practitioner (LBP) due to it being critical to the integrity of a residential building. In the context of RBW, design work is the preparation of drawings, specifications or other documents for the purposes of Consent. Registered Architects and Chartered Professional Engineers are automatically treated as LBPs licensed in the design class and can therefore also carry out, supervise or design RBW.
Construction and alteration work is only RBW where that work falls within the scope of work of the seven licensing classes as described in Schedule 1 of the Licensed Building Practitioners Rules 2007.
It is the responsibility of the 'design LBPs' including registered architects or chartered professional engineers, to ensure their Memoranda (Certificates of Design Work) covers all work they have designed. It is the responsibility of the owner to include all Memoranda (Certificates of Design Work) that collectively cover all the RBW in the consent application.
Building work that is RBW can only be carried out or supervised by a person licensed in the relevant trade class. For example, a person licensed in the carpentry class may also carry out or supervise: the construction of concrete foundation and/or pile foundations and/or the installation of lightweight profiled metal roofing.
To find an LBP, search the LBP Register here.
What is a Licensed Building Practitioner (LBP)?
The Licensed Building Practitioner programme began in November 2009. Approval and registration of Licensed building Practitioners is maintained by the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment (MBIE).
Restricted Building Work must be carried out by an LBP. These are designers, builders, roofers, bricklayers, carpenters, external plasterers and foundations specialists who have been assessed as competent to carry out this very important work. You can check whether the people you are thinking about using are licensed by checking out the Public Register.
What is a notice to fix?
A notice to fix is a formal notice issued by Council advising that certain works have not been carried out in accordance with the Building Code.
If a notice to fix is issued, you are required to address the issues identified within a prescribed timeframe to prevent further action being taken.
Enforcement of notices to fix is undertaken by the Territorial Authority (Council).
What is a code compliance certificate (CCC)?
A code compliance certificate is Council's verification that all works undertaken comply with the approved building consent. It is an important document and should be retained for future reference.
It is mandatory to apply for a code compliance certificate after all work has been completed.
Council has 20 working days to decide whether to issue or to refuse to issue a code compliance certificate.
Can I occupy my building before code compliance is issued?
If your building is residential, then you can occupy it before CCC is issued.
If your building is open to the public, whether for free or payment of a charge, the building can not be used / occupied until a code compliance certificate is issued. This is because public premises will generally have systems (called specified systems) within the building which contribute to life safety and well-being of the building user.
In certain circumstances it may be possible to apply for a certificate for public use under section 363A of the Building Act 2004. This will allow a building to be used before the code compliance certificate is issued. Each application will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
What are public premises?
Any building which is open to the public whether for free or payment of a charge, including:
- Shopping malls, cinemas
- Camping grounds
- Garages and workshops
- Funeral homes
- Office and/or retail complexes
- Rest homes, etc
I am selling my property and need to get a code compliance certificate (CCC), can I still get one?
You can still apply for a Code Compliance Certificate (CCC). Providing Council is satisfied on reasonable grounds that the building work has been constructed to comply with the building code in place at the time of construction and has continued to meet the provisions of the building code (this includes maintenance), a code compliance certificate may be considered.
If Council cannot be satisfied on reasonable grounds, a code compliance certificate may be refused.
If the building consent is issued under the Building Act 1991, the code compliance certificate is issued against the building code that was in place at the time the building consent was granted. There is no statutory timeframe in which Council need to consider the CCC application for consents issued under the 1991 Building Act.
Should Council refuse to issue a code compliance certificate and you consider that this is not justified then you can approach the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment to obtain a determination.
What is a determination?
A determination is a binding decision made by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE). It provides a way of solving disputes or questions about the rules that apply to buildings, how buildings are used, building accessibility, health and safety.
Although determinations are generally sought because a building owner disagrees with council about decisions made in regard to their building; a determination can be applied for by council or by a neighbour who may be affected by building work.
Applying for a determination
Applications for determination and the associated cost may be found on the MBIE website.
How long does it take to get the determination
MBIE is required to issue the final determination within 60 working days of receiving the application, or longer if agreed to by the parties.
The 60 working day period does not include time delays while waiting for information or comment from other parties - the clock is stopped' during these times. If you can't provide the information by the date given, you may request an extension. The MBIE has the power to make the determination if the information requested is not provided in reasonable time.
Building work that may need to be done before a determination is issued
If you have been sent a notice to fix about work that is unsafe, you must comply with this notice. Otherwise, council can't require you to carry out building work related to the determination unless the MBIE agrees this is necessary.
What are the new quality standards for rental properties?
Where can I find out more information about the new quality standards for rental properties?
The Tenancy Services section of MBIE can provide further information on the new quality standards for rental properties.
Is it law yet?
Yes. The Residential Tenancies (Smoke Alarms and Insulation) Regulations 2016 came into force on 1 July 2016.
What is the purpose of the changes?
The changes aim to make homes warmer, drier and safer for hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders without imposing excessive bureaucracy or cost.
What grade of insulation do I have to install?
Minimum of R3.3 to ceiling spaces.
Minimum of R1.3 to subfloor spaces.
Refer to the regulations for further detail.
Can I use foil insulation to insulate my subfloor space?
No. On 1 July 2016 the Ministry (MBIE) issued a ban on installing foil insulation in residential buildings with electrical systems installed, due to the concern associated with the method of attaching the foil to the building, which presents a serious electrocution hazard.
What will happen if I ignore the Ban?
It is considered an offence under Section 27 of the Building Act 2004 to breach a ban. Any person who breaches a ban is liable on conviction to a fine of up to $200,000.
Do I have to insulate the walls?
No. The regulations specifically require insulation to ceiling spaces and subfloor spaces. Walls are not included due to the fact that it is not reasonably practicable to install insulation in the walls of an existing dwelling without doing considerable building work.
What do I have to do if there is already some insulation in the ceiling?
Refer to the regulations for further detail of what qualifying insulation is and to determine whether it is in reasonable condition.
Does the work have to be carried out to a standard?
Yes. The regulations require any work in respect of insulation to be carried out in accordance with NZS4246:2006.
What are the new swimming pool safety requirements?
When does the new pool safety legislation come into effect?
01 January 2017
Why have the laws been changed?
Although accidental deaths per year from drowning have reduced significantly in the last 30 years since legislation first came into effect, we can reduce this even further by ensuring the steps taken at completion of swimming pool sign-off by Council remain in place during the lifespan of pools and spa pools.
The new legislation provides additional enforcement tools to territorial authorities to help ensure safety around residential pools is maintained by owners. (See also "Will I need to have my pool inspected and what are the costs?")
Am I required to have fencing for my temporary inflatable pool?
If the inflatable pool has the capability of being filled to 400mm or more then you will be required to fence the pool as per the legislation to restrict access by young children. It remains important to watch your children closely while they are playing in the pool.
Manufacturers and retailers of swimming pools and spa pools must inform buyers of their responsibilities by providing notices with these products. Also refer to MBIE Guidance for pool owners.
Will my current fencing around my pool meet the new fencing requirements if it complied with the Fencing of Swimming Pools Act 1987?
If your fence already complies then you should not need to do anything further. You will need however to ensure your pool is inspected every three years. (See also Will I need to have my pool inspected and what are the costs?).
Do I have to make my boundary fence comply on my neighbour's side to meet pool safety requirements?
No, as long as you maintain the height requirements to prevent access to your own pool.
What are the changes to doors opening into pool areas?
All doors must be self-closing or be fitted with alarms that go off if the doors don't close after someone goes through them.
Does my spa pool need a fence and/or a building consent?
There are some parameters for small heated pools' that do not require a fence. They need to:
- be less than 5m2 surface area of the water
- be minimum 760mm high
- have no steps
- have a complying lockable lid
See further information on safety covers on the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment website.
Manufacturers and retailers of swimming pools and spa pools must inform buyers of their responsibilities by providing notices with these products. It is the owner's responsibility to ensure fences, self-closing gates and latches continue to operate correctly and are maintained.
I have an existing pool/spa and it doesn't comply with new legislation, what do I do?
Contact your local pool fencing supplier and/or window and door hardware supplier who will be able to supply and make adjustments to ensure your pool is compliant. Before commencing work, check with the Council to see if the extent of work you are doing will require a building consent.
Are there any changes to the building consent process?
The process for applying remains the same, although you will need ongoing inspections. (See also Will I need to have my pool inspected and what are the costs?).
Will I need to have my pool inspected and what are the costs?
You will need to have three yearly inspections within six months before or after the anniversary date of your pool or spa pool. The anniversary date is the date of issue of the Code of Compliance Certificate or the Certificate of Acceptance.
Council's cost for pool inspections can be found under Building Fees. You may be subject to Notices to fix and infringements from 01/01/17 if your pool fencing does not comply.
Who can undertake a pool/spa inspection?
Pool owners can choose to either use a qualified Council inspector, or a registered Independently Qualified Pool Inspector (IQPI) accepted by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment as qualified to carry out these three yearly inspections.
How do I book a pool/spa inspection?
If you choose to book through the South Waikato District Council please call one of our friendly Building Advisory staff on 07 8850755. Alternatively you can contact a local Independently Qualified Pool Inspector (IQPI). A register of Independently Qualified Pool Inspectors is be available via the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment website .
Where can I go for further information?
Helpful information is available by visiting the following websites:
- Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
- Building Code Clause F9 Restricting access to residential pools
- Guidance for pool owners
- Building (Pools) Amendment Act 2016
- Building (Pools) Regulations 2016
What is a small heated pool?
For a spa pool/hot tub to be classified as a small heated pool' it must:
- have a surface area of water of 5m or less
- be a minimum of 760mm high above the adjacent floor or ground
- have no steps
- have a complying safety cover.
Do I need a building consent to install a spa pool?
A spa pool, that does not meet the classification of a small heated pool', is classified as a residential pool and will require a building consent before installing a pool barrier.
A small heated pool', if covered with a compliant safety cover, will not require building consent.
Does a small heated pool need to be inspected?
Yes, but only if the safety cover is not fitted with lockable snap fasteners. (See also Does a small heated pool need to go onto the SDC pool register?)
Does a small heated pool need to go onto the SDC pool register?
Only if Council have not verified that the small heated pool is fitted with a lockable safety cover. An inspection is required to confirm the means of restricting access.
When can covers be used as barriers for small heated pools?
Under the Act, barriers for residential pools that are small heated pools', such as spa pools and hot tubs, need to restrict access only when the pool is not in use. This enables covers to be used as barriers for certain small heated pools.
What is an acceptable safety cover for a small heated pool?
Safety covers can be the barrier that restricts access to a small heated pool, where the water surface area is 5m2 or less. The Building Code will allow a safety cover where the side walls of the pool are at least 760mm high and cannot be climbed.
A safety cover must have signage indicating its child safety features, and must be able to:
- restrict entry of children under five years of age when closed
- withstand a foreseeable load i.e. the weight of a five year old child
- be readily returned to the closed position.
What is meant by the term lockable safety cover?
A cover for a small heated pool (5m2 of water area or less) which can be locked by means of a mechanism for keeping the lid fastened and is operated by a key.
My spa/hot tub is indoors. Do I need a barrier?
Young children are at risk if they have unrestricted access to pools in the home environment. Therefore, existing and new indoor pools are now subject to the same barrier requirements as other residential pools.
For example, doors to the pool room must not be able to be readily opened by children and would need to be self-closing or have an alarm. Alternatively, a compliant safety cover can be used for an indoor small heated pool.
My swimming pool only has 350mm of water at the bottom. Do I need a barrier?
Yes. As it is partially filled it must comply with section 162C of the building Act 2004.
What is a compliance schedule?
A compliance schedule is a document issued by the building consent authority for buildings that contain specified systems. Specified systems include:
- Automatic systems for fire suppression
- Automatic or manual emergency warning systems for fire or other dangers
- Electromagnetic or automatic doors or windows
- Emergency lighting systems
- Escape route pressurisation systems
- Riser mains for use by fire services
- Automatic back-flow preventers connected to a potable water supply
- Lifts, escalators, travelators, or other systems for moving people or goods within buildings
- Mechanical ventilation or air conditioning systems
- Building maintenance units providing access to exterior and interior walls of buildings
- Laboratory fume cupboards
- Audio loops or other assistive listening systems
- Smoke control systems
- Emergency power systems for, or signs relating to, a system or feature specified for any of the above
From 31 March 2008, a single household unit requires a compliance schedule if it contains, or is serviced by, a cable car.
A compliance schedule lists the systems and features, including the inspection, maintenance and reporting procedures needed to keep them in good working order. A compliance schedule must be kept on site and made available to building officers, Independent Qualified Persons (IQP's), and authorised agents.
What is a compliance schedule statement?
A compliance schedule statement is issued at the same time as the code compliance certificate by the territorial authority and lists the specified systems within the building. It must be replaced in 12 months with a building warrant of fitness (BWoF), which is issued by the building owner.
When is a compliance schedule required?
A Compliance Schedule is required if a building has one or more specified systems. Compliance schedule information must be provided in conjunction with a building consent application and will be issued with a code compliance certificate. If an existing building has a compliance schedule and if during alteration an existing specified system is removed or new systems are installed then the compliance schedule will be amended. For more information refer to the publication Owners' responsibilities to ensure their buildings are safe to use.
Can I be prosecuted for not obtaining a compliance schedule or if my building warrant of fitness has expired?
Yes, depending on the alleged offence the fine ranges from $20,000 to a maximum of $200,000.
What is an IQP (Independent Qualified Person)?
An Independent Qualified Person (IQP) who is recognised by Council as qualified to carry out any performance inspection, maintenance, reporting or recommendation on a specified system. Please refer here for a list of current IQP's.
What is a building warrant of fitness (BWOF)?
A building warrant of fitness (Form 12) is a statement issued by the building owner to Council stating that the requirements of the compliance schedule have been fully met.
The building warrant of fitness (BWOF) must have attached to it all certificates of compliance issued by the Independent Qualified Persons (IQP) or Licensed Building Practitioner (LBP). These documents must be issued in the prescribed form (Form 12A) and certify that the inspection, maintenance and reporting procedures stated in the compliance schedule, have been fully complied with during the previous 12 months.
The BWOF must be re-issued to Council on the anniversary of the issue of the compliance schedule (every 12 months) for the life of the building.
Why do I need a building warrant of fitness?
If you own a building that contains specified systems the Building Act requires you to have a compliance schedule and you must ensure the effective operation of all the specified systems for the life of the building. This requirement does not apply to single household units (residential homes) unless they have a cable car.
This is achieved by continuously meeting the respective performance standards and all the inspection, maintenance and reporting requirements of the compliance schedule issued by the council.
To help ensure your responsibilities have been met, the Building Act requires you to sign, issue and publicly display an annual building warrant of fitness and provide a copy annually to the council whose district the building is in.
What documents should I keep regarding the building warrant of fitness?
You are legally required to obtain written reports relating to the inspection, maintenance and reporting procedures of the compliance schedule. These should be signed by the Independent Qualified Persons (IQP) who has carried out any of the listed procedures, (inspection, maintenance or reporting).
You are required to keep all reports for a period of two years and produce these for inspection when required.
Can I remove a specified system?
When building work affects a specified system be it adding or removing a specified system an application must be made to the council for a building consent.