Building law and compliance
Building law in New Zealand
New Zealand's legislation governing building work (collectively known as the ‘building controls’) consist of the Building Act 2004, the Building Regulations 1992, and the Building Code, which is the First Schedule to the Building Regulations 1992. All building work must comply with the Building Code. Other regulations under the Building Act 2004 cover related matters, such as when a building is considered to be ‘earthquake-prone’.
The Building Act applies mainly to the physical aspects of building work. Other legislation may also apply to:
- building proposals
- the ongoing use of a building
- consumer protection, and
- the health and safety of people working in buildings.
Acceptable Solutions and Verification Methods, many of which reference New Zealand Standards, are published by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) to help people comply with the Building Code.
An alternative solution is a building design solution that differs from those contained in an Acceptable Solution or Verification Method, but is accepted by a building consent authority as meeting the performance requirements of the Building Code.
Product assurance is a framework that has been developed by MBIE to:
- make establishing compliance with the Building Code quicker and easier for product suppliers and users, and
- to improve building quality.
You can download our guide to product assurance »
Product certification (CodeMark) is a voluntary scheme admnistered by MBIE and is the ultimate form of product assurance. CodeMark-certified products must be accepted as complying with the Building Code, when used as specified.
A determination is a binding decision made by MBIE. It provides a way of solving disputes or questions about building law and the Building Code.
An energy work certificate is issued by a licensed electrician or licensed gasfitter. It provides certification that energy work has been undertaken in accordance with either the Electricity Act 1992 or the Gas Act 1992.
The consents and inspections process ensures that building work complies with the Building Code. This means that the building is considered safe, durable and will not pose foreseeable risk to the health and safety of either the current users or those who may buy and use the property in the future.
Restricted Building Work can only be carried out by Licensed Building Practitioners or those deemed to be licenced. Read the Order in Council .