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Building Act 2004 guidance

Guidance information on Building Act initiatives that affect different people, including homeowners and consumers, building owners, managers and developers, builders, tradespeople and designers, and building officials.

You can browse the details of all Building Act publications below, or view our information for different people, which includes the relevant publications.

Building work that does not require a building consent

Building work that does not require a building consent cover. What sort of publication it is: Guidance
Who it's for: This document is mainly for architects, designers, licensed building practitioners, and building owners who are undertaking building work.
What it contains: This document provides guidance on the types of building work that do not require a building consent under Schedule 1 of the Building Act 2004 (the Building Act).
How to get it:

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Advice for building owners: Building safety in earthquakes

Advice for Building owners: Building safety in earthquakes cover. What sort of publication is it: Advice for building owners
Who is it for: Building owners
What it contains: Advice for building owners who are concerned about the safety of their buildings.

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Building infringement scheme guidelines - 2nd edition

Building infringement guidelines cover What sort of publication it is: Guidance information
Who it's for: Territorial and regional authorities; and their officers who are responsible for implementing the Building (Infringement Offences, Fees, and Forms) Regulations 2007 that came into force on 1 July 2008.
What it contains: Information to assist effective and appropriate implementation of the Building (Infringement Offences, Fees, and Forms) Regulations 2007 and the development of relevant local enforcement policies and procedures.
How to get it:

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Change of Use

A guide for Christchurch City Council temporary business and housing relocations

Change of Use cover. What sort of publication it is: Guidance
Who it's for: Christchurch City Council and Building Owners in Christchurch
What it contains: This document offers Canterbury specific guidance regarding the change of use provisions of the Building Act 2004. It provides guidance, information and tools for those people assessing and/or intending to change the use of a building on temporary or permanent basis.
How to get it:

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Notification of waiver or modification of the Building Code form

Document cover What sort of publication it is: Information sheet, example form
Who it's for: Territorial authorities
What it contains: This document provides general information about waivers and modifications of the building code and includes a form for territorial authorities to use when notifying the Ministry about the granting of any such waivers or modifications.
How to get it:

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A guide to plumbing, drainlaying and gasfitting that does not require a building consent

A guide to plumbing, drainlaying and gasfitting that does not require a building consent cover What sort of publication it is: Guidance
Who it's for: Plumbers, drainlayers and gasfitters
What it contains: This document provides information about plumbing and drainlaying (building work) that does no require a building consent under the Building Act 2004.
How to get it:

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Owners’ responsibilities to ensure their buildings are safe to use

Guidance on building warrants of fitness and compliance schedules

Guidance on building warrants of fitness and compliance schedules cover. What sort of publication it is: Online guidance
Who it's for: Building owners
What it contains: guidance to building owners (and their agents) on how
to meet the requirements of the Building Act 2004 (the Building Act) relating to building warrants of fitness, compliance schedules and related matters.
How to get it

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Minor variations to building consents: Guidance on definition, assessment and granting

Minor variations to building consents cover. What sort of publication it is: Online guidance
Who it's for: BCAs, builders, designers and project managers
What it contains: Information and guidance about the legislation that provides for minor variations to building consents; how to define minor variations in practice; how BCAs should assess and grant minor variations; and recommended BCA systems and processes for dealing with minor variations.
How to get it:

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Early childhood education centres and Building Code compliance

ECE cover. What sort of publication it is: Online guidance
Who it's for: Owners, designers and builders of Early Childhood Education and Care (ECE) Centres and building control authorities.
What it contains: Guidance on ensuring that ECE centres meet the requirements of the Building Act 2004 and Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008.
How to get it:

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Project information memoranda: Guidance on changes from 31 January 2010

Project Information Memoranda cover. What sort of publication it is: Colour brochure
Who it's for: Territorial authorities (TAs) and building consent authorities (BCAs)
What it contains: Guidance to the building control sector following the passing of the Building Amendment Act 2009 in July this year, which introduced a number of changes to project information memorandum (PIM) requirements.
How to get it:

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Dam safety scheme

Dam Safety Scheme cover

Status: Superseded
What sort of publication it is: Colour brochure
Who it's for: Regional authorities and owners of large dams
What it contains: This document provides guidance to regional authorities and owners of large dams regarding the Dam Safety Scheme.
How to get it:

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Guide to applying for a building consent (residential buildings)

Guide for applying for a building consent What sort of publication it is: Colour brochure
Who it's for: designers, builders, project managers, members of the construction industry and developers
What it contains: This guide provides information about the issues to consider when applying for a building consent, and describes the minimum documentation that should be supplied with an application to demonstrate compliance with relevant clauses of the Building Code. This guide is an update to the original guide published in 2007, following a number of legislative changes such as the Building Amendment Act 2009.
How to get it:

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Means of establishing compliance: alternative solutions

Alternative Solutions Cover. What sort of publication it is: Colour brochure
Who it's for: Building officials.
What it contains: This document provides guidance to building consent applicants on how to use alternative solution proposals when applying for building consents.

How to get it:

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BCA Accreditation Regulation 17 quality assurance system guidance

BCA Accreditation Reg 17 quality assurance sustem guidnance cover What sort of publication it is: Colour brochure
Who it's for: Building officials.
What it contains: Regulation 17 of the Building (Accreditation of Building Consent Authorities) Regulations 2006 sets out the quality assurance requirements that building consent authorities must have implemented and be successfully accredited against before 1 December 2010.

How to get it:

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A beginner’s guide to resource and building consent processes

A beginner's guide to resource and building consent processes. What sort of publication it is: Colour brochure
Who it's for: members of the public who are considering a building activity which may require both a building consent and resource consent.
What it contains: Outlines the requirements of, and relationship between, the Resource Management Act and the Building Act. Jointly produced by the Department of Building and Housing (now part of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment) and the Ministry for the Environment, it also shows where to get more detailed guidance on both Acts.

How to get it: 

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Compliance schedule handbook

Compliance Schedule Handbook What sort of publication it is: Black and white publication
Who it's for: building officials, independent qualified people or compliance companies, designers of specified systems, and building owners or managers
What it contains: This Handbook provides information about the compliance schedule and building warrant of fitness regime under the Building Act 2004. The Handbook also provides a guide to developing a compliance schedule for a specified system or systems in a building, including guidance on the associated inspection, maintenance and reporting procedures.

How to get it:

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Accessible car parking spaces

Accessible car park What sort of publication it is: Colour brochure
Who it's for: Designers, building owners and managers, building users and officials
What it contains: The booklet provides information on the provision of car parking spaces suitable for use by people with mobility disabilities. It covers the number of parks that must be provided, and how they are to be constructed and located. It also discusses the use of Mobility Parking Permits and how accessible parks at motels and in commercial buildings can be managed.

How to get it:

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 A guide to making a complaint about a building consent authority

A guide to making a complaint about a building consent authority cover What sort of publication it is: Guidance information
Who it's for: Anyone who is experiencing a problem, or is concerned about building control services provided by a council acting in their capacity as a building consent authority
What it contains: This guide explains the process for making a formal complaint with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (formerly Department of Building and Housing)about a building consent authority under section 200 of the Building Act 2004.

How to get it:

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Building Act 2004: Information for designers, builders and specialist trades

What sort of publication it is: Colour leaflet
Who it's for: Building designers, building site supervisors and specialist tradespeople working on residential or straightforward building projects
What it contains: Changes to building legislation brought about by the introduction of the Building Act 2004 and new Regulations. The main topics it covers are changes to the law about:
  • contracts for building work
  • building consents and inspections
  • spec building and housing developments
  • occupational licensing.

How to get it:

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Building Act 2004: New safety measures for premises intended for public use – section 363

What sort of publication it is: Colour leaflet
Who it's for: Owners and occupiers of, and people who control, premises intended for public use
What it contains: Information about section 363 of the Building Act 2004, which is about premises intended for public use that are affected by building work. The main topics it covers are:
  • the situations in which section 363 applies
  • responding to section 363
  • section 363 copied from the Building Act 2004.

How to get it:

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Building Act 2004: Sales by residential property developers – section 364

What sort of publication it is: Colour leaflet
Who it's for: Residential property developers selling household units, and spec builders
What it contains: information about section 364 of the Building Act 2004, which is about consumer protection measures for people buying household units from residential property developers and spec builders. The main topics it covers are:
  • the situations in which section 364 applies
  • an explanation of terms
  • code compliance certificates for household units
  • contracting out.

How to get it:

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Building officials' guide to the Building Act 2004

Building Officials' guide to the Building Code 2004 What sort of publication it is: Ringbinder
Who it's for: Building officials
What it contains: Information about the key changes to building legislation with the introduction of the Building Act 2004. The main topics it covers are:
  • responsibilities of territorial authorities and building consent authorities
  • operations (eg, project information memoranda, building consents, compliance schedules)
  • miscellaneous provisions (eg, warnings and bans, offences, product certification)
  • commencement tables
  • comparison with the Building Act 1991.

How to get it:

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Building consent authority development guide

Building consent authority development guide cover What sort of publication it is: Online publication
Who it’s for: Building officials
What it contains: A tool for applicant building consent authorities to use when preparing for accreditation. Includes process flowcharts and information about the technical processes and procedures of territorial authorities, regional authorities, and building consent authorities.
How much it costs: Free to download

How to get it:

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Building officials' FAQs

Building Officials' FAQs cover What sort of publication it is: Information sheet
Who it's for: Building officials
What it contains: Answers to building officials' most frequently asked questions about the consent and inspection processes under the Building Act 2004. The main topics it covers are:
  • compliance schedules
  • building Warrant of Fitness
  • New Zealand Fire Service Commission
  • project information memoranda (PIMs)
  • building consents
  • certificates of acceptance
  • code compliance certificates (CCCs)
  • notices to fix
  • section 362A
  • section 363
  • certificates for public use
  • section 364.

How to get it:

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Earthquake-prone building provisions of the Building Act 2004: Policy guidance for territorial authorities

What sort of publication it is: Colour brochure
Who it's for: Territorial authority chief executives and building officials
What it contains: Guidance on how to make a policy for dealing with earthquake-prone buildings under section 131 of the Building Act 2004. The main topics it covers are:
  • the intent of the legislation
  • a policy template
  • policy guidance (eg, identifying earthquake-prone buildings, assessment criteria, dealing with building owners, heritage buildings)
  • model policy.

How to get it:

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Dangerous and insanitary building provisions of the Building Act 2004: Policy guidance for territorial authorities

Dangerous and insanitary building provisions of the Building Act 2004 cover. What sort of publication it is: Colour brochure
Who it's for: Territorial authority chief executives and building officials
What it contains: Guidance on how to make a policy for dealing with dangerous and insanitary buildings under section 131 of the Building Act 2004. The main topics it covers are:
  • a policy approach (eg, principles, identifying dangerous and insanitary buildings, dealing with building owners, economic impact)
  • priorities for action
  • dealing with heritage buildings
  • a template check sheet for inspections.

How to get it:

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