Thinking Of Building?

Find a Designer

Work out your current and future needs. Write them down as a brief for your architect or designer.

Research materials, designs and designers to ensure your building project goes smoothly.

A good design process is key to a successful project. Designs evolve over a period of time where you and your designer discuss, digest, think and rework ideas until the best solution is reached.

Decide what level of service you want from your designer. Attend all meetings and provide them with formal feedback.

Find a Builder

Structural or weather-tight work on a dwelling is restricted building work so you need competent professionals.

To get a building consent for restricted building work, the design and build must be carried out or supervised, by a licensed building practitioner, a chartered professional engineer or a registered architect.

Your builder is a crucial partner. You need one you are comfortable with and can trust.

Talk to Council

Learn about the building process. If you or your building professionals cut corners, you will have to live with the consequences.

Find out from Council staff what can be built on your land, and what consents are required.

Organise a pre-application meeting with Manawatu District Council before lodging your building consent application. They are an invaluable part of the planning process. Council staff from the building, planning or infrastructure teams will attend if it is relevant to your project. This is particularly important for large construction projects and all new commercial applications.

For commercial projects, it is important you seek advice early in the planning stages from Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) to ensure compliance with the Building Act 2004 and Fire Service Act 1975. A representative from FENZ can attend the pre-application meeting.

Understanding the regulatory requirements early ensures they are incorporated into the project design and costs and will eliminate any ‘surprises’ during the consenting process.

Pre-application meetings are free.

Consents and Contracts

Once the design is developed, resource and building consents can be submitted, tender documents prepared and tenders sought from builders.

Ensure you have contracts for the work. Avoid changes to the design (unless they are small details). At this point, the drawings are comprehensive and design changes can result in time and cost overruns and will be expensive.

Further information can be found at MBIE Build it Right website.

Do I Need a Building Consent?

The general rule of thumb is "Yes, you do"

There are some exemptions from the requirements to have a Building Consent. You should bring your proposed plans in to Council and the Duty Building Officer will determine whether or not the work you are planning is exempt.

Schedule 1 of the Building Act 2004 lists work that does not need a Building Consent. Additional building consent exemptions are being added to the Building Act from Monday 31 August 2020. Building consents will no longer be needed for a number of new or expanded types of low-risk building work, like sleep-outs, sheds, carports, outdoor fireplaces and ground-mounted solar panels.

Building work that does not require a building consent must still comply with the Building Code and other legislative requirements, such as those under the Manawatu District Plan, Resource Management Act 1991, the Electricity Act 1992 and the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.

For further information or advice, please contact the Building Services Team on 06 323 0000 or at the Manawatu District Council.

Your Plans and Specifications Form the Basis of Your Building Consent Application

It is important to ensure that the person completing the application knows what to do and how to complete a quality application. An application must include all of the requested information, including detailed drawings and evidence of compliance with the Building Code. You can change them after a building consent has been issued, by applying for an amendment, but there will be time delays and additional costs incurred so taking the time to get it right first time will save you time and costs.

A quality application will reduce the number of requests for information required and the amount of time taken for the building officer to process the application. The consent processing fee is based on an hourly officer rate, so quality applications result in lower consent fees for applicants.

The Council consenting database records all requests for information by consent and designer. Please email if you would like further information.