The Building Consent Process

How are building consent applications processed?

When an application is submitted to Council it is vetted by a Building Officer. This initial check is to ensure that all of the information required to begin the process has been submitted.

Once the application is accepted, it will be assessed by suitably qualified officers to ensure compliance with the Building Act 2004, Building Code, District Plan and any relevant legislative requirements.

When the processing of the Building Consent is complete and the Building Officer is satisfied on reasonable grounds that compliance has been achieved, the consent is ‘granted’. Following payment of any outstanding fees, the Building Consent is ‘issued’ with conditions and building work may begin unless the consent has been issued with a’ Building Consent restriction’ under the Resource Management Act 1991.

How long does it take to issue a Building Consent?

The Building Act requires Council to decide whether to grant or refuse to grant a building consent within 20 working days. The 20 working day “clock” starts from the day the application is received, provided the application is complete.

If further information is required to enable Council to make a decision whether to grant or to refuse to grant the building consent, you will receive a request for further information (RFI). When a request for further information is sent, the 20 working day “clock” is stopped and the application is suspended until the requested information is provided. The “clock” is restarted when all of the required information has been received.

When the decision has been made that the building consent demonstrates compliance with the building code, when constructed, the decision can be made to “grant” the building consent (this is the formal decision part of the process). All fees including any levies must be paid prior to the issue of a building consent. Fees and charges are payable either online (bank transfer) or in person (at Manawatu District Council, Customer Service 135 Manchester Street, Feilding).

How long is my building consent valid for?

Work must start on your project within 12 months of the date the building consent was issued. If we have not been contacted to undertake any inspections before then, we will contact you advising that the building consent will lapse at the expiry of the 12-month period. You may decide not to do the work, in which case the consent will lapse, or you may apply for an extension of time to start the work. Extensions of time are considered on a case-by-case basis. Requests for an extension of time must be made on the appropriate form and be received before the expiry date.

If we do not hear from you within the stated time the consent will lapse and have no effect.

Requesting more time

Use the form below to apply for an extension of time. Return the completed form to Council with the application fee (see Building Services fees and charges at the bottom of the page). This may be done by the builder on the owner’s behalf but responsibility remains the owner’s.

If your plans change

All building work related to a building consent must be done according to the plans, specifications and detail provided with the building consent. If you want to change your plans before or during construction, you need to let Council know.

You may need to apply for an amendment to the building consent or, for a small change, you may be able to follow the minor variation process.

The process of requesting an amendment is similar to the original consent. You need to provide full construction detail of any changes, so we can assess them. Where the work is outside the scope of the original consent (for example, additional footprint or increases in floor area, construction method, or significant changes to the layout), this would be considered a major variation. A formal amendment will be required for the new work to be undertaken. Building work must not proceed until the amendment has been approved.

If the change is not significantly different from the approved building consent plans and specifications, you can request approval for a minor variation. These are usually able to be carried out on-site by your building inspector. Some examples of minor variation include: substituting similar products, for example, one internal lining for a similar internal lining minor wall bracing changes, minor construction change, for example, changing the framing method used around a window, changing a room's layout, for example, repositioning fixtures in a bathroom. Minor variations are recorded on the inspection record. If you're requesting a minor variation, this must be done before the work is undertaken. You'll need to provide Council with details of the changes you plan to make.

For more information on the amendment or minor variation process, please refer to the MBIE website.

To apply for an amendment to a building consent where the building consent application was submitted prior to 1 August 2018, please complete and submit the ‘Amendment to building consent application form’ below:

To apply for an amendment to a building consent where the building consent application was submitted from 1 August 2018 onwards using our online system, please click the link below:

Apply online