The government agencies and key people you will need to know about.

Building consent authorities are officials who enforce New Zealand's regulatory building control system. The New Zealand Building Act 2004 sets out a registration and accreditation scheme and technical reviews for BCAs. Southland District Council is an accredited BCA.

BCAs perform the following functions:

  • issue building consents (except consents subject to a waiver or modification)
  • inspect building work for which it has granted a building consent
  • issue notices to fix
  • issue code compliance certificates
  • issue compliance schedules
  • issuing building consents, a BCA must provide to the New Zealand Fire Service Commission a copy of every application for a building consent of a kind specified by a Gazette notice.

A territorial authority must perform the functions of a BCA for its own city or district. A territorial authority is responsible for any coastal marine area adjacent to its district that is not within the district of another territorial authority. A territorial authority must perform the functions of a BCA within this area.

In addition to these responsibilities, a territorial authority performs the following functions (including any functions that are incidental and related to, or consequential upon these).

A territorial authority issues:

  • project information memoranda (PIM)
  • building consents where the consent is subject to a waiver or modification of the Building Code
  • certificates of acceptance (COA)
  • certificates for public use (CPU)
  • compliance schedules (and amends compliance schedules).

A territorial authority also:

  • follows up and resolves notices to fix
  • administers annual building warrants of fitness (BWOF)
  • enforces the provisions relating to annual building warrants of fitness
  • enforces provisions relating to residential pool safety
  • decides the extent to which buildings must comply with the Building Code when they are altered, the use is changed, or their specified intended life changes
  • performs functions relating to dangerous or insanitary buildings
  • performs functions relating to earthquake-prone buildings
  • performs building safety evaluations following an earthquake or other emergency
  • determines whether building work is exempt under Schedule 1 from requiring a building consent
  • carries out any other functions and duties specified in the Building Act 2004.

MBIE is the government agency responsible for regulating the building industry.

This is work that is critical to ensuring your home is structurally sound, weathertight and covers some types of fire safety design.  Only Licensed Building Practitioners (LBPs) can design and complete this work.

You can find further information on what restricted building work is in the links below:

Restricted building work information

Carrying out restricted building work

An LBP is registered and required to keep their skills and knowledge up to date. Each LBP has a license for the type of work they undertake.

The LBP license classes are as follows:

  • design
  • carpentry
  • roofing
  • brick and blocklaying
  • external plastering
  • foundations
  • site.

The LBP will need to complete or supervise the completion of the relevant part of your building consent application.

The LBP will also be required to provide a Certificate of Design Work or Record of Building Work. If you need to know whether you require an LBP click on the following link: LBP Guidance.

An exemption may be given if you are an owner-builder completing work on your own home or holiday home. You will still have to meet the requirements of the building code and obtain any necessary consents before starting work. For further information click on the following link: owner-builder information.