Certificate of Acceptance

Application for Certificate of Acceptance (COA)

A CoA may be issued by Council for building work that did not have building consent if, on reasonable grounds, the aforementioned building work complies with the current New Zealand Building Code.

A CoA can usually be issued for work done after 1 July 1992. There are two key types of work where a CoA would be issued:

Work done under urgency/emergency situation

This is work which needs to be undertaken to protect lives or property from danger and the time it takes to obtain a building consent would be unreasonable and increase the length of exposure to the risk. For example, a car has crashed into a building and structural damage results in a wall needing to be built to provide security and safety to the occupants of the building.

Work that has been carried out without a building consent when it was reasonable to do so.

This could be when:

  • an owner (or previous owner) should have got a building consent but didn’t (under either the 1991 or 2004 Building Act)
  • an accredited building consent authority that is not a territorial authority or regional authority granted consent but is unable or refuses to issue a Code Compliance Certificate

When applying for a Certificate of Acceptance the construction documents, plans and specifications are the same as if a building consent was being applied for but with added verification showing how the actual construction meets the requirements of the plans and specifications and, in turn, how compliance with the New Zealand Building Code has been achieved.

If the application is declined, Council must issue a Notice to Fix which will set out what remedial works needs to be done so the work complies.

How to Apply

To apply for a Certificate of Acceptance, download the application form in the forms section. Ensure the document is completed in full, scan and email to us.

Email us: building-cs@southlanddc.govt.nz

Lodge a building consent online through Simpli


What are the fees for a certificate of acceptance? Please visit our schedule of fees and charges, the COA has a standard fee but will most likely incur further charges as the process goes.

How long does it take for Council to process a Certificate of Acceptance? Council will try and process an application for a certificate of acceptance within 20 working days.