Our complaints policy includes the processes and procedures for submitting queries, concerns or complaints about the Building Consent Authority’s building control functions.

Make a complaint to the Building Consent Authority

Let us know if you have any queries, concerns or complaints about the Building Consent Authority’s (BCA) building control functions.

The Building Consent Authority (BCA) is committed to the delivery of quality services to meet the needs of its customers. The Building Consent Authority welcomes feedback from customers as this provides opportunities for learning and improving services.

This policy applies specifically to issues, suggestions, comments and complaints relevant to the BCA. 

The Building Consent Authority will resolve complaints in a fair, timely and confidential manner in order to achieve positive outcomes for customers and staff.

The policy was approved in October 2020 by the Head of Building Consenting.

Building Consent Authority Customer Complaints Policy

Definition of a complaint

A complaint is defined as any expression of dissatisfaction about the Council service or action of a staff member that cannot be resolved at the first point of contact.

The first point of contact is the person who receives the information about the issue.  There are a number of issues that can be resolved by the first point of contact person, for example, the applicant feels their application is taking too long to process, or issues with navigating our process. 

Other issues, such as fees, or negative comments about a staff member are more likely to require escalation.  The need for the issue to be escalated then identifies the issue as a complaint. 

Support for complainants

The Building Consent Authority encourages customers to seek the support of a family member or friend in submitting the complaint.

Where someone is acting on behalf of the complainant, this must be notified at the start of the process, along with the contact details to be used for any communication.

If the assistance of an interpreter is required to facilitate the issue, the Building Consent Authority can arrange this.

Unacceptable actions by complainants

There may be circumstances leading up to a complaint and sometimes people behave out of character in times of stress. The Building Consent Authority does not accept that forceful or aggressive behaviour is appropriate and the Building Consent Authority will not tolerate abusive behaviour, verbal or otherwise toward our staff.

Where staff handling a complaint consider that the complainant’s behaviour is unacceptable, they should advise the complainant and provide the reason(s) for this evaluation, and that the investigation will be suspended. The investigation will recommence on receipt of an undertaking from the complainant that they will suitably modify their behaviour.

Should a complainant disagree with the suspension, they can escalate this through the standard stages of the feedback policy.

Staff may refuse to investigate a complaint if he/she considers that the complaint is frivolous, habitual or vexatious.  If the staff member is considering refusing to investigate on these grounds, they must consult with their managers before making a decision.

If the decision is that the complaint will not be investigated on any of these grounds, the staff member must confirm this to the complainant in writing. If the complainant disagrees with this decision, they retain their right to escalate their complaint to the next stage of the procedure.


As indicated earlier, all complaints will be investigated and dealt with in confidence, consistent with the needs of the investigation.  

To enable the Building Consent Authority’s policy to be adequately reviewed and revised, monitoring of our compliance with the policy will be undertaken.

Additionally, for all stages of the procedure, the responsible staff member will be responsible for compliance with the policy and for maintaining adequate records for recording and reporting.

Informing the public and staff

This complaints policy is publicised through the Building Consent Authority’s website. 

All Building Consent Authority staff will be made aware of this complaints policy. 

Complaints in relation to a building control function

Ways customers (or their representative) can make a complaint:

Please include your name and contact details so we can respond.

Acknowledging customer complaints

Acknowledgement of your complaint will be sent within two working days and will include a reference number, a brief summary of the issue, and the contact details of the team investigating your complaint.

Responding to complaints

Issues will be responded to as quickly as possible by the most appropriate method, usually an email with a response letter attached.  

We will aim to provide a full response within 10 working days.

Where a response or resolution is made by telephone, written records will be kept and written confirmation sent. 

Extending complaint response times

Issues of a more complex nature may take longer than the specified time limits to investigate.  

If this is the case, the Building Consent Authority will contact the customer with a further letter and email with the reason and when they can expect to receive a full response.

Complaints against an individual staff member

The Building Consent Authority is committed to ensuring that complaints are dealt with fairly and impartially. 

Complaints about staff members will be escalated and resolved by the appropriate manager. 

Anonymous complaints

Anonymous complaints will be given consideration and dealt with appropriately.   

Escalation stages and response standards

If required, the complaint will be escalated in the following manner:

  • If the issue cannot be satisfactorily resolved by the first point of contact staff member, the issue needs to be referred to the team leader. 
  • At this point, the issue will become a formal complaint and needs to be managed by customer liaison and overseen by the Head of Department.
  • Customer liaison will register the complaint and send an acknowledgement of receipt within two working days.   
  • Business Services Officer responds to customer with input provided by the appropriate Team Leader or Manager.
  • We aim to have a resolution and response within ten working days from the date of receipt. 
  • If the customer is not satisfied with the response the issue will be escalated to the General Manager to review first response.
  • Acknowledged within two working days of receipt and a full reply within 10 working days from the date of receipt.
  • If no satisfaction at this point, the issue will escalate to the Chief Executive or designated person to review previous responses.
  • Acknowledged within two working days of receipt and a full reply within 10 working days from the date of receipt.

Complaints that cannot be resolved by Council

There are some matters that cannot be resolved by the Council and are more appropriately addressed elsewhere.

An example is changing our decision on a building consent or a code compliance certificate. These decisions can only be made by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment by way of determination.

Information on this process can be found on MBIE’s determinations webpage(external link).

Where we can, we will advise what avenues are available for you to pursue.