The Building Act 2004 allows for some building work to be carried out without obtaining a building consent. We explain how to apply for an exemption from a building consent with the Council.

Apply for your building consent exemption

Before making an application please refer to information sheet B-391 Guidance on presenting high-quality applications for exemption.

Alternatively, you can download and complete an application for an exemption from building consent (Form B-004) [PDF, 128 KB] 

You can also pick up an application form from any Council service centre, or we can post one to you if you call us on (03) 941 8999.

We encourage you to submit your application using Online Services. You will need to register to use this service, however using the Online Services system minimises administration time for the Council and can lead to faster processing times. Please note, if you complete an online application form as part of your Online Services submission the B-004 application form is not required. 

Getting an exemption means:

  • Less documentation and cost for you
  • Shorter processing times
  • your approved projects can be started sooner.

Exemptions from building consent fall into two categories, work that is automatically exempted by the Building Act 2004(external link), and other work where the Council can decide to exempt the work under Schedule 1(2) of the Building Act.

Work automatically exempt under the Building Act

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) provides guidance on building work that is automatically exempt(external link)under the Building Act.

Exemptions considered by Christchurch City Council

The Council considers applications for exemption on a case-by-case basis where the work is:

  • carried out by suitably qualified and experienced persons with a proven record of competence in similar work, and
  • a clear understanding of the Building Act and building code is demonstrated in the application, and
  • assurances are given as to how compliance with the New Zealand Building Code will be achieved.

Each application will be considered carefully by a team dedicated to exemption applications. 

For further information on the Council's process refer to information sheet B-390 Building work that does not require a building consent [PDF, 163 KB]


Refer to the Building Consents Fee Schedule for information on exemptions from building consent.

Please note: that fixed fees and minimum application fees do not always cover all of the consent related costs of an application.