Some building work can be done without building approval from the Christchurch City Council.

For further information regarding what work may be considered exempt, visit our exemption from building consent page.

Any urgent building work, such as that done during an emergency may require an application for a certificate of acceptance.

If you have done any building work without the required building approval or it's different to what was approved, get in touch so we can discuss the options with you.

Here's what you can do

If you think you may have carried out work without the required approvals:

  • Call 03 941 8999 and ask for the duty building consents officer and explain what unconsented work you have done and why. 
  • Ask about a certificate of acceptance.

What to do if you suspect substandard or unconsented work

If you have serious concerns about building work, you can raise this with us and we'll investigate.

You will need to provide details of your concerns by:

A notice to fix

A notice to fix is a formal notice from the Council instructing you to take action to address the issues identified. You are usually given a timeframe to respond to prevent further action being taken.

Investigations undertaken

ACP cladding

The Council has reviewed about 7500 building consent records to identify any instances where the Aluminium Composite Panel (ACP) product was used on buildings of more than two storeys. ACP was the cladding used on London's Grenfell Tower in which 72 people died during a fire in June 2017.

The Council’s investigation did not identify any buildings it considered dangerous due to the presence of ACP cladding. There were 46 buildings over 10 metres high identified from our initial inquiries as having an ACP cladding. Of these, 39 were established as complying with the Building Code. The reasons being, they complied with an acceptable solution or verification method by using an ACP cladding with a fire resistant core and/or sprinkler systems.

The other seven buildings may not comply with the acceptable solutions effective at the time of issuing their building consent, however, the Council does not believe there is any immediate concern for occupants’ safety. The buildings concerned have a range of fire prevention measures, fire safety systems and none of these buildings have a sleeping use.

The Council has advised the building owners of these buildings to seek their own specialist advice and let us know the outcome.

Buildings under seven metres in height were not included in the investigation because the spread of fire performances of the building code do not restrict the type of wall cladding that can be used up to that height.


Other investigations

Media release: Council investigation clears buildings – An investigation into claims of unsupervised work on buildings in Christchurch has found there is no cause for concern.

Building Steelwork Investigation report February 2017 [PDF, 635 KB] – The Council investigated several buildings after two former employees of an engineering company came forward claiming substandard welding and steelwork had been undertaken. Investigations were carried out and found that all buildings mentioned comply with the Building Code, and therefore are not dangerous.

Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission findings(external link) – The findings of the Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission, which was established to report on the causes of building failure as a result of the 2011 Canterbury earthquakes.