Not all plumbing and drainage work requires a building consent to be carried out.

Guidance is available in Part 2 of the guidance document Building work that does not require a building consent(external link).

Examples of this are:

  • Repair, maintenance and replacement of any sanitary plumbing and drainage in or associated with a building.
  • Drainage access points.
  • Minor alterations to drains.
  • Alteration to existing sanitary plumbing (excluding water heaters).
  • Repair, maintenance, replacement and repositioning of water storage heaters.

Examples of minor residential plumbing and drainage work that require a building consent include:

  • simple subdivision drainage.
  • instant hot water systems.
  • installing an extra toilet.

Please make sure to read the guidance document examples and conditions in full and contact the duty building consent officer on 03 941 8999 to confirm details if required.

Please note: All work must be carried out by an authorised tradesperson:

  • a registered certifying plumber or drainlayer, or
  • a plumber or drainlayer who carries out work under the supervision of a registered certifying plumber or drainlayer – as long as they are registered, hold a provisional licence, or are under training

If the work you wish to carry out does require approval from the Council there are two ways to apply, refer below.

Discretionary exemption from building consent 

 The Council considers applications for discretionary 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 discretionary exemption applications.

Building consent

To apply for building consent you will need to complete the following:

These forms might also be necessary when a building consent has been applied for:

You will need to book inspections and apply for a code compliance certificate.


Refer to the Building Consents Fee Schedule for further information.

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