You might need a building consent for minor residential works where your planned alterations are to walls or plumbing within your building.

In some cases, work may be exempt from the need to obtain a building consent. Schedule 1 of the Building Act 2004 lists building work that is exempt.


Building work in connection with an internal wall in any existing building does not require a building consent unless the wall is either:

  • load-bearing
  • a bracing element
  • a firewall
  • part of a specified system
  • made of units of materials (bricks, burnt clay, concrete or stone) laid to a bond in and joined together with mortar.


Plumbing work that can be carried out by a person authorised under Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Act 2006 without building consent is outlined in Schedule 1 exemption 32 - 38(external link).

Please note: The definition of minor is at the discretion of the Council.

To apply for a building consent for minor internal residential building alterations, complete the following application form and check sheet:

You can also apply for discretionary exemption decision from the Council for other building work on a case-by-case basis. This building work must meet the test that it's likely to be built in accordance with the building code but if it wasn’t it wouldn’t pose a threat to people or property.

Please note: In some cases a building consent may not be needed but a resource consent may be a requirement. If you are not sure whether you need a building consent or a resource consent, contact the Council on 03 941 8999 to discuss with a duty building consent officer or duty planner.


Refer to the Building Consents Fee Schedule.

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

Starting, progressing and completing your minor works

Once you have received the required consents, or have confirmed that you are exempt from requiring consent, you can start work on your project.

It is important to understand the building consents process including inspections as you go.

You will need a Code Compliance Certificate to complete the project.

Other useful information