Resource consent is required for some works to heritage items scheduled in the Christchurch District Plan, while other works are permitted subject to meeting certain standards.

The Christchurch District Plan(external link) provides for the protection of significant historic heritage while also recognising the impact of the Canterbury Earthquakes and engineering and financial factors on the ability to retain, restore and continue using heritage items.

Resource consent is required from the Council for certain works to heritage items scheduled in the District Plan(external link) such as demolition, relocation, and alteration, and some works in associated heritage settings such as new buildings.

Council heritage staff and consultants provide specialist advice to owners and Council resource consents staff at the pre-application and application stages.

Heritage staff also work with Building Consent Officers where possible to find practical solutions where Building Act requirements have the potential to impact heritage values. 

Resources are primarily targeted at heritage items scheduled in the Christchurch District Plan(external link). This support includes:

  • Conservation advice for all types of heritage buildings. Best practice conservation principles contained in the ICOMOS New Zealand Charter 2010 are promoted as far as practical in the Canterbury post-earthquake context.
  • Advice on resource consents for works to scheduled heritage items, including discussions and site visits before any applications are made.
  • Further information about Council’s Heritage Incentive Grants(external link) for conservation works to protect, maintain, repair and upgrade heritage buildings, places, structures and objects.
  • Further information about Council’s Intangible Heritage Grants(external link) to protect, promote and celebrate knowledge, stories, histories, memories, traditions, waiata, oral histories, trails and past landscape features of our district.
  • Access to hard copy heritage files for scheduled heritage items and some non-scheduled items which are able to be viewed at the Civic Offices by appointment.

The schedule of significant historic heritage is contained in Appendix of the District Plan(external link).  Items are identified as Highly Significant (Group 1) or Significant (Group 2).

The schedule includes links to the Statement of Significance and the heritage aerial map showing the extent of each protected heritage item and its associated heritage setting.

Heritage areas are listed in Appendix

The Planning Maps also linked from the schedule of significant historic heritage identify the location of heritage items, settings and areas. 

The rules for heritage items and heritage settings are generally contained in Chapter 9.3 of the District Plan(external link).

Maintenance(external link), repairs(external link), and heritage investigative and temporary works(external link) (external link)are generally permitted subject to meeting standards in the District Plan(external link).

Signs are permitted on heritage items or in heritage settings where they comply with the rules for signage in the zone(external link) and meet the permitted standards in the historic heritage rules in the District Plan. 

In some cases, works must be carried out under the supervision of a heritage professional (external link). Heritage upgrade works(external link) , reconstruction(external link) and restoration(external link) can be carried out as a permitted activity if a Heritage Works Plan certificate (P-025) [PDF, 70 KB] is obtained.

This applies to Highly Significant (Group 1) items where the works are required as a result of damage, and to Significant (Group 2) items. The Heritage Works Plan must be prepared by a heritage professional and certified by the Council.

A resource consent is required for:

The rules vary depending on the type of work proposed, and the significance of the heritage item. For more information about the District Plan rules for your particular site please contact our Duty Planner via email to

Advice and assistance to owners of heritage items is also available from the Council's Heritage Team. 

The heritage rules in the District Plan(external link) restrict what may be done with heritage fabric.

A certificate can be requested from the Council to confirm that particular fabric is not heritage fabric, and is therefore not subject to the heritage rules in section 9.3.

The Non-Heritage Fabric (P-026) [PDF, 69 KB] request form must be accompanied by an assessment from a heritage professional(external link)

A heritage professional(external link) is a person with specific qualifications and experience in heritage conservation or management, as defined in Chapter 2 of the District Plan.

Some of the heritage rules allow work to be carried out without resource consent if a heritage professional is involved. 

The people below have demonstrated the experience necessary to meet the definition of a heritage professional.

When contacting a heritage professional, you will need to check whether they consider the proposed works to be within their professional remit or not.

These guidelines were developed after the Canterbury Earthquakes.

They are intended as guidelines for owners of heritage and character buildings, to assist with repair and maintenance of these buildings, and apply to any earthquake or building damage.

The International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), is a non-governmental organisation of heritage professionals engaged in the conservation of places of cultural heritage value and dedicated to the conservation of the world's historic monuments and sites.

The ICOMOS New Zealand Charter for the Conservation of Places of Cultural Heritage Value (ICOMOS New Zealand Charter 2010(external link)) is a set of guidelines on cultural heritage conservation. 

The Charter is widely used in the New Zealand heritage sector and is a recognised benchmark for conservation standards and practice. It is used by central government ministries and departments, by local bodies in district plans and heritage management, and by practitioners as guiding principles.

The Christchurch City Council has adopted the charter as part of its conservation policy.

Applications for resource consent for scheduled heritage items should take into account the conservation principles of the ICOMOS New Zealand Charter 2010.