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Dunedin City Council – Kaunihera-a-rohe o Otepoti
Building plan.

Building consent process

This page takes you through a step by step guide to the building consent process. The building consent process is designed to ensure your project meets all criteria under the Building Act 2004.

What happens once my building consent application has been received?

Once the application has been vetted for completeness (this process may take up to 2 working days) and accepted, it is entered into our processing system and then allocated to the various disciplines for processing for example, planning, engineering, water, building & drainage, and transport. A  deposit can be paid at lodgement, alternatively you can be invoiced before the consent is granted and issued.

Tracking progress of your building consent application

You can now track your building consent on the DCC's website. Before accessing this information you will need to Apply to become a registered user in the related information area.

Once your registration is approved, you can view the status of any building application by using the General Enquiry tab on the Apply Online link in the related information area. You will need to be nominated as a stakeholder (by the applicant) if you wish to view further detail about the building application.

Refer to the submit building applications page in the related information area for further information on registering and lodging building applications online.

Acceptance of application

We check applications to ensure all information is provided. Applications will not be accepted if information is missing. The initial check relates to the content of the application only, it is not a technical check. A more detailed check is carried out during processing. The 20-working day statutory clock starts on receipt of a complete application.

Note, the period between 20 December - 10 January every year is classified as "non-working days" under the Building Act 2004.

  • Processing the application

    Each department will review and assess the application for compliance with the building code and Building Act.  Occasionally, due to resourcing, the DCC may opt to use an external contractor to help with processing. In these situations the contractor is working on our behalf. You will be notified  if your application is being processed by an external contractor.

    Some applications, generally commercial property developments, are required by law to be sent to the Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) for review. Applications required to be reviewed by the FENZ are:

    • Alternative solution fire designs.
    • Applications that involve modifications or waiver of clauses C1-6, D1, F6 or F8 of the New Zealand Building Code.
    • Applications that involve an alteration, change of use, or subdivision and affects the fire safety systems, including any building work on a specified system relating to fire safety, unless the fire safety system is minor.

    The DCC will send the application to FENZ on your behalf and any charges incurred will be passed on to you for payment.

    In some circumstances producer statements may be accepted as means of establishing compliance. This is generally work that involves specific design, such as structural or fire designs.

  • Further information requests

    If there are any questions or concerns about how your application demonstrates compliance, you will be notified by letter and/or email requesting further information or clarification. In some instances contact will be made by phone if clarification is of a minor nature. It is important that you address  each of the further information points raised in full and provide a covering letter explaining how you have done this. Any revised plans must clearly indicate that they have been revised.

    When a request for further information is sent the 20-day statutory clock is suspended until all the information is provided. The statutory clock does not restart until all the information has been received, checked, and meets the requirements of the request.

    If you receive a request for further information from one of our contractors, please send the response to the points raised direct to the contractor for re-processing.

    Information must be provided within three months from the date of the request. If the information is not provided, the application for building consent may be refused.

  • Changes to drawings

    If you wish to make changes to the drawings before the consent is granted, the significance and extent of the change will need to be considered by us. This could impact the 20-day statutory clock along with the cost of processing the building consent.

    Submit the new drawings as soon as possible with a covering letter outlining the revisions. The statutory processing clock will be stopped while the revisions are checked. Once checked the clock will be restarted and processing will continue.

  • Granting and issuing the building consent

    Before the building consent can be granted (approved), we must be satisfied on reasonable grounds that the provisions of the building code would be met if the building work were properly completed in accordance with the plans and specifications that accompanied the application.

    Once we are satisfied the project will meet building code requirements, building consent can be granted and the 20-day statutory clock finally stops.  Processing costs are calculated or re-calculated and an invoice is generated for costs incurred. The invoice is sent along with a letter advising the consent is granted and can be uplifted once payment has been received.  It is not necessary to notify us that payment has been made as we have a system that alerts us when an invoice has been paid.

    This issuing process may take a few days depending on demand and these days are not included in the 20-statutory time frame. The building consent will be dispatched to the mailing address nominated on the application.  You can also arrange to collect the consent from us if the application was submitted in hard copy.

    Please note: Work must not begin on the project until a building consent (and resource consent if required) has been granted and issued.

    If your building consent application is refused, a letter will be sent explaining the reasons why the application has been refused. Costs associated with processing the application will be invoiced and payment required before any documents (if applicable) are returned.

    Refer to the Building Consent Information sheet available in the related information area.

  • Building consent conditions and advisory notes

    Conditions are requirements imposed on your building consent which are deemed necessary to ensure the compliance of the proposed building. The conditions are listed on or attached to the building consent and must be complied with. The following are allowable conditions under the Building Act 2004 and  regulations:

    • Section 67(2): Waivers and modifications
    • Section 73: Natural hazards
    • Section 75(2): Building on 2 or more allotments
    • Section 90: Inspections by building consent authorities
      Note: This can also include any third party certification that the building work complies with the plans and specifications, for example, Producer statements or memoranda.
    • Section 113 (2): buildings with specified intended lives

    Advisory notes may also be attached to the building consent. This information is provided to assist you.  It is important that you read and understand all these requirements prior to commencing work.  If you do not understand any requirement imposed, please contact us.

Withdrawing a building consent application

An applicant can request to withdraw their building consent application at any time prior to the consent being granted.

To withdraw a building consent application, the owner or agent (with the owner’s approval) must make a written request to the Dunedin City Council, Team Leader Building Consents by:

  • By
  • By post: Building Services, Dunedin City Council, PO Box 5045, Moray Place, Dunedin 9054
  • In person: Building Services Enquiries Desk, Ground Floor, Civic Centre, 50 The Octagon, Dunedin.

Please note, depending on how much processing work has been completed, you may receive a deposit refund (if a deposit was paid when the building consent application was submitted), or be charged for costs that exceed the deposit amount. If a deposit was not paid when the building consent application was submitted, you will be charged for any processing costs incurred.

Requests to withdraw the building consent application should include payee and bank account details for a refund (if applicable). This is in line with DCC’s preference to pay all monies direct to bank accounts where possible.

After your consent has been issued

If you no longer wish to proceed with your building work after your building consent has been issued, you can notify the Dunedin City Council, Team Leader Inspections of this in writing as above. Your consent will continue to remain active until it lapses at 12 months. At this time you will receive a letter from DCC advising you that your consent has lapsed.

At the time that your notification is received you may be eligible to receive a refund of any unused inspection fees. These will be calculated and issued to you. Please include payee and bank account details in your notification as above.

Inspection requirements

The inspections required for your project are listed on the Record of Required Site Inspections and included with your issued building consent documentation. It is possible that further inspections could be necessary depending on the nature of work. Any specialist inspections will generally mean that a producer statement will be required (refer to producer  statements on the Before you begin page).

Restrictions on starting work

Building consent applicants must check that there are no resource management issues outstanding.  In some circumstances a building consent may be issued with a “Section 37” certificate attached. This certificate prohibits work commencing until resource consent issues have been resolved. The  certificate attached to the building consent will identify any restrictions.

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