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

Building Services general information

General information about a wide range of building related topics including; certificate of acceptance applications, compliance schedule/building warrant of fitness, notices to fix, independent building reports, infringement notices, property searches, land information memorandums, development contributions and determinations.

More information on most of these topics can be found on the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment website in the related information area.

Certificate of acceptance (COA)

A certificate of acceptance (COA) may be applied for when building work has been done without first getting a building consent. A COA provides limited assurance in certain situations that we are satisfied on reasonable grounds that the unconsented building work complies with the building code. Any building works that cannot be verified as complying with the building code will be listed on the COA as exclusions. If you cannot demonstrate compliance with the building code, we may refuse to issue a COA and you may also need to remove the building work.

It is an offence to carry out building work for which a building consent is required. (Building consent is not required in certain cases as specified under section 41 of the Building Act 2004). Issuing a COA for unauthorised building works does not limit the Dunedin City Council from taking further enforcement action.

Please note that a COA cannot be issued for work carried out before 1 July 1992.

A COA application may also be required to pay development contributions under the Dunedin City Council Development Contributions Policy. For more information please ring 03 477 4000 and ask to speak to the Development Contributions Officer, or email development.contributions@dcc.govt.nz.

Please contact Building Services if you wish to apply for a COA.

Compliance schedules and building warrants of fitness (BWOF)

A compliance schedule is issued by the Dunedin City Council (DCC) as part of the building warrant of fitness (BWoF) regime. It outlines the specified systems within a building (such as automatic fire sprinkler, fire alarms, lifts, air conditioning systems, evacuation systems, etc.) as well as listing the inspections, maintenance and installation standards and reporting procedures of those specified systems to ensure their continued safety of operation. This also includes residential cable cars attached to a building.

A compliance schedule must be kept on-site (or elsewhere with agreement from the DCC) and made available to DCC Officers and authorised agents if required.

Building consent applications are assessed to determine whether specified systems are being added, altered or removed as part of the project. When the building consent is issued, a list of the specified systems being added or altered and their performance standards is attached. A compliance schedule is issued for new buildings. Refer to Before you begin (new window) for further information about building consent applications that include specified systems.

Once the building work is finished and a completed application for code compliance certificate has been processed, a compliance schedule is issued in conjunction with the code compliance certificate.

Compliance schedules may require updating or amending from time to time. This can be achieved by making an application using the appropriate form which can be found under Compliance Schedule Information – Building forms and guidance in the related information area.

The application form with the related information is required to be completed and submitted to the building compliance team, along with the specified system form for that system so that an amended compliance schedule may be issued.

Once the building owner or licensee receives the initial compliance schedule document or any amended compliance schedule, they will be required to submit an annual Form 12 and a Form 12A for each of the specified systems on the anniversary of the compliance schedule issue date, showing that the specified system has been inspected by an Independent Qualified Person (IQP) and passed as per the compliance schedule document. This process establishes that the building has a current BWoF, allowing the building owner to display a current Form 12 – Warrant of Fitness.

Notice to fix (NTF)

A notice to fix (NTF) is a statutory notice issued by the Dunedin City Council requiring a person to remedy a breach of the Building Act 2004 or regulations under that Act. A NTF is issued to a specified person (building owner) and where applicable, the person carrying out or supervising the work.

The notice will state; the breach, the remedy and the time frame in which the notice must be complied with. We monitor issued NTFs and in some instances if the notice has not been complied with, an infringement notice will be issued or a prosecution undertaken.

Building infringement notice

Building infringement notices are issued by the Dunedin City Council to any person who commits an offence by not complying with certain provisions of the Building Act. These provisions are specified in the building infringement regulations that came into force in 2007.

Submitting Independent Building Reports

(also known as Safe and Sanitary Reports)

An independent building report is typically supplied to the Dunedin City Council (DCC) by a suitably experienced person on behalf of a building owner where unauthorised building work was completed on the property prior to 1 January 1993 without building permit (work completed after this date without building consent requires a certificate of acceptance application).

If the DCC receives an independent building report, before being accepted for placement on the property file the report will be reviewed to ensure it doesn’t include; reference to work that must be covered by a certificate of acceptance, or reference any attributes that may suggest the building is either dangerous or insanitary.

The DCC does not accept any responsibility for validating this report nor does it accept liability for the contents or any miss representations made. The report is merely placed on file as a matter of public records and the acceptance of such a report will be noted on any future Land Information Memorandum (LIM)’s requested.

Note, should the DCC be made aware the building may be dangerous or insanitary it may take the appropriate action under the Building Act 2004. The report will not be accepted on DCC records if this is the case.

The report must include the following information:

  • A request on behalf of the current owner for the report to be placed on the DCC property file for the address
  • Why the report is being submitted and what it covers including scope of works, who did or did not do the work and when it was done
  • Background including current status of any outstanding permits/ consents that are being addressed by the report
  • Supporting documents from specialists such as electricians, plumbers, engineers etc. where applicable
  • Supporting photographs where applicable
  • Plans where applicable (scaled, dimensioned showing distances to boundary)
  • Any recommendations (e.g. that some remedial work requires a building consent or that work completed after 1 July 1992 requires a certificate of acceptance)
  • The report must end with a statement siting section 124 of the Building Act 2004, stating the work is neither dangerous nor insanitary.

The author of the report must be someone independent and with sufficient knowledge to make the section 124 statement.

Confirmation of receipt of the report will be sent to the agent or owner along with a disclaimer advising the DCC will not assess or inspect the building work.

A filing fee is applicable please refer to Building services general charges (new window)

Where can you get a copy of the Building Act / Code?

The Building Act 2004 controls the building of houses and other buildings in New Zealand. It applies to the construction of new buildings as well as the alteration and demolition of existing buildings.

The Building Code states how a building and its components must perform, rather than how it should be designed and constructed.

The Building Act and Code are available from Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment website.

Development contributions

A development contribution is a contribution of cash by developers to fund the additional demand for reserves, network infrastructure and community infrastructure created by growth.

Development contributions apply to applications for resource consent, building consent or service connections lodged with the Dunedin City Council. Development contributions must be paid in full before a code compliance certificate will be issued.

For more information, please phone 03 477 4000 and ask to speak to the DCC Development Contributions Officer or email developmentcontributions@dcc.govt.nz.

Determinations (Disputes)

Whether we approve your building consent application depends upon how well the project conforms with the requirements of the building code and Building Act. If you disagree with us over some aspect of your building proposal, or a decision we have made either during processing or inspecting, you can apply to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment for a determination.

The Ministry will make a ruling on matters within its jurisdiction (refer to Section 177 of the Building Act 2004 for a complete list of matters falling under the Department's jurisdiction). There is a charge for the service.

How to get information about a property (Property Search)

A property search will give you building, plumbing and drainage information that we hold regarding a specific address. It is not however a comprehensive review of all information we hold on a property. We may not have plans for all properties.

There are several property search options available (not an exhaustive list):

  • Residential - combined building, plumbing and drainage consents.
  • Electronic list showing: building consents and code compliance certificates issued.
  • Plumbing and drainage information.
  • Building construction details, site plans, floor plans, alterations and additions.
  • Copy of consent documents required for inspections.

If you need more information than these searches provide, you should apply for a LIM.

You can download and print off the Property Search Application Request form and the LIM Application form from the related information area.

Land information memorandum (LIM)

A LIM is a report that includes information we hold about a specific property and any issues that may affect it. This information may be vital before you finalise your property purchase. You can download and print off the LIM Application form from the related information area.

Will information about my building consent become public?

In accordance with the Privacy Act 1993, the information you provide on a building consent application is required so that the application can be processed under the Building Act 2004. Dunedin City Council collates statistics relating to issued building consents and has a statutory obligation to regularly forward these to Statistics NZ.

Dunedin City Council stores the information on a public register which must be supplied (as previously determined by the Office of the Ombudsmen) to whosoever requests the information. Under the Privacy Act 1993 you have the right to see and correct personal information Dunedin City Council holds about you.

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