Apply for an amendment or alteration

If you wish to change some aspect of your building project after your consent has been approved you will need to apply for an amendment to the Building Consent before the work is carried out.

The process for obtaining an amendment is the same as obtaining the original consent.

It is very important that at the time of inspection the Building Consent documents accurately reflect what has actually been built.

Minor variations that don’t differ significantly from the plans and specifications can be approved on site at the time of inspection.

Applications for alterations to an existing building

In accordance with section 112 of the Building Act 2004, building consents can only be granted for alterations to existing buildings where the building consent authority is satisfied that the building will:

  • comply as nearly as is reasonably practicable with the Building Code provisions for means of escape from fire and access and facilities for people with disabilities (if required)
  • continue to comply with the other provisions of the Building Code to at least the same extent as before the alteration.

The Act clarifies that if part of a building is altered, the upgrade provisions are triggered for the whole building.

A territorial authority may, by written notice, grant an application to allow alterations to take place without the building complying with the relevant provisions of the Building Code. A territorial authority can only grant such an application if it is satisfied that:

  • if the building were to comply with the relevant provisions of the Building Code, the alteration would not take place
  • the alterations will result in improvements to the means of escape from fire or access and facilities for people with disabilities
  • the improvements outweigh any detriment likely to arise as a result of the other non-compliance with the Code.

Alterations to earthquake-prone buildings are now under section 133AT of the Building Act.

More information about the requirements for alterations to existing buildings can be found on the MBIE website.