Applying for a Building Consent


This page contains information on applying for a Building Consent.

A Building Consent must be obtained before the work starts. For complex projects, or if you are not familiar with building plans and establishing compliance with the Building Code, you may need to engage a design professional to supply the required drawings and information and to apply for a Building Consent on your behalf.

GoShift - Simpler, Faster Building Consents

Horowhenua District Council is one of more than 20 Councils around the country that are working together to bring consistency to the building consent process.

The vision of the initiative, called GoShift, is to deliver a consistent and timely consenting experience with the aim of providing a simpler process for building consent applications. GoShift is a partnership between Central Government (Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment) and Local Government (local councils) to improve performance, consistency and service delivery across the building consent system. You can find out more about the GoShift initiative by visiting the GoShift website.

PLEASE NOTE: At this stage you are not able to lodge online consents for Horowhenua District Council through the GoShift portal. We expect to transition to the online portal by the end of April 2018.

All of the participating councils will be transitioning their current building consent application forms to a consistent version of application forms that have been developed as part of the GoShift initiative. Alongside the new application forms, a comprehensive set of guides have been designed to support you to understand and complete the applications for building work. The guides and application forms are available here on our website or the GoShift website

You can also obtain a hard copy of any application or guide by calling into your nearest Council Service Centre, or phone us on (06) 366 0999 and request for these to be mailed out to you.

Transition to GoShift Application Forms & Guidelines

Horowhenua District Council is now using the GoShift application forms and guidelines and will no longer accept any applications made on the old forms. We're happy to answer any questions you might have regarding the GoShift initiative.

Compliance Schedules

If as a result of the building work a specified system is being added or removed, this will require a compliance schedule or an amendment to a compliance schedule. If a compliance schedule is required, this will then create the need for a Building Warrant of Fitness (BWOF). A BWOF is a building owner's signed statement that the inspection and maintenance requirements of the Compliance Schedule have been fully met. A copy of the BWOF must be displayed in a public area of the building.

General Guide to the Building Warrant of Fitness Process

An information pack to help guide you through the Building Warrant of Fitness process is available below, along with the relevant forms.

Plumbing and Drainage Documentation

All designers, plumbers and drain layers will be required to provide detailed plans and specifications for all plumbing work proposed in the application. Details required include materials being used, what standards they meet, and how they are to be installed.

Other Useful Information

You can also find useful information about applying for a Building Consent and download publications from the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment website. This website has a number of useful publications for homeowners, including a ‘Guide to Applying for a Building Consent’ (simple residential buildings) and the ‘Building Act and You’.

The Consumer website also has a lot of helpful information, especially for homeowners and people that are new to the building industry.

Once you have completed your application form you or your designer will need to check that you are providing all the required documentation and information, including a Project Information Memorandum (PIM) if applicable. A PIM can be applied for at the same time.

How to Apply

You can apply for a Building Consent either electronically or in person. Please note that no action will be taken on your application until payment has been receipted by Council and matched to your application. 

Applying electronically

If you are submitting your application form electronically, all parts of this application are to be completed and submitted along with one (1) copy of all required plans and supporting documents. Simply fill in the form, select 'File, Save As' to save a copy for your records and then email the form and the required documentation, along with confirmation of your payment, to

Please note: Council's firewall will prevent some items from being sent to us. It will also block large files (total file size must not exceed 10 Mb). If you experience difficulty, or need to transfer large files, please contact Council's Customer Experience Team.

Applying in person

If you are submitting your application in hard copy using the printable version, please submit this along with one (1) copy of all required plans and supporting documents, and the associated fee or confirmation of electronic payment, to Horowhenua District Council.

Applying through the GoShift Online Consents Portal

We hope to have this available by the end of April 2018.

Making a payment

Please include confirmation of your payment when submitting your electronic application so we can put the two things together and get the process rolling. For full information on how to make payments please view our Paying Us page. When applying in person you can still electronically pay the fees associated with your application by using internet banking.

Damage Requirements (Acceptance of Liability)

You may also need to consider damage requirements.  If this is likely to apply to your project, please download and complete our Acceptance of Liability Agreement.

Acceptance of Liability Agreement(PDF, 50KB)

Building Consent Process 

Information about lodging your Building Consent application and how it is processed can be viewed on our Lodging and Processing of Building Consents page.

Restricted Building Work

The following application forms apply to restricted building work and can be downloaded from the GoShift website:

Record of Exemption for Building Work Consent Application Form

Under Schedule 1 of the Building Act 2004, some defined work can be done without a Building Consent. There may be occasions when you would like this work recorded against your property file. If this is the case, an assessment is made by Council Officers.

Application Form and Record of Exemption for Building Work Consent(PDF, 38KB)
Schedule 1: Building Work for Which Building Consent Not Required
Building Work That Does Not Require a Building Consent

Application for Certificate for Public Use

A Certificate of Public Use is applied for prior to the commencement of work in public accessible buildings, and is issued by the Territorial Authority if satisfied on reasonable grounds that the public can use the premise or part (as the case may be) safely, during the period of building work that affects the premises. The application form can be downloaded from the GoShift website.

Certificate for Public Use (Form 15)  

Application for Certificate of Acceptance

A Territorial Authority may, on application, issue a Certificate of Acceptance (COA) for building work already done, in certain circumstances.  A COA may be required when:

  • The owner, or the owner's predecessor in title, carried out building work for which a building consent was required, but a building consent was not obtained; 
  • A building consent could not practicably be obtained in advance because the building work had to be carried out urgently; 
  • The building consent authority that granted the building consent is unable or refuses to issue a code compliance certificate in relation to the building work, and no other building consent authority will agree to issue a code compliance certificate for the building work. 

Horowhenua District Council may issue a COA only if it is satisfied, to the best of its knowledge and belief and on reasonable grounds, that the unconsented building work complies with the current New Zealand Building Code.

Application for Certificate of Acceptance(PDF, 60KB)