Building Consent Process

1. Overview

A Building Consent is a formal approval granted by the Council which confirms the proposed building work shown in the documentation you provide complies with the New Zealand Building Code, the Building Act 2004 and Building Regulations. 

Horowhenua District Council is an accredited Building Consent Authority (BCA) and manages, monitors and processes Building Consent applications. The Consents Team administers this process, which is designed to ensure your building meets all the criteria under the Building Act 2004.

In some cases, a Resource Consent or specific requirements of the District Plan may be required to be met. If you are unsure whether the building work you are proposing requires a Resource Consent or meets District Plan requirements, please contact the Consents Team on (06) 366 0999.

2. Planning to build or renovate?

If you're planning to build or renovate your home or business there are certain guidelines and consents you need to adhere to under New Zealand’s building legislation.  Horowhenua District Council's Building Consents Team can help you with a range of building needs and requirements including:

  • building consent applications and amendments;
  • building and plumbing inspections;
  • code compliance certificate applications; and
  • compliance schedules and building warrants of fitness.

Our staff are trained professionals with backgrounds covering a range of building disciplines and are committed to providing quality customer service and will help you obtain your consent as fast as possible while ensuring that your project meets all the legislative and Building Code requirements.

You can access application forms, checksheets and building guides here on our website. Personal assistance is also provided at our Levin office.

Note: The information on this website is not all inclusive. For full information regarding Building Consents please contact Council on (06) 366 0999 or email

3. 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 on 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.

4. General Guides

Our public information booklet to help guide you through the Building Consent Process and an information pack to help guide you through the Building Warrant of Fitness Process are available below.

5. Before you begin

Most types of building work require a building consent to ensure compliance with the Building Act 2004 and with the New Zealand Building Code.

Only building work listed under Schedule 1 of the Building Amendment Act 2013 may be done without first obtaining a Building Consent, but the work must still comply with the Building Code. Schedule 1 can be viewed on the New Zealand Legislation website.

Further information which may be relevant can be obtained on the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment website.

Check to see if your proposed building work complies with the requirements of the District Plan, or is already provided for by an existing Resource Consent. If it is not, you may need to apply for Resource Consent. You can do this by contacting Council’s Consents Team.