Lodging and Processing of Building Consents


This page contains information about lodging your Building Consent application with Horowhenua District Council and how it's processed.

Lodging your application

Your application can be lodged in person at the Council Building, by mail (post), or electronically by email. The application will be checked by an officer before being accepted to ensure that all of the required information is supplied.

Street address for lodging applications:   126 Oxford Street, Levin, 5510    
Mailing address for lodging applications:   Horowhenua District Council, Private Bag 4002, Levin 5400 
Email address for lodging applications:   recordsprocessing@horowhenua.govt.nz 

Ensuring your application form is correct and complete

The application form has a number of parts and it is important that all the sections are completed and the information given on how the work will comply with the building code. Applications will not be accepted if any of the information is missing. Mail (posted) and electronic applications will be returned if they are not accepted. The initial check is for content of the application only. A more detailed check for accuracy of the information supplied is done during processing.

Calculating Building Consent fees

Fees will be calculated when you lodge the consent and will include the estimated number of inspections required for your project. The fee schedule is available on our Building Fees and Charges page and will give you an estimate of the amount payable.

The majority of applications are processed on a time basis and will require a fee deposit to be paid before your consent will be accepted for processing.

If the value of your project is over $20,000.00 your fees will include levies which we are required to collect on behalf of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and the Building Research Association of New Zealand (BRANZ).

Processing your application

Once we accept your application, it will be entered into our electronic processing system and given an individual number, and this will be advised to you in a letter acknowledging receipt of your application. This number should be quoted whenever you write to or contact the Council about your Building Consent application. Your application will be linked to the records for the property.

The Building Act requires Horowhenua District Council to process a Building Consent application in twenty (20) working days. The “clock” starts when the consent is accepted for processing by Council. If the application includes plans and specifications in relation to which a national multi-use approval has been issued, the processing time is ten (10) working days.

At this stage the application is allocated to the various disciplines within Council for processing, ie planning, water, roading, building and drainage. We check for compliance with Council bylaws and other legislation such as vehicle access, earthworks, water reticulation, public drainage and, in the case of commercial premises, areas such as health, trade waste, Building Warrant of Fitness and backflow prevention.

Evaluating Building Consent applications

Our Consents Officers will evaluate the various aspects of your building consent application to ensure it meets the requirements of the Building Act and the Building Code. Occasionally, due to the complexity or nature of the building design or resourcing, Council may opt to use an external consultant to help with processing. In these situations the consultant is working on Council’s behalf. If there are any questions or concerns, a letter will be sent to you requesting further information/clarification. When a request for further information is sent the 20 working day “clock” is stopped until this information is provided.

There is a requirement for some applications to be sent to the NZ Fire Service, Fire Engineering Unit (FEU). Additional fees for FEU processing are passed on to the applicant.

In some instances Producer Statements may be accepted as means of establishing compliance. This is generally where the work involves specific design, such as structural or fire designs.

Once your application has been assessed and we are satisfied it meets all provisions of the Building Code and all necessary fees are paid, it will be granted and a Building Consent and/or Project Information Memorandum (PIM) will be issued.

It is very important that you (and your contractors) read the Building Consent documentation to ensure you are clear about the requirements. Your Building Consent confirmation of issue letter contains useful information about matters which you need to comply with while undertaking your building project. The Building Consent Inspection Schedule will also contain a list of inspections required to be made by Council officers during the building process and a list of producer statements required from specialists. The identified specialists must provide documentation of the inspections they undertake in support of their producer statement.

Work must start on your project within twelve (12) months after the date the consent was issued.

Lapsed Consents

Section 52 of the Building Act 2004 requires that a Building Consent shall “lapse and be of no further effect” if work has not commenced within 12 months after the date of issue.

For this reason, we send out a monitoring letter at eleven (11) months advising the nominated contact person that this point is nearing and that we have no record of the work commencing. The letter asks the contact person to advise that work has commenced. If no response is received, the consent will be given a status of “Lapsed” meaning that a new consent will be required for any future work.

Please note: All monitoring letters (and any other correspondence) will be sent to the “First point of contact” as nominated on the building consent application. If the contact person is changed, the applicant should inform us to ensure they receive all necessary information.

How to withdraw your application 

You may withdraw or cancel your application for Building Consent. You may be eligible for a partial refund of fees paid. This must be made in writing to the Consents Lead, Horowhenua District Council Building Control, Private Bag 4002, Levin 5540.