Processing your Building Consent application

Overview

Find out about the steps involved in accepting and approving your consent application.

Pre-vetting and acceptance of application

Once your application has been received by Council it will be checked by an officer to ensure all the required information is supplied. The initial check is for content of the application only. A more detailed check for accuracy of the information supplied is done during processing.

Applications will not be formally accepted until payment has been receipted by Horowhenua District Council and matched to your application.

Once we accept your application, it will be entered into our electronic processing system and given an individual number. 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 Council about your Building Consent application. Your application will be linked to the records for the property.

Processing your application

The Building Act requires Council to process a Building Consent application in twenty (20) working days. The “20 day clock” starts when the consent is accepted for processing by Council. If the application is for a national multi-use approval (multi-proof) consent, the processing time is ten (10) working days.

The period between 20 December and 10 January each year is classed as one working day with regards to the “20 day clock”. 

Requests for further information

If there is information missing from your application you will receive a request for further information/clarification. When a request for further information is sent the 20 working day “clock” is stopped and the consent is suspended until this information is provided. The “clock” is restarted once the requested information is received and accepted.

Referrals to Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ)

There is a requirement for some applications to be sent to the FENZ Design Review Unit. Additional fees for FENZ processing are passed on to the applicant.

Further information regarding the types of applications that must be sent to FENZ can be found on the New Zealand Gazette website.

Assessment against relevant legislation

Your application will be distributed to different areas within Council to check for compliance with Council bylaws and other legislation such as vehicle access, earthworks, water reticulation, public drainage, trade waste, building warrant of fitness and backflow prevention.

Our building advisory 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 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.

Granting of consent

A building consent authority must grant a building consent if it is satisfied on reasonable grounds that the provisions of the building code would be met if the building work were properly completed in accordance with the plans and specifications that accompanied the application.

If the building consent authority is not satisfied the application complies with the Building Code, Building Act 2004 and other relevant legislation, the Building Advisory Officer will refuse to grant the building consent. If this occurs you will be notified in writing of the decision and the reasons for the decision.

Conditions imposed on consent

Conditions may be imposed on the building consent to ensure compliance with the Building Act.

All building consents are subject to a condition under section 90 of the Building Act 2004 regarding inspection by agents authorised by Building Consent Authorities.

If applicable the following conditions may be imposed on the consent:

  • Waivers and modifications of the building code – Section 67
  • Conditions on building consents granted under section 72 for building on land subject to natural hazards
  • Conditions relating to construction of a building on 2 or more allotments – section 75
  • If the building work has a specified intended life, the consent must specify certain conditions that must be complied with at the end of that specified life (for example, alteration, demolition or removal) – Section 113.

Withdrawing an application

You may withdraw your application for Building Consent prior to the consent being issued. This must be put in writing to: Building Control, Private Bag 4002, Levin 5540 or emailed to recordsprocessing@horowhenua.govt.nz

You will be liable for all charges incurred up to this point in time.

Producer statements

A producer statement is a professional opinion based on sound judgment and specialist expertise. It is not a product warranty or guarantee of compliance.

In considering whether to accept a producer statement, the credentials of the author are assessed to ensure that person has the appropriate experience and competence in their particular field of expertise.

Producer statements are typically used for specialist work, such as engineering, or where there is a proprietary product which is installed by appointed contractors. Aspects of this work will be outside the council’s in-house expertise and a producer statement can assist the Building Officer in determining whether the building work complies with the Building Code. Building Officers will use their professional judgement when considering producer statements and how much weight to give them.

Where the application is relying on a Producer Statement to certify compliance of the plans, specifications or completed works with the Building Code, a copy of that producer statement and the calculations it is based on must accompany the application.