Building and resource consents

Before commencing on any construction or alteration of a building or structure, or an earthmoving project more significant than digging over the garden, a community venue must check to see if a building consent is required. The word ‘building’ is broadly defined in sections 8 and 9 of the Building Act 2004, and includes:

  • any temporary or permanent movable or immovable structure
  • any systems, including mechanical and electrical
  • swimming pool fences
  • any immovable vehicle occupied by people
  • any mast pole or telecommunication pole that is attached to a building and is greater than 7m in height
  • the non-moving parts of a cable car

Building consents are issued by the Wellington City Council. Schedule 1 of the Building Act 2004 has a list of works that do not require building consents. However, these must still comply with the Building Code.

Application for building consent

Community venues must apply for a Commercial and Complex Residential Consent if they wish to make changes to the building structure. Consent applications should be sent to the council. An officer for the council will review any applications to make sure that all the required details are supplied.

Once a consent is sent through, it is reviewed by a council-licenced building practitioner. The council considers the application using:

  • Wellington District Plan
  • Resource Management Act 1991
  • Building Act 2004
  • Building Code
  • Relevant bylaws and legislation for work such as vehicle access, trade waste, water reticulation and public drainage
  • The Design Review Unit of the NZ Fire Services Commission

The Building Act 2004 requires applications to be processed within 20 working days from the day the application was accepted. If the application is insufficient or incomplete, the 20 day time limit may be suspended until those issues are resolved.

There are fees that accompany applications. Fees are largely dependent on the type of work needing to be done on the property.

After approval

Once a community venue has filed an application correctly, paid all requisite fees in full and obtained approval for other consents applied for, they are issued a building consent. They may then begin their project.

If the application is for restricted building work (as defined in Section 7 Building Act 2004), the community venue must advise the council in writing on:

  • when the work is due to commence
  • details of the licensed building practitioner who is overseeing and completing the work

A licensed building practitioner must carry out all restricted building work unless that person is an owner-builder of the relevant property.[1]

The proposed work on the property must take place within 12 months after the date the consent was issued. If this is not possible, a community venue may apply for an extension or a lapse.

Other consents

In some cases, applicants may need to apply for more than one form of consent. This may include land use, subdivision or resource consents.