Rates, Building and Property

Building consents for commercial premises

If you’re planning work on an industrial or commercial building, there are some extra things you need to know.

The general requirements for a building consent for commercial premises are the same as for any building consent. However, if you are planning to do building work on industrial or commercial premises there are some extra requirements that would not normally apply to a private building or dwelling. If you are planning to do commercial work, you should read this information in conjunction with the information on building consents.

Certificate for public use

It is an offence to permit the public use of any part of a building affected by building work before the Code Compliance Certificate (CCC) or Certificate for Public Use (CPU) has been issued. An application for CPU must be accompanied by detail of the precautions that will be taken to protect the public using the building until CCC is issued.  This should include detail of any specified systems and means of escape from fire.

Specified systems and compliance schedule

Specified systems are systems or features that contribute to the proper functioning of a building. Specified systems require on-going inspection and maintenance to ensure they function as required, because if they fail to operate properly, they have the potential to adversely affect health or life safety and may also affect your insurance cover.

Specified systems include, but are not limited to, sprinkler systems, lifts, mechanical ventilation or air conditioning systems.  Currently there are 16 different specified systems prescribed under the Building Act. When you apply for a building consent for a new (or existing) building with specified systems, you will need to provide information with your application to enable the council to compile (or amend) a compliance schedule.

The council will require details of the design features of the specified systems and proposed procedures for inspection, maintenance and reporting so they can be included in the compliance schedule. This will also include the performance standard a specified system is intended to meet, and to continue to meet, for the life of the building. For example, a fire alarm system may be required to meet New Zealand Standard 4512:2003.  When the council issues a building consent they will state whether the building requires a compliance schedule. 

A compliance schedule states the specified systems, their performance standards and includes the inspection, maintenance and reporting procedures needed to keep them in good working order. The building consent will identify documentation the applicant is required to provide to the council when construction is complete and before a Code Compliance Certificate and Compliance Schedule can be issued.

This documentation may include certificates from installers of specified systems, testing and commissioning results, and third party verification from accredited inspection bodies for fire alarms and sprinkler systems as required by New Zealand Standards 4512:2003 and 4541:2007 respectively.  

The Council is required to issue a compliance schedule and compliance schedule statement for new buildings or amend a compliance schedule where any specified systems are added or changed in a building. The compliance schedule is issued with the Code Compliance Certificate.

If your building contains specified systems, please complete the Specified Systems Form and attach it to your application form.

Building warrant of fitness and owner responsibilities

Where a Compliance Schedule has been issued for a building, the owner must provide a BWof annually to verify that specified systems are in working order. This is a statutory declaration made by the building owner that the requirements of the compliance schedule have been carried out for the preceding year.For the first year, you must display the Compliance Schedule Statement in a public place in the building.

Every year after that you must:

  • Issue a BWoF - To do this you must first ensure that all requirements of the Compliance Schedule have been satisfied. This will include inspections by an independently qualified person (IQP) for each of the system's features.
  • Display a copy of the BWoF  - This must be displayed in a public place in the building.
  • Send BWoF and Independent Qualified Person/Licensed Building Practitioner (IQP/LBP) certificates to the Council - The original BWoF  must be accompanied by all IQP 12a certificates required by the Compliance Schedule.

In addition to inspections by independently qualified persons, the owner is often required to perform inspections at regular intervals. Records of the following must be kept together for two years and produced when requested for audit purposes:

  • inspections by independently qualified persons
  • inspections by the owner
  • the Compliance Schedule.

Pallet racking

Pallet racking installations require a building consent, and applications for consent must contain appropriate documentation in support of the claim that the installation will comply with the New Zealand Building Code. 

Joint Palmerston North City and Manawatū District Council independent qualified persons register

Palmerston North City Council (PNCC) and Manawatū District Council (MDC) have developed a joint independent qualified persons (IQP) register.

IQPs can apply to either PNCC or MDC on a combined application form and pay one fee for registration with both Councils. This will provide you with savings in time and money.

The decision to develop a joint register also provided the opportunity for the Councils to review how applications for IQP status are accepted. The process provides a more robust and consistent approach for approval.

IQP acceptance will be specific to an individual and there will be minimum requirements established for acceptance.

All existing IQPs registered under MDC and PNCC have been incorporated into the joint register.

A quick guide sheet "Information for persons seeking acceptance as an Independent Qualified Person" was developed and is available below or from the Council offices.

The joint IQP register has been affective since 1st December 2011.

Please contact Building Services at Palmerston North City Council or Building Services at Manawatū District Council for more information.