Apply for a building consent

Save time and money with self-service building consent applications. Our building consents online system allows you to submit, manage and track applications from anywhere, at any time.

The benefits of applying online:

  • Fast, convenient, easy to use
  • Track your application
  • Save dollars (no scanning fees)

Apply now

We've moved to a new customer platform for building consent applications. For more information or support, check out this link: Getting started with Objective Build

What you need to support your building consent application

Plans and specifications

Your building consent application drawings should be clear, correct and complete, and include a suitable level of detail. 

Government guidance: Quality drawings to support your building consent application

Acceptance and management of professional or expert opinions (producer statements)

It may be appropriate to engage a suitably qualified and experienced professional or expert to assist in preparing your building consent application. Experts can help by providing evidence to support your application in demonstrating compliance with the building code.

Supporting evidence may take many forms including:

  • tests, verification methods or other standards
  • appraisals of products or systems
  • reports, including calculations and modelling
  • peer reviews
  • comparison with similar products and systems
  • comparison with generic products and systems that are compliant with acceptable solutions
  • producer statements and other forms of certificate (IQP/LBP certificates for example)
  • case studies, of products and systems in use.

Professional opinions can assist in demonstrating compliance with the building code on reasonable grounds. They can also be used in the assessment of alternative solutions.

When processing your building consent the Council will need to determine if:

  • the source or author of the professional opinion is expert (competent) and independent
  • the basis for the opinion is acceptable.

Government guidance: Producer statements

Natural hazards

Some sites may be subject to a natural hazard such as, erosion, falling debris, subsidence, slippage or flooding. Please refer to the guidance document for more information.

Natural hazards guidance(PDF, 396KB)

Electrical safe distance regulations

Be sure to check your safe building distances for overhead power lines before submitting your building consent application. 

Safety around our networks |

Alternative ways to apply

We process all our applications online. But you can still submit a paper application if you prefer.
We will load the information into our online system for you. Please note, this will incur a scanning fee.

To apply, print out the form below and return it to us with the relevant supporting information. Or phone and ask us to post you a copy.


How are building consents processed?

When an application is submitted to Council it’s then vetted by a building officer. This initial check is to ensure that all the information required to begin the process has been submitted.

Once the application is accepted, it will be assessed by suitably qualified officers to ensure compliance with the Building Act 2004, building code, Palmerston North District Plan and any relevant legislative requirements.

When the processing of the building consent is complete and the building officer is satisfied on reasonable grounds that compliance has been achieved, the consent is granted. Following payment of any outstanding fees, the building consent is issued with conditions. At this point building work may begin unless the consent has been issued with a building consent restriction under the Resource Management Act 1991.


How long does it take to get a building consent?

You should receive Council's decision to grant or refuse to grant a building consent within 20 working days from the day we receive the application, provided it's complete.

If we need more information to help us make our decision, you'll receive a request for further information (RFI). When we send out an RFI we stop the 20 working day “clock” and suspend your application until you provide us with all of the information we've asked for. At that point we restart the clock.

When we've made a decision, we'll contact you to let you know the outcome of your application. If the building consent has been granted, you'll have to pay all fees including any levies before we can issue the building consent.


What are building consent conditions?

Building consent conditions are requirements imposed on your building consent. These are deemed necessary to ensure the compliance of the proposed building. The conditions are listed on the building consent and you must comply with these conditions.

The following are allowable conditions under the Building Act 2004 and regulations:

Section 67(2): Waivers and modifications

Section 73: Natural hazards

Section 75(2): Building on 2 or more allotments

Section 90: Inspections by building consent authorities

NOTE: This can also include any third-party certification that the building work complies with the plans and specifications, for example, producer statements or memoranda.

Section 113 (2): buildings with specified intended lives

If specialist inspections are required, these will be agreed to between Council and the applicant during the consent process. Specialist inspections (typically, engineering disciplines), will generally mean that a producer statement will be required. Advice or advisory notes may also be attached to the building consent.

This information is provided to assist you, and it's important that you read and understand all of the conditions of your building consent before starting work. If you do not understand any conditions imposed, please contact us.


How long is my building consent valid for?

Work must start on your project within 12 months from the date the building consent is issued. If we have not been contacted to undertake any inspections before then, we will contact you advising that the building consent will lapse at the expiry of the 12-month period. You may decide not to do the work, in which case the consent will lapse. Alternatively, you can apply for an extension of time to start the work. Time extensions are considered on a case-by-case basis. Please make your request using the appropriate form, and ensure you get it to us before the expiry date.

If we don't hear from you within the stated time the consent will lapse and have no effect. 

Requesting more time

Use the form below to apply for an extension of time. Return the completed form to Council with the application fee. This may be done by the builder on the owner’s behalf but responsibility remains the owner’s.

Time extension application form

Guide to completing the time extension application form