Rates, Building and Property

Building consent for commercial buildings

If you’re planning work on an industrial or commercial building, you’ll need to provide more information than for a regular building consent.

Certificate for public use

Before any part of a building affected by building work can be used by the public, you must get a code compliance certificate (CCC) or certificate for public use (CPU). It’s an offence not to.

Your application for CPU needs to describe the precautions you will take to protect people using the building until the CCC is issued. This should include any specified systems and how people would escape from a fire.

Specified systems and compliance

Specified systems are systems or features that help a building to function fully – things like sprinklers, lifts, ventilation and air conditioning. These systems need ongoing inspection and maintenance to ensure they work as they should. If they fail to work properly they could adversely affect health or life safety, which may also affect your insurance cover. There are 16 specified systems in the Building Act. These must be identified on your building consent application form.

Compliance schedules for specified systems

When we issue a building consent we will state whether the building requires a compliance schedule. A compliance schedule states the specified systems and their performance standards, and includes the inspection, maintenance and reporting procedures needed to keep them in good working order.

The building consent will identify what documentation you need to provide to Council when construction is complete, before a code compliance certificate and compliance schedule can be issued. This 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. 

We are 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. A compliance schedule statement is a document that is issued once and only with a new compliance schedule.

To initiate a change to the compliance schedule, you need to apply for an amendment. Complete the form below and submit it to us with the accompanying fee.

Building owner responsibilities

Where a compliance schedule has been issued for a building, the owner must provide a building warrant of fitness (BWoF) every year 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 Building Warrant of Fitness: 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.

Record keeping

As well as inspections by independently qualified people, building owners need to do regular inspections. You’ll need to keep the following records for two years for auditing purposes:

  • inspections by independently qualified people
  • inspections by the owner
  • the compliance schedule.

Pallet racking

Pallet racking installations require building consent. Applications for consent must have appropriate documentation to show that the installation will comply with the Building Code.

Independent qualified persons register

Palmerston North City Council and Manawatū District Council have a joint independent qualified persons (IQP) register, to ensure a pool of appropriately qualified people to carry out inspection and maintenance work on buildings.

You can apply to either Palmerston North City Council or Manawatū District Council on a combined application form and pay one fee for registration with both Councils. Having a joint register saves professionals time and money, and helps the Councils to have a robust and consistent approach.