Building in Rotorua


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These services and information are specific to building within the Rotorua district.

What is a building consent?

A building consent is the formal approval issued by a Building Consent Authority (BCA) that ensures certain works meet the requirements of the New Zealand Building Act, Building Regulations and Building Code. You cannot undertake any building work that requires a building consent without this approval. Most building work requires a building consent but some minor work is exempt under the Act.

When is a building consent required?

A building consent is required for most work with the exception of certain building work that is exempt from the requirement to obtain consent. 

Information relating to these exemptions can be found on the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment website.  ​

For guidance or further information please visit the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (building and construction) website.

**Dams – Please contact Bay of Plenty Regional Council, which has jurisdiction for all dam building consent matters.

When is a building consent not required?

Building owners are responsible for determining whether proposed building work is exempt from requiring a building consent ensuring exempt building work complies with the Building Code.

Building practitioners are also responsible for ensuring their work complies with the Building Code even when that work is exempt.

Exempt Work  is a summary of possible building works requiring or not requiring a building consent. 

It is important to get good advice before deciding that building work is covered by the exemptions set out in the Building Act.  If you are unable to determine whether the building work you wish to undertake is exempt, book an appointment to speak with one of our building officers.

How long does it take to get a building consent?

The building consent processing time depends on the complexity of your project and whether or not you have provided us with sufficient information. All building consents must be approved within 20 working days of being formally received. However if information is found to be lacking the time clock is stopped and not restarted until the information that has been requested, is provided.

Owners Responsibility

The building owner is legally obliged to ensure that 
  • all necessary inspections, maintenance and reporting are done 
  • the building is maintained in safe and sanitary condition at all times 
  • the compliance schedule is readily available for inspection by authorised persons 
  • a building warrant of fitness is signed and displayed.
Tenants and the owner

The building owner's responsibilities are clear whether or not the building is tenanted by others. The owner, however, can delegate those responsibilities to an employee or to someone else under a contract or a lease. Tenants could be liable where they breach the Building Act 2004.

People employed by the owner

In most instances the owner will engage specialists such as architects, engineers, design draughting agencies, builders, plumbers and electricians for the design and construction of all or part of proposed building work. For compliance schedule procedures, typical specialists can be building maintenance companies, lift engineers and electricians who are approved by the council as independent qualified persons (IQPs).

The owner can choose who to employ to do the work or give advice. If the Act is breached, the owner is likely to be fully liable, but agents of the owner do not necessarily escape liability.

Appointments and Vetting Appointments

When you are ready to lodge or have an enquiry about your building project, you can book an appointment with the relevant people concerning your project. We can then can check you have given us everything we need to process your application before you lodge it, which will help make the building consent process quicker for you.  To ensure appointment availability you can use the online Building Application Vetting Appointment form or phone Council for an appointment on 07 348 4199. 

Note: A Lodgement deposit must be submitted with your Building Consent.
Vetting appointment times are: 

Monday to Friday:
8am         -     10am
10.30am  -     12pm
1pm         -     2.45pm
3pm         -     4pm

We recommend that you or your designer lodge your application in person and deliver to, 1061 Haupapa Street, Rotorua or post to Rotorua Lakes Council, PO Box 3029, Rotorua Mail Centre, Rotorua 3046


Building Inspections: The role of Council’s building inspectors, Council building officers and building certifiers check for compliance with the building code and consented documents. This is about safeguarding health and safety.

The Building Act 2004 is not concerned with the appearance of completed building work, contractual matters between the owner and building, or protecting capital investment.

Inspections only cover finish and quality when code compliance may be affected.


What Council will check when inspecting building work 

Your building consent when approved will include as a condition, a list of inspections that must be called for as building work progresses.

The following suite of inspection checklists are used by Council when undertaking nominated inspections on site.

We recommend that you reference the relevant checklist and check that the work undertaken meets compliance prior to arranging an inspection.

Please remember that Council will be checking that building work is completed in accordance with your building consent. 

Checklists are amended as a result of legislative changes or continuous improvement, therefore it is important that you reference this web site to obtain the latest versions. Inspection Checklists

What information do I need to book an inspection?
When you make your booking, you will need to supply the following information:
  • Your building consent number
  • The site location/address
  • The name and contact phone number of the person who will be on-site at the time of the inspection.
  • Restricted Building Work: Name and licence number of the Licenced Building Practitioners notified by the owner prior to construction.

All building consent documents and any approved amendments must also be on-site at the time of inspection.

To book an inspection or make an appointment with a specific building inspector:

  • Visit the Customer Centre, Civic Centre, 1061 Haupapa St, to  make an appointment or
  • Call the Building Inspection line directly on 07 3495646 or
  • Use the online Building Inspection request form

Inspections are undertaken between 8.00am - 12.00pm and again between 1.45 to 4.30pm week days.  

Page reviewed: 11 Sep 2020 2:52pm