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New building consent exemptions

An expanded list of consent exemptions will be added to the Building Act.

Once the Act is updated, expected to be later this year, building consents will no longer be needed for new or expanded types of low-risk work such as sleep-outs, sheds, carports and outdoor fireplaces.

In all cases the work must still comply with the New Zealand Building Code. There are many instances where conditions apply, such as work having to involve a licensed building practitioner or chartered professional engineer.

The exemptions include:

  • Single-storey detached buildings up to 30 m2
  • Carports up to 40 m2
  • Ground floor awnings up to 30 m2
  • Ground floor verandahs and porches up to 30 m2
  • Ground-mounted solar array panels
  • Outdoor fireplaces or ovens
  • Flexible water storage bladders
  • Small short-span bridges
  • Single-storey pole sheds and hay barns in rural zones.

The new exemptions are in addition to work that can already be done without a building consent. This is set out in Schedule 1 of the Building Act.

You can find more information on the MBIE Building performance website here.





Budget funds insulation, energy-efficient heating

The 2020 budget included $56 million for heating and insulation in low-income households.

The additional $56 million for the Warmer Kiwi Homes programme is expected to cover around 9000 houses. The scheme has also been expanded to cover 90% of the costs of insulation and energy-efficient heating for low-income households. This expands the number of households who can benefit from the scheme.

Also in the budget was news that construction training courses for all ages will be free over the next 2 years to help retrain people who have lost their jobs. Around $1.6bn has been allocated to the whole Trades and Apprenticeships Training Package, which includes the building and construction areas.

The budget also included a proposal to build 8000 new state houses over the next four to five years.




COVID-19 advice for the building sector

MBIE is providing guidance for construction on its Building Performance website.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment is updating its website with COVID-19 information here.

WorkSafe has useful information, including around notifications required, here.

The main government website with COVID-19 advice is here.