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Building Act Review

Schedule 1 Exemptions

What’s happening?

On 23 December 2010 Schedule 1 of the Building Act 2004 was broadened to allow for a wider range of building work to be completed without a building consent.

By law all exempt work must still meet the requirements of the Building Code and other relevant legislation, such as the Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Act 2006, the Electricity Act 1992 and the Resource Management Act 1991. 

What is exempt?

In summary, building work that was added to the current list of exempt work includes: 

  • replacing or altering linings or finishes of any internal wall, ceiling, or floor of a dwelling
  • making a penetration no greater than 30cm in diameter to enable the passage of pipes, cables, ducts, wires and hoses and the like through any existing building, and any associated work such as weatherproofing, fireproofing or sealing
  • installing thermal insulation in an existing building other than in an external wall or a firewall of the building 
  • demolishing all or part of a damaged building that is detached (stand alone) and no more than 3 storeys high 
  • repairing and replacing all or part of a damaged outbuilding with a comparable outbuilding within the same area 
  • removing any sign and a sign’s structural support, retaining wall, plinth or similar foundation, or playground equipment

Constructing, installing, replacing, or altering any:

  • sign and any structural support of a sign if the sign has been designed by a chartered professional engineer, or the sign does not exceed 6 square metres and is no more than 3m above the ground
  • height restriction gantry, and the removal of any such gantry
  • retaining wall in a rural zone if the wall has been designed by a chartered professional engineer, retains no more than 3m depth of ground and is no closer than its own height to any legal boundary or existing building
  • plinth or similar foundation designed by a chartered professional engineer, used for supporting mechanical plant, a tank, equipment, machinery, or any similar item
  • stall, booth, compartment, or similar structure with a floor area less than 100 square metres used at a fair, exhibition or market for no more than one month, and the removal of any such stall, booth, compartment, or similar structure
  • shade sail less than 50 square metres, made of fabric or other similar lightweight material and associated structural support provided it is at least 1m from any legal boundary and on the ground level or first storey level if on a building, and the removal of any such shade sail
  • ground level carport not exceeding 20 square metres and the removal of any such carport
  • playground equipment designed by a chartered professional engineer provided the work is for a government department, Crown entity, licensed early childhood centre or a territorial or regional authority
  • playground equipment used by a single household provided no part of the equipment is more than 3m above the ground

The following changes were also made to existing exemptions listed under Schedule 1:

  • in relation to the construction or alteration of a platform, bridge or the like, the maximum height that a person may possibly fall from the platform or bridge will increase from 1 to 1.5 metres
  • the maximum height of a wall, fence, or hoarding will increase from 2 to 2.5 metres above the supporting ground
  • in relation to the construction or alteration of tanks and pools and any structural support of the tank or pool the following additional configurations will be exempt:
    • up to 16,000 litres and no more than 0.25m above the ground
    • up to 8,000 litres and no more than 0.5m above the ground
    • up to 4,000 litres and no more than 1m above the ground
    • up to 1,000 litres and no more than 3m above the ground
  • in relation to the construction, alteration or removal of a public tent or marquee the maximum floor area will increase from 50 to 100 square metres
  • in relation to the construction alteration or removal of a fabric, glass, or metal awning on the ground or first storey level, the maximum size will increase from 15 to 20 square metres
  • in relation to the construction alteration or removal of a porch or veranda on the ground or first storey level over a deck or patio, the maximum size will increase from 15 to 20 square metres.

Download the full list of building work that does not require a building consent [PDF 1.2 MB, 60 pages]