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Safer Buildings

This page contains information about Council's activities to help make buildings safer. It includes information on illegal building works, swimming pools, Building Warrants of Fitness and dangerous, earthquake prone and insanitary buildings.
Updated: 22/01/2019 3:58 p.m.

Illegal building works

Sometimes building works have been undertaken that contravene the requirements of the Building Act. These would include:

  • works being undertaken without a building consent when one was required
  • work that has not been undertaken in accordance with a building consent when one has been issued.

Undertaking illegal building works can lead to prosecution of anybody involved in them. 

It is important that you contact us if you discover that illegal work has been undertaken on your property so that we can work with you to resolve the problem.

It may be possible for a Certificate of Acceptance (COA) to be issued, dependent on the type and extent of works involved. 

Certificate of Acceptance (COA)

A COA is provides "limited" assurance that building work completed without a building consent, when one was required, meets the requirements of the New Zealand Building Code.

It is limited as not all elements of the building may be covered so a COA is not a replacement for a building consent.

This can exclude specific sections of the building  if we are unable to confirm that the works comply with the New Zealand Building Code.

If subsequent remedial or further work is needed, you may then have to apply for a building consent to do it.

Please note that we are under no obligation to issue a COA and we always recommend that you obtain a building consent in advance when one is required.

Applying for a COA

Applications for a COA must be made using the appropriate form and be accompanied by plans and specifications.

To download the guidance notes and application form, select from the links below.

Certificate of Acceptance Application Form [512kb]

Guidance notes on Certificate of Acceptance applications [256kb]

For more specific information on Certificates of Acceptance please use the links below to get a more comprehensive view and understanding.

MBIE Guidance on Certificates of Acceptance

Swimming pools

The Fencing of Swimming Pools Act 1987 was introduced to protect young children from the dangers of unfenced swimming pools and has been very effective.

On 1 January 2017, this legislation was repealed and incorporated in to the Building Act and provision made in the New Zealand Building Code, F9, regarding swimming pool fences.

Basically ​swimming pool is defined as:

  • "an excavation, structure, or product that is used or is capable of being used for the purpose of swimming, wading, paddling, or bathing".

All new swimming pools capable of containing more than 400mm of water require a building consent before installation of either the pool or the fencing sometimes both, depending on the type of pool and other requirements.

We are required to undertake regular monitoring to ensure that swimming pool fences continue to comply.

We are also required to proactively identify pools that are not appropriately fenced. 

The purpose of these regulations is to protect children from the risk of drowning.

Our monitoring team will undertake regular inspections to properties known to have pools.

For pools that are filled this will be on a three yearly basis and for those where we have been notified that the water level has been reduced to less than 400mm, this will be on an annual basis. There is a charge for this service.

For more information about fencing of swimming pools, follow the link below.

Building Warrant of Fitness (BWOF)

If your building has a Compliance Schedule, you will be required to issue a BWOF annually.

A BWOF is a statement which confirms that the maintenance checks detailed in the Compliance Schedule have been undertaken for the preceding 12 months.

A building owner must ensure that a current BWOF certificate is publically displayed. 

You will also need to complete a form to certify that inspection, maintenance and reporting procedures of the compliance schedule have been fully complied with.

To download the relevant form, select from the links below.

Building Warrant of Fitness Application Form [95kb]

Building Warrant of Fitness - Certificate of Compliance [227kb]

Independently Qualified Persons (IQPs) undertake the maintenance checks. Follow the link below to view the current IQP register.

Independent Qualified Persons (IQP) Register [206kb]

Dangerous, Insanitary and Earthquake Prone Buildings

The Building Act requires us to prepare a policy setting out the approach we will take on dangerous, insanitary and earthquake prone buildings. 

To view a summary and the full version of our policy, follow the link below.


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