Building Overview

Who can I talk to?

To talk to Council staff in their respective areas, please contact the following during office hours (8.30am - 5pm Monday to Friday), or come into the Main Office at 2 King George Place, Timaru and see the Duty Building Officer and/or the Duty Planner. You do not always require an appointment.

  • Duty Building Officer (for building enquiries)
    Phone: 03 687 7236
  • Duty Planner (for planning enquiries)
    Phone: 03 687 7430
  • Customer Services (for booking an inspection)
    Phone: 03 687 7200

When booking an inspection you will need to provide the following:

  • Building consent number
  • Address of the property
  • Type of inspection
  • Your name
  • Your contact phone number
  • Will you be on site?

What is a building consent?

A Building Consent is written authority from the Council to carry out building work that Council considers will comply with the Building Code providing it is constructed in accordance with the details submitted.

Do I need a building consent?

You should contact the Duty Building Officer to determine whether or not your proposed project requires consent(s).

If you are planning a project that involves demolishing, constructing, or altering a building, it is likely you will need some form of consent before you proceed. Here are some examples of work that requires a consent:

  • any structural building including new buildings, additions, alterations, accessory buildings (sheds), and re-piling
  • plumbing and drainage
  • heating (fireplaces), ventilation and air conditioning systems
  • siteworks for a building
  • retaining walls higher than 1.5 metres, or retaining walls with a building or driveway near the top
  • fences higher than 2.5 metres and any swimming pool fence
  • swimming pools
  • decks more than 1.5 metres from ground level.

All building work must comply with the Building Act 2004 and the Building Code. The Act and the Code are legally binding and, if you breach them or don't obtain a building consent, you may face penalties.

Building work that does not require a building consent (exempt building work)

Schedule One of the Building Act 2004 sets out the building projects that do not require Building Consent, ie are exempt work. If you have questions about the exemptions contained in Schedule One contact the Duty Building Officer as above.

Important note

An exemption does not, of itself, permit building work if that building work would be in breach of any other Act (e.g. exempt building work may still require planning approval). All exempt building work is required to comply with the Building Code.

Things to Consider

Check to see if your proposed building work complies with the requirements of the District Plan, or is already provided for by an existing Resource Consent. If it isn't, you may need to apply for Resource Consent. Do this by contacting the Duty Planner.

Other things to consider:

  • A Services Consent is required for all works carried out associated with Council owned assets systems including public water, sewer and stormwater supplies and any work affected roads and footpaths, including berms.
  • Whether an approval or consent is required from Environment Canterbury
  • Whether your proposed work involves an historic or heritage building. Discuss with the Duty Planner in the first instance.