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Building Overview

Covid19  Protocol Update

Building Team at the ORANGE Light Setting

The change to the ORANGE light setting allows our staff to continue providing all of our normal building control functions and duties and we have most of our team back working in the office, including the Building Advisory Office.

All of our staff are double vaccinated and receiving their booster shots when eligible. We will continue to exercise 1m social distancing and the wearing of masks when performing any functions where this is not achievable or in public places within the main building and during all site inspections.

The Building Advisory Office is now available to receive customers in person to discuss your building related enquiries, however you can still email your enquiries through as well ( and we will endeavour to reply within 24 hours.

If you have any questions relating to the services the building team provide, please contact  the Building Control Manager on 027 434 6053 or email

Please stay safe and remember to be kind to each other.

Applying and submitting Building related applications

  • To use the consent portal you first need to go to and create a login, this only needs to be done once.
  • You will need a login to the Simpli portal if you are submitting an application and or any supporting documentation throughout the consent process.
  • To create your application go to the Simpi website login, choose the local authority (Timaru DC) and then the type of application
  • If you have any questions the Simpli website has lots of guidance to help you through the application and submission process.
  • The types of applications you can make through the portal include Building Consents (BC), Project Information Memorandum (PIM), Amendments to BC’s, Certificate for Public Use (CPU), Code Compliance Certificates (CCC) and Certificate of Acceptance.

Product Substitution & 2nd Hand Materials

Much attention in the media recently has related to the supply issues and the shortage of certain building materials, particularly Gib plaster board. Many people I have spoken to have mentioned how these issues have been affecting their businesses, work flow and their customers, with much confusion around how big of an issue it really is and how will it affect their project.

Many of these media reports have, in particular, related to concerns about substituting one product for another. It has been widely referred that if “Gib” plaster board is specified and approved within your building consent, to change it to something else (substitute), is very difficult to do.

Gib plaster board is a very common product used in New Zealand for internal wall linings in buildings because of its ease of installation and finishing. However there are also many other options (alternatives) for internal linings especially when there are no specific requirements to be met, eg bracing elements. However when “Gib” plaster board has been specified and approved for internal bracing elements, to change to another product/system requires the approval process to be undertaken.

However there are many wall bracing alternatives to the common Gib system, these include other brands of plaster board (including international products), plywood, fibre cement boards, ridged air barriers (RAB), medium density fibre board (MDF) and certain prefabricated metal components, to name but a few. All of these products have the technical data, appraisals and or some form of certification that, when provided to council for approval, can demonstrate they are fit for purpose and will achieve compliance with the building code.

So hash tag #spoiler alert, the substitution process is ultimately very simple and straightforward. This process, when relating to building consents, can be made in one of two ways. These are known as “Minor Variations” or “Amendments”. The key considerations are firstly to engage an industry professional that understands this process to ensure they specify products that are fit for purpose, designed and tested for that particular use and meet the requirements of the building code. Therefore engaging these suitably qualified people that sufficiently research the alternatives, will significantly assist the substitution and compliance pathway and will help to mitigate issues at the end of your project when you are wanting to get it signed off (code compliance certificate, CCC) by council.

However contrary to this, the use of 2nd hand building materials or products can be problematic if not sufficiently researched to ensure they meet the requirements of the building code. For example the use of 2nd hand bricks, these are to comply with the relevant standard NZS 4210:2001, which requires certain tests to be carried out on the bricks. The results of these tests must be supplied to council as part of the approval process (minor variation or amendment) before they are used. Therefore as above, the key to using any 2nd hand products is being able to demonstrate that they meet the requirements of the building code for that intended (external or internal) use. The testing of these products are a common requirement for the purpose of demonstrating compliance.

Important: If the manufacturer, retailer or the person you are purchasing your product from, can’t provide you with the necessary product verification or certification, do not use it

So please remember changing or substituting building products and systems does not need to be difficult and may not necessarily have a negative impact on your project, either at the design or construction phase. However be sure to check availability of supply as well.

For expert advice on the consent process please contact the council’s building team or come in and talk to us to discuss your proposed change/s, because the sooner you are aware a change is required, engaging industry professionals and or contacting the council’s building team, will help in achieving a positive outcome for all.

Please contact the building team 03 687 7236 or email for advice.

You can also check out the MBIE guidance on plaster board substitutions and how to make these changes

Last updated: 04 Jul 2022