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Building Overview

Changes to building consenting systems

We have upgraded our online consenting systems to the “Simpli” portal and an internal system for processing and inspecting called “GoGet”.

Many designers and regular consent applicants will be familiar with the Simpli portal as it is used by many other councils around the country.

Below are a number of key points that all building owners, consent applicants and other trades need to know.

Applying and submitting applications

  • You first need to create a user login in the Simpli portal (only once) https://simpli.govt.nz/register
  • You will need a login to the Simpli portal if you are submitting an application 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 https://simpli.govt.nz
  • If you have any questions the Simpli website https://simpli.govt.nz/tool-box 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.
  • Important: No paper / hard copy applications will be accepted.

Important note

After 27 November 2020, the Building Team will not be accepting any paper / hard copy documents.

Building Platforms & Site Works

Site works and creating building platforms can require a building consent in certain situations. The following advice is around the things you will need to consider before carrying out any excavation work relating to your site.

Examples of when a building consent is required would be, but not limited to:

  • Any site preparation that involves filling of an area for the purpose of a building to be located in that area at any time in the future.
  • This work shall be designed by a suitably qualified design professional eg structural and or Geotech engineers.

Examples of when a building consent may not be required:

  • Building up a site for landscaping purposes only
  • Clearing a site by cutting and filling, making it more presentable for sale
  • Disposing of clean fill onto a site to level it up (hollows or elevated sites providing you are not altering a natural water course)

NOTE: (it is important to consider the reasons for the proposed site works)


If you want to do any of the above work or you have been engaged by the owner to do so, please ensure you talk to council first as there may be consents, approvals and many other things to consider before you start. Remember carrying out building work without the appropriate approval/s can result in penalties and infringements.

Consent Work Loads & Resourcing

In recent times, like many other councils around the country, we at TDC are experiencing challenging times which has seen some of our staff moving on to working in the private sector. While we have managed to fill the vacancies we have also undergone a salary review which has addressed the remuneration gap and allowed us to recruit high calibre staff.

However recruitment is just one part of the puzzle as qualifications and competencies take time to establish. Therefore while the new staff are working through this we are still relying on our external contractors for support in processing the increasing amount of building consents in our district.

Adding to this, the introduction of our new consenting systems and ironing out some of those issues, is all proving to be a stretch on our resources so I ask that you bear with us as we all work through this together for a better future.

Last updated: 31 Mar 2021