Building work that does not require building consent

Most building work requires you to get a building consent, however, there is some low risk building work you can undertake without a building consent. Information about this is included in Schedule 1 of the Building Act 2004 and is referred to as 'exempt building work'.

Additional building consent exemptions

From 31 August 2020, additional building consent exemptions have been added to the Building Act. Building consents are no longer needed for a number of new or expanded types of low-risk building work, like sleep-outs, sheds, carports, outdoor fireplaces and ground-mounted solar panels.

This package of new exemptions adds to the work that can already be done without a building consent, outlined in Schedule 1 of the Building Act. Some of the new exempt building work can be done without the help of a professional, while others require the involvement of a Chartered Professional Engineer or Licensed Building Practitioner.

The Ministry of Business Innovation & Employment (MBIE) has produced a guide to building work that does not require a building consent. This gives a detailed description of when a consent is not required, and any conditions associated with it. For more information please visit building performance website .

Under the Building Act, Council (acting as the territorial authority) does have discretionary powers to permit building work to be undertaken without a consent if the work is likely to be performed in accordance with the Building Code or, failing that, it is unlikely to endanger people or any building. 

To be permitted to undertake work not included in Schedule 1 without a consent, you must apply to Council for an exemption using the form below. In making a decision on any exemption, Council will undertake a risk assessment of the building work proposed.

Building work that does not require a Building Consent –


  1. Comply exactly with the details of the exemption.
  2. Comply with all requirements of the Resource Management Act and District Plan.

It is the responsibility of the Owner to ensure compliance. Failure to comply can result in significant fees and penalties or even prosecution and removal of the structure. Mistakes and deliberate non-compliance can be very costly, time consuming and stressful.

The Building and Planning teams at Waitaki District Council are your most reliable source of information. They want to help you achieve a cost-effective compliant building and protect your investment so please contact us to discuss your plans before commencing construction on 03 4330300.

The document Planning Requirements for Schedule 1 Exempt Work under the Building Act 2004(PDF, 354KB) gives basic guidance on District Plan rules that may impact your exemption.

You may wish to provide records of any work undertaken under exempt work on the property file (such as plans and specifications). Council charge a minimal, one off fee as detailed in our fees and charges to ensure your property file has an enduring record. 

Application for filing exempt building work under schedule 1 clause 2(PDF, 160KB)  

Fees: Please refer to our fees and charges page for current prices.