Other Things to Consider

Change the use of a building

An owner of a building must not change the use of a building unless written notification is provided to Council about the change and Council is satisfied that the new use will comply with the building code.

If you want to change the use of your building, or part of it, you will need to let us know. This is a requirement under Section 115 of the Building Act 2004.

You cannot make the proposed change until the council gives the owner written confirmation that the requirements of the Building Act have been complied with.

The requirements will vary. Council will need to be satisfied that the building in its new use will comply with the Building Code as near as reasonably practicable (also known as ANARP). The parts of the Building Code which need to be complied with will depend on the change of use. Often a building consent will be required.

If you make the change without advising the council you could be liable for a fine.

Every building is designed for a specific use and has to meet Building Code requirements that ensure it will be safe, healthy and durable when used in the way it was designed. If that use changes, the building may need to be altered to support the new use.

To determine if the building is a change of use, refer to Sections 5, 6 and Schedule 2 of Building Regulations 2005 (Specified Systems, Change the Use, and Earthquake-prone Buildings) for use of all or parts of the building, on the New Zealand Legislation website.

Find out more information regarding change of use can be found on the MBIE website.

Extend a specified life (Section 116)

A building owner may request to extend the life of the building.

Most buildings are expected to have an indefinite life exceeding 50 years. Sometimes buildings can be assessed as having a life of less than 50 years, possibly due to building work not fully complying with the Building Code or the building being designated for temporary use. These factors and the building's intended life need to be stated on the application for building consent.

Any building consent issued for a building with a specified intended life is subject to the condition that the building be altered, removed or demolished before the end of its stated life.

More information regarding extension to the specified life of a building can be found on the MBIE website.

How to apply

A building owner may apply to extend the life of the building. Requests must be made in writing to Council.

Requirements for subdivision of existing building (Section 116A)

Council must not issue a certificate under section 224(f) of the Resource Management Act 1991 for the purposes of giving effect to a subdivision affecting a building or part of a building unless it is satisfied, on reasonable grounds, that the building will comply, as nearly as is reasonably practicable, with every provision of the Building Code that relates to the following:

  • Means of escape from fire.
  • Access and facilities for people with disabilities (if this is a requirement for the building).
  • Protection of other property.

The building must also continue to comply with the other provisions of the Building Code to at least the same extent as before the subdivision application was made.