If you want to change the use of your building you must let council know in writing – even if there is no building work involved.

You can’t make the proposed change until you’ve received written confirmation back from council that that the new use of your building complies with the Building Act and building code requirements.

The requirements will vary depending on the change in use. Any new use will need to consider

  • means of escape from fire, protection of other property, and fire-rating performance
  • sanitary facilities,
  • structural performance,
  • access and facilities for people with disabilities.

Where household units are included in the building that weren’t there previously, then 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).

A building consent may be required for a change in use of a building. If you make the change without advising us you could be liable for a fine of up to $5,000.

For more detailed information see change of use on the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment website.