The Building Act 2004 provides for the regulation of building work, the establishment of a licensing regime for building practitioners, and the setting of performance standards, to ensure that:

(a) People who use buildings can do so safely and without endangering their health; and

(b) Buildings have attributes that contribute appropriately to the health, physical independence, and well-being of the people who use them; and

(c) People who use a building can escape from the building if it is on fire; and

(d) Buildings are designed, constructed, and able to be used in ways that promote sustainable development; to promote the accountability of owners, designers, builders and building consent authorities who have responsibilities for ensuring that building work complies with the building code.

To achieve this purpose, the Act requires anyone proposing to do building work to obtain a building consent from a building consent authority before commencing building work.