A determination is a binding decision made by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE). It provides a way of solving disputes or questions about the rules that apply to buildings, how buildings are used, building accessibility, health and safety.

Although determinations are generally sought because a building owner disagrees with council about decisions made in regard to their building; a determination can be applied for by council or by a neighbour who may be affected by building work.

Applying for a determination

Applications for determination and the associated cost may be found on the MBIE website.

How long does it take to get the determination

MBIE is required to issue the final determination within 60 working days of receiving the application, or longer if agreed to by the parties.

The 60 working day period does not include time delays while waiting for information or comment from other parties - the ‘clock is stopped’ during these times. If you can’t provide the information by the date given, you may request an extension. The MBIE has the power to make the determination if the information requested is not provided in reasonable time.

Building work that may need to be done before a determination is issued

If you have been sent a notice to fix about work that is unsafe, you must comply with this notice. Otherwise, council can’t require you to carry out building work related to the determination unless the MBIE agrees this is necessary.