Marquee Building Consent / Exemption Application Guidance

Schedule 1 of the Building Act 2004 lists the following marquees as automatically exempt from requiring a building consent – refer legislation as follows;

"(5) Tents, marquees, and similar lightweight structures

Building work in connection with any tent or marquee, or any similar lightweight structure (for example, a stall, booth, or compartment used at fairs, exhibitions, or markets) that—

(a) does not exceed 100 square metres in floor area; and

(b) is to be, or has been, used for a period of not more than 1 month."

This exemption allows you to construct, alter or remove a tent or marquee, that is being used either for public assembly (eg at a school gala) or private use (eg for a wedding reception). However, this is only if the tent or marquee does not exceed 100 square metres, and is not in place for more than a month.

The exemption also recognises the simple construction and temporary nature of stalls used at fairs, exhibitions (such as trade shows) and market events. The above conditions also apply to private marquees.

The restrictions on maximum floor area have been imposed, to avoid potential safety problems.

If you are proposing to erect a marquee that does not fall into the above category, you can apply for a building consent or a discretionary exemption from the need for building consent. Council will consider each application on its own merits, checking for compliance with relevant building code clauses, and either grant or refuse the application.

Exemptions other than those listed in Schedule 1, are not automatically granted.

Information to be supplied for building consent or exemption application:

  1. In either case, complete all relevant sections of a building consent application form using the downloadable application form [PDF, 274 KB] or through our AlphaOne online consent system.
  2. The type of information required to be supplied with an exemption from building consent application is the same as for a building consent application, ie it needs to demonstrate compliance with the relevant provisions of the building code:
    1. Record of title (formerly known as certificate of title) less than 6 months old
    2. Site plan – this needs to be specific to the site and show:
      • Access provision for emergency services
      • The location of the marquee(s) if application is for more than one, on the same site
      • Emergency assembly area(s)
      • Location of fire extinguishers
      • Location of existing buildings - dimensions to relevant boundaries
      • Location of toilets including accessible toilets
      • The location, type and storage capacity of any hazardous substances on the site
    3. Compliance calculations must be provided with each application - refer example for guidance [PDF, 112 KB]
    4. Dimensioned floor plan and elevations of marquee(s), showing available exits, size of the marquee, location of tie down points, etc
    5. Details of egress and fire safety provisions etc
    6. Details of restraints/tie downs (these can vary for wind zones/speeds).
    7. Documentation confirming marquee surface finishes meet NZ Building Code Group Number requirements  – (eg NZAS 1530.2 Flammability test example.pdf [PDF, 78 KB])
    8. An indication of time the marquee(s) is expected to be up for and who will be erecting/dismantling it.
    9. For marquees with large occupant numbers of 100 people or more, and/or providing employment facilities for 10 or more persons, an evacuation scheme must be approved by Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) before the marquee is occupied.
    10. Information relating to items a) to g) above may be provided by the person/company offering the marquee for hire – it is recommended that you check at the time of booking the marquee.
    11. The event organiser is also responsible for obtaining appropriate approvals for any service connections (ie water or sewer) prior to the event – for further information contact
    12. A minimum charge of $300.00 is invoiced once an exemption has been either granted or refused.

If processing time exceeds this amount (ie further information or inspection by Council is required) then further costs may be incurred, which will be charged at actual time and cost.

Your exemption documentation will be released when payment has been received by Selwyn District Council.

Please contact the Building Advisory team on 347 2839 if you require further information.

Note - if an exemption is granted, no inspection is undertaken by Council as the applicant has already confirmed the building work will comply with the Building Code throughout the time the marquee is erected.