Referrals to Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ)

In some cases your consent applications may need to go to the Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) Fire Engineering Unit (FEU) for design review under the Fire and Emergency New Zealand Act 2017. This requirement falls under section 46 of the Building Act 2004.

The types of applications that are required to be sent to FENZ are detailed on the New Zealand Gazette website.

The FEU have 10 working days in which to provide their feedback to the building consent authority on

  • provision of means of escape from fire, and
  • the needs of authorised firefighters entering the building to fight fire.

On a case by case basis FENZ may provide additional recommendations to help improve the overall safety of the proposed building design.

Heritage New Zealand

If your build project affects a historic place or area (wāhi tapu or wāhi tapu area) that is on the New Zealand Heritage List (Rārangi Kōrero), we have to let Heritage New Zealand know within five days after receiving your project information memorandum or building consent application.

This provides an ‘early warning’ to allow Heritage New Zealand to meet its statutory function to support the protection of historical and cultural heritage in the public interest.

As a Territorial Authority we are responsible for heritage management and protection under several pieces of legislation, including the

  • Resource Management Act1991
  • Heritage New Zealand Act 2014
  • Building Act 2004
  • Local Government Act 2002.

We can adopt a flexible approach with applications for heritage buildings, considering any special historical or cultural value of a building as relevant.

The decision to grant or refuse an application will be based largely on compliance with the building code – the decision is therefore made by us; not Heritage New Zealand.

If your heritage building is considered dangerous or insanitary building you’ll need to strengthen your building or remove any danger.

Professional opinions

Professional opinions or statements (eg producer statements, design feature reports, subject matter expert opinion, etc) provided with your consent documentation will be assessed on their merits – they have no legal status under the Building Act.

We recommend providing ‘verifiable evidence’ such as calculations with your application to support a professional opinion. This will help in us with being ‘satisfied on reasonable grounds’ that your building work will comply with the building code and Building Act 2004.

The professional is responsible for providing quality assurance for documentation they provide for your building consent, including inspection records and construction statements.

Warnings & bans

At times a warning or ban may be introduced on a building product or method that you propose to use in your project. The warning or ban will be put in place where the product or method doesn’t meet the building code or may fail altogether. These can have an effect on our ability to issue your building consent. Warnings and bans are publicly notified by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment along with the date from which they apply. Details of any warnings and bans can be found on their website.