Thank you for taking the time to contact us. Your feedback is important, providing us with the opportunity to give recognition where exceptional service has been provided and identify where we may be able to improve our performance.

Feedback and compliments

We appreciate hearing about the good things that we do – so please feel free to share your feedback and compliments or any suggestions with us by completing our online form.

Raising concerns with our service and making a complaint

As a building consent authority (BCA) we take all complaints seriously. Complaints can be related to either:

All complaints are recorded and actioned in a timely manner.

If your complaint is in relation to

  • council facilities (eg council owned buildings, reserves etc), or
  • other council functions (eg rubbish, roading, rates), or
  • you're unsure who to contact

please get in touch with our customer services team via contact us or on 0800 SELWYN.

How our complaints process works

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Contact the staff member you have been dealing with in the first instance - they will try to resolve the matter straight away

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If you're not satisfied with the outcome or want to make a formal complaint please use our complaint form

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We will let you know within 5 working days of receiving your complaint who will be dealing with it and the expected timeframe

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An investigation is carried out*

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You'll find out the outcome of the investigation within 20 working days

* Note – you may be contacted during the investigation if further details are required

Making a complaint

To make a complaint please complete our online form. Alternatively you can contact us by phone or drop in and see us.

You will need to supply us with the following information

  • date incident occurred
  • nature of complaint (submitting, vetting, processing, inspection, notice to fix, code compliance certificate, compliance schedule)
  • copies of supporting information  – you should preferably aim to provide  
    • any useful background information that will help fill any gaps in other information your provide
    • details of other parties involved in your build who are relevant to this complaint
    • a timeline of activities that led up to you raising your complaint
  • your name and contact details – to enable us to respond to you (your details will be kept confidential).

The better the quality of information that you can provide to us, the more efficient we can be in helping you with your complaint.

Please let us know your preferred method of communication so that we can use this for our interactions with you.

Resolving your complaint

Within five working days of receiving your complaint you will receive confirmation that we’ve received it, along with a name of the person carrying out the investigation.

You may be asked for further information to allow us to investigate your complaint through a fair review process. We’ll keep you informed of progress during any investigations as needed.

Our aim is to resolve complaints within 20 working days.

Your complaint will be handled by our team with sensitivity and impartiality, and by someone with the authority to resolve it.

If your complaint needs to be directed elsewhere, we’ll let you know and point you in the right direction.

There is no charge for handling complaints. If you need assistance with translation or interpreting please let us know and we can assist with this.

Appealing the outcome

You can apply to the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment for a determination if

  • you are unhappy with a decision made, or
  • choose to use an alternative route to settle your issue or dispute.

You may have already asked for an opinion or advice from the Ministry about the same question. A determination is different in that the Ministry takes a detailed look at the matter and makes a legally binding decision.

Determinations provide a way of solving disputes or questions about

  • the rules that apply to buildings
  • how buildings are used
  • building accessibility.

A determination can be about building work that is planned, partly done or completed.

In most cases a person applying for the determination disagrees with the council about decisions the council has made about a building.

However, a determination can be applied for by

  • the council, or
  • a neighbour who is affected by building work.

If you're still unhappy with the outcome of your complaint, you can appeal and request a review of the decision. Appeals must be made in writing explaining why you disagree with the decision.

Avenue for formal complaints - Licenced Building Practitioners (LBPs)

The Building Practitioners Board (the Board) is an important part of the Licensed Building Practitioner (LBP) scheme. Anyone can complain to the Board about the conduct of an LBP.

To be able to make a complaint about an LBP you need to ensure that

  1. The person you are complaining about was an LBP when the conduct occurred
  2. The conduct you are complaining about falls within one or more of the ‘grounds for discipline’ listed in section 317 of the Building Act 2004
  3. You can provide sufficient proof to support your complaint
  4. Your complaint is made on the approved form

The Board cannot hear complaints regarding payment disputes and commercial or contractual disputes, including employment disputes.

The complaint process and forms

If the trade person is not LBP registered, and the work involved is restricted building work, a complaint can be made to the Occupational Licensing Team (OLT) at the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment.

 Avenues for formal complaints - other trades

For plumbing, gas fitting, drain laying, electrical, engineering and architectural work there are respective registration bodies who can deal with any issues or complaints as follows

Alternative resolution options

There are various routes available to you should any issues happen with your build. Often the most successful way is to resolve it yourself through communicating with the people involved.

A good place to check your rights is to check the details of your contract – which should have clauses covering problem resolution process.

There are also consumer protection options available through the Building Act, Construction Contracts Act, Consumer Guarantees Act and Fair Trading Act.

You can also use third parties to help resolve issues through mediation, arbitration and adjudication. This could include taking a dispute through the Disputes Tribunal or courts.