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Before you or your contractor dig...

Most of damages to underground infrastructure result from “insufficient excavations practices”. Always go to (or check our online GIS maps) before your project starts to obtain information on the location of cables, pipes and other utility assets in and around any proposed dig site. This helps to protect you and valuable public and private assets during these works.

Checklist to identify required authorisationsBuilders Pocket Guide

If you answer 'yes' to any of the questions below, you or your contractor might need to proceed with submitting an application to Council.

Ecan's Builders Pocket Guide provides easy, effective and realistic advice on how to adopt good site practice and manage your environmental impact and comply with the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA), and regional and local council rules and regulations.

InfrastructureQuestions Application(s) required
  • Does your project require alteration of the surface of any part of a road? e.g. new vehicle crossing/ placement of any pipe, duct, pole, cabinet or other structure below, on, or above the road and/or crossing a classified land drain or water race.
  • Is there any street furniture in the way (including berms, signs, safety fence, bollard etc.)?
Road usage
  • Does this project require a change to the normal operating conditions of a road?
  • Does this project require planting, trimming or removing a street tree?
  • Are there any existing poles, cables in your way?
  • For impact on electric, gas, telecommunication network, contact the utility owner directly - Check our directory for contact details
  • Check our utilities map for cabling information before any excavation work starts.
  • Does this project require change to a water connection or install a new one?
Stormwater, water races and land drainage
  • Does this project require dewatering discharge (water extracted from soil) to the stormwater network?
  • Does this project involve the alteration of a classified land drain, a water race or storm water infrastructure?
  • Does this project require the installation of new culvert ?
  • New connections: Are you connecting to our sewerage system or decommissioning an old septic tank?
  • Are you planning to discharge trade waste into our reticulated network?

Your responsibilities as a property owner

We advise property owners who are not managing their building project to contract their responsibilities to their agent/builder and to require that they submit the required applications on their behalf to Council and other regulating agencies.

All building work which impacts public infrastructures must meet the Council's urban design requirements. It is the property owner's responsibility to mitigate the effects of their building project on public infrastructure by obtaining the required authorisations from Council throughout the building process or requiring that their contractors obtain these authorisations on their behalf.

Understand the risks of not submitting the required applications to Council

  • The Council does not maintain non-compliant infrastructure. Maintenance of non-compliant infrastructure is at the owner's costs. Therefore, if you fail to submit required applications before completion of building work (e.g. a new culvert or a driveway) the work may not always comply with the Council’s urban design requirements, meaning it would be at your cost to maintain.
  • Non-compliant work may affect the sale of your property as a note may appear on your property file and LIM that identify that non-compliant work has been completed on your property.

Contracting your obligations out

  • If you're not the project manager, it still pays to know your rights and obligations in the building process so you can protect yourself and others within the law. Contracting your obligations out might be the right thing to do when dealing with a complex project or simply in order to keep your peace of mind during the build process.
  • A written contract is always a good way to ensure you and your contractor understand your rights and obligations from the start of a project. Make sure your contract spells them out. For example, your contract should include a payment schedule, a dispute resolution process and information about who does what in the building process.
  • For more information refer to the MBIE: Homeowner Rights and Obligations section.