What is building consent?

Anything to do with construction, alteration, demolition or removal of a building needs to be approved by us before it starts, unless your work is exempt or there is an emergency.

Building consent is confirmation that proposed building, plumbing, drainage and safety requirements comply with the Building Code and Building Act (2004).

You can refer to our handy guide to help you through the building process: 

Carry Out a Building Project

Do I need building consent?

You need building consent before you can start building work unless your work is exempt or there is an emergency. There are a few exceptions to this listed in Schedule 1 of the Building Act (2004).

Meet with us to discuss your proposal or ideas before you prepare and submit your building consent application. Every building project must comply with the Resource Management Act (1991), the Building Act (2004) and meet the minimum requirements of the Building Code – even if no building consent is required.

Use this handy tool to find out if you need building consent.

Where does it fit within the development process?

You cannot start any building work unless you get building consent first, your work is exempt, or there is an emergency. We aim to process building consent applications within 20 working days.

Fees you can expect

Fees are due when building consent is granted.

The amount you pay depends on:

  • the complexity of your project
  • the value of the proposed finished building.

You may also need to pay additional fees, such as:

  • a government levy, depending on the value of the project
  • for additional Council investigations
  • for a further Council review if you change your plans once building consent is granted.

You can pay online or in person.

Keep costs down by:

  • having a pre-application meeting with us to help you make informed decisions about your application
  • making sure your application includes all the relevant information and reports so we can process it quickly and efficiently.

Here are the fees you might need to pay when applying for building consent.

Building Consents
Building Consent fees are excluding document management fees. Additional fees may also apply - see additional building consent related fees. Building consent fees are owed once you have submitted your application and will be required to be paid in full before granting.
Solar and retrofit insulation Free
Minor Works $541.00
Spa pools $1,286.00
Swimming Pools $1,286.00
Garages $1,397.00
Small Building Works $1,397.00
Outbuilding Habitable $2,382.00
Alterations and Additions $2,587.00
Dwelling Single Storey $5,176.00
Dwelling 2 Storey $7,001.00
Dwelling 3 Storey or More $10,858.00
Attached Residential Units
Attached Residential Units plus per unit charge after 1st unit per unit $2,365.00
Demolition Residential $1,079.00
Demolition Commercial $1,286.00
Commercial Minor Works
(including but not limited to installing a steel beam, installation of a sink, installation of a door)
Small Commercial building works $2,382.00
Internal Fit out and Alterations <= $500,000 $4,730.00
Up to 2 Storey <= $1,000,000 $8,809.00
More than 2 storeys and/or > $1,000,000 $12,109.00
More than 2 storeys and/or > $1,000,000 plus additional hourly rate where applicable per hour $206.00
Request for Further Information during processing - minimum of 1 hour charged per hour $206.00

Step 1: YOU

What you need to know

Before you plan any building work, talk to Council or visit the Build Waikato website for detailed information on everything you need to know about building in the Waikato.

Subscribe to our Hard Hat Chat newsletter to keep up to date with what’s happening at Council and get an overview of changes in legislation affecting the industry.


Handy documents

A couple of useful documents to refer to when planning building work.

District Plan

Planning map with natural hazard area locations

Building consent pre-application meeting

Before applying for building consent, book a pre-application meeting with one of our Building Support Officers. They will go through your application to ensure all the documentation is correct. 

If you're submitting a hardcopy application a pre-application meeting is required. When applying through our online portal it is optional.

Meetings are held every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Contact us to make an appointment or for information on processes and requirements for building.

Step 2: YOU

Make a booking


What to expect from us

We aim to process building consent applications within 20 working days. 

Once you’ve applied, view what stage of the process your consent is at online. 

Show me the timeline in the online portal 

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Last updated 8 July 2022