The Consent Process

What is Resource Consent and What is Building Consent?

Often in the building process, consent is required by the local council, as regulated by Government statute through the Resource Management Act 1991 and the Building Act 2004. The former Act deals with resource consent while the latter Act concerns building consent. Both forms of consent are relevant to the building process. 

There are two forms of consent relevant to the building process: building consent and resource consent. These types of consent are generally important as they ensure the building, land and other resources are safe or protected from future changes and implications through the  building process. Building consent is often required for new-builds and renovation projects. In addition, sometimes resource consent must be obtained by the local council for changes that impact the wider environment of the site. This is not always the case, however, architects guide whether resource consent is required for a project or whether building consent will only apply. Each consent takes approximately 20 business days to be processed.

Building consent, like resource consent, is a form of formal approval. It is granted by the local council of which regulations are made via the Building Act. Essentially, the building consent permits a person to conduct building work. This building work includes construction, demolition, clearance or physical changes to buildings. Consent will be issued by local councils on the premise that proposed building plans meet Building Code standards. Builders cannot begin such work until building consent is granted. There are some exceptions to this, for example, building decks under 1 metre in height. 

Resource consent is more stringent and not required as often as building consent due to the nature of what it requires. It is formal approval to use and obtain resources such as the use or subdivision of land or water usage. Not only new-builds may require resource consent but also existing builds that are to be renovated. 

Put simply, a resource consent regards concerns over environmental implications and effects on people, whereas, building consent regards specific construction details and building regulations. 

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