The Building Division is responsible for the regulatory control of all building work (including plumbing) in the Invercargill/Bluff area as under the Building Act.

This is to ensure that substandard or inappropriate building materials or practices do not become a problem for building users, now or in the future. Among the division's duties and responsibilities are processing and issuing building consents, building inspections and issuing code compliance certificates.

Building WOFs and IQPs: summary

Buildings with specified systems (alarms etc) installed have ongoing requirements through the Building Warrant of Fitness regime. These will be commercial buildings unless the specified system is a cable car installed in a dwelling. A Building Warrant of Fitness (Form 12) is a statement from the building owner confirming that the systems in the building have been checked and the inspection and maintenance required (stated in the compliance schedule) for the building has complied for the previous 12 months. After a new building is constructed or existing building altered, Council will issue building owners with a compliance schedule covering requirements for any specified systems in the building.

The building owner is responsible for ensuring the requirements of the compliance schedule are met. The owner pays for an Independent Qualified Person to inspect and maintain the buildings specified systems.

  • Visit this page for more details about Building WOFs and Independent Qualified Persons.


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Dangerous, insanitary and earthquake-prone buildings

Links to Council policies dealing with:

The consent process

Building Consents icon 150pxMost building, plumbing and structural projects require a building consent or permit (written permission from the Council). This includes, for example, new buildings, alterations and extensions to existing buildings, building relocation, merry-go-rounds, marquees, scaffolding, swimming pools and spas. Building consents are concerned primarily with safety and are subject to national rules and regulations. However, buildings must also comply with the Resource Management Act and the District Plan and there may be circumstances when you will require a resource consent before you can be issued with a building consent. For more information:

Work that does not require consent

The application process

The Building Act allows the Invercargill City Council's Building Consents Authority up to 20 working days to either refuse or grant a building consent. When an application is received by the Council it is vetted for completeness and signed-off as "fit for the purpose of processing".
     The application is then entered into the Council's system and the 20 working day statutory clock commences. If the Council requires more information during processing, the application is suspended (statutory time clock stops) until the requested information is provided.
     Once the information is provided the time clock is restarted and processing continues. It is important for applicants to provide full details (as per the Council's checklists) with their applications. 

Departmental guide on building safety and warrants of fitness

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Related building information