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Source: Whangarei District Council

This page contains a news story about new Building Act exemptions allowing for certain home renovation to be done as “Do It Yourself” projects.

Updated: 23/06/2020 9:52 a.m.

​With the Government’s announcement of new rules for low risk building projects coming into effect later this year, homeowners, engineers and designers need to be aware that specific details are yet to come. The proposed exemptions are:

  • larger single-storey detached buildings up to 30 square metres

  • carports with a maximum floor area of 40 square metres

  • awnings

  • verandas and porches

  • outdoor fireplaces or ovens

  • flexible water storage bladders for irrigation and firefighting only, up 200,000 litres in storage capacity

  • short-span bridges on private land without public access

  • detached single-storey pole sheds and hay barns

Whangarei District Council Manager – Building Control Paul Cook says that home owners need to be aware of all the implications of the changes to the Building Act, before beginning any home DIY.

“Just because it is exempt under the Building Act, does not mean that the Resource Management Act (RMA) or local bylaws or engineering standards are met. Some of these areas need the same level of design and engineering input as a consent.”

“Proposals will still be required to comply with the Whangarei District Plan; if a building can’t meet the permitted activity rules, then resource consent approval will be needed.” 

Paul Cook added that a number of potential issues still needed to be resolved going forward.

“The removal of requirement for a building consent (which would usually trigger a planning check) means areas such as hazard assessment (stablility/instability), compliance with District Plan rules, connection to services, accuracy in property rating (capital improvements) and Development Contributions could be overlooked.”

“Anyone considering home DIY should get familiar with the changes to Schedule 1 of the Building Act (found on the and websites), to be sure they’re not compromising the value and compliance of their property”.