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Technical Library: Plumbing


Building consent

Is it required before my part of the work starts?
Building without consent is considered an offense.

Plumbing and drainage needs to be within the legal boundaries of the Resource Management Act 1991, and Building act 2004 and the Plumbers Gasfitters and Drainlayers Act 2006.

Building without consent, when consent is required is considered an offense.

Plumbing and drainage needs to be suitable for the infrastructure and environment and consent allows the council to regulate this.

Consent ensures that work is carried out to a standard that is safe and durable. This is for current and future users of the property. Ensuring you have consent does also avoid those excess and costly maintenance issues.

The Building Consent Process

It is the responsibility of the owner to obtain appropriate consent. It is the role of territorial authority to issue consent (i.e. regional council).

They will need to establish what the proposed work is and whether it will need consent.

In relation to plumbing and drainlaying work, consent is needed for:

- alterations and additions

- installing or altering plumbing and drainage (some minor work is exempt)

- new buildings and relocation.

If unsure look at your regional council website - they’ll have guidelines available.

Once it is established that consent is needed, the owner will then need to apply for consent by providing the appropriate information required by the council.

Councils will have checklist of what is required and the appropriate forms available.

Consent will is issued once the application is approved and the appropriate fee is paid. But do note that the building consent will lapse if the build is not started within 12 months.

During the process, the council will need to inspect the work to make sure it is up to standard.

This is normally done at different stages during the build eg. Subfloor (make sure underfloor piping meets standards).

Pre-line (before walls are closed up), and code of compliance when upon completion.

Inspections need to be carried out and passed before the build can go to the next stage and on final completion a Code of Compliance Certificate is issued.

Contact the Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board

Phone: 0800 743 262, Email:, Post: PO Box 10655, The Terrace, Wellington 6143
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