Building Updates

Updates from the Building Department Kaipara District Council

Ian McCauley - Building Control Manager

March 2019 update

Reminder re printing & online applications

As per January update Council will only accept online applications and no longer print consent documents. This decision is consistent with the drive Nationwide to improve the efficiencies of processing and various related digital software advantages that can be gained. Kaipara is one of the last Councils to make this decision. Please refer to the professional online video for the step by step guidance and if any assistance is needed contact building support through customer services.

The question was asked that if inspectors have the specifications on their tablets why you need to print these?

The answer is that it is expected the building work will be completed in accordance with the Plans & Specifications. These must be available on site not only for the inspector but also for the builder and various contractors to refer to throughout the construction process. Any efficiencies should be gained by ensuring your designer only submits relevant documentation that supports the application. This is what will be stamped and issued. This is what needs to be printed and available on site for all parties.

If customers do not have access to scanners or printers, local businesses will assist. The other advantage with this is that you can choose to print on A2.

Note: any printing at all will charged from the 1st April. Please refer to fees & charges

Mangawhai Office renovations/ Dargaville

Customer Services office will soon be moved to the building space next door. Besides creating a better service office layout, it allows for the creation of a private meeting area where customers can meet with staff. We have also requested a computer to be set up in this room for public use. There will be a variety of uses such as Rates or invoices paid on site, viewing files and assistance with staff showing how to apply online for a building consent.

This facility will also be installed in Dargaville office. The renovations and facility is expected to be completed by the end of April early May.

More inspections in West area

In 2016 we were forced to reduce the inspection availability in West area from 3 to two days per week. The reason for this was our limited resources and the fact that at least 65% of all building work in Kaipara was done in Mangawhai. We often had only 2 or 3 inspections and lost an inspector for the whole day due to travel.  In 2017 the mayor reviewed these percentages and confirmed this was necessary at the time.

However, I am pleased to announce we have had a plan in place that will enable us to increase the available inspection days in both Central and West to 4 days.

Monday to Thursday will be available for inspections in both West & Central areas.

I believe this will be up and running in approximately 5 - 6 weeks’ time. This timeframe is due to training requirements and replacement staff.  

Apply for a PIM before the building Consent

The RMA and the Building Act are two separate major legislation. There is a bottle neck created when the PIM, Building consent are applied for all together. The Building Act was written expecting that applicants would apply for a PIM before the building consent.

The reason is that a PIM is supposed to identify any issues that may affect the design and require a change to be made. When a PIM application is made this triggers a Planning check. If Planning identify any breaches of the District Plan, this triggers the requirement for a resource consent which in turn generates the ‘Form 4’ which you will know as ‘Section 37.’

When the PIM & BC are applied for at the same time, section 37 is attached to the PIM and the Building consent.

There is a better way which will mean greater efficiency, faster process and give better control.

Planning only require a couple of plan pages i.e. site plan, elevations. Not 150 more pages of design information and specifications that the Building Consent application requires.

At the design stage apply for the PIM as soon as this basic information is concluded. Meanwhile carry on with the design in preparation for the building consent. This is easy to do and will also give you the opportunity to make any changes if the Planning check identifies the need.

By the time you are ready to submit the BC application you will already know whether a resource consent is required or not since you will have the PIM and the section 37 if applicable.

When you apply for the Building Consent, just provide the copy of the PIM with it along with the section 37. If there were changes made you simply advise us what they are and Planning check whether it makes any difference.

The software system that we use will allow us to digitally check the BC application for any changes to ensure what was checked at Planning has not changed. Or if it has, we can see it and Planning decide if the changes affect the Planning check previously done.

This whole process gives you greater time and opportunity to sort out any issues with Planning, removes the bottleneck pushed into the 20 day timeframe for both RMA & Building Act.

Sound complicated?

Simple summary

  1. Apply for a PIM as soon as the design site plan and elevations are done. You will experience the difference. Designer meanwhile carries on.
  2. Send the PIM in with the Form 4 (section 37) with your BC application and advise us if there have been any changes to what had been checked by Planning previously.  

Domestic wastewater consent applications

In 2016 KDC introduced a new Wastewater Bylaw as there is a lot of environmental concerns in Northland with failing systems and subsequent pollution. This caused me to look more closely at the quality of processing and raised some concerns.

As a result, all wastewater disposal systems since September 2018 have been processed by KDC wastewater engineer Simon Johnson. Simon has many years’ experience with this discipline having done the same work for Wilton Joubert engineers. We have found that processing these systems requires specialist knowledge and all our processors will continue to get Simons input for any applications that include Wastewater systems.

G13 of the NZ Building code cites AS/1547 as the only Acceptable solution for onsite domestic wastewater systems. TP58 is an Alternative solution commissioned by Auckland Council and is soon to be replaced with GD06 currently in the latter stages of public submission. 

There are requirements over and above these standards that Northland Regional Council require. This is why we needed a specialist who was familiar with the wide range of compliance requirements.

The key rules all designers, owners and developers need to be aware of with regard to design and installation prior to CCC are:

  • Must use KDC checklist and PS1 template 
  • Must be designed by a ‘suitably qualified person’ as per AS/NZS1547
  • A signed copy of a maintenance/servicing contract between the owner and suitably qualified wastewater contractor is now required prior to CCC being issued
  • The system must be installed as was consented and completed. This includes any planting out, fencing off and the position must be as per the consent
  • The reserve field must be identified
  •  The as built plan must include all components of the system including dripper line layout and reserve field.
  • A commissioning statement from a suitably qualified installer certifying that the installation complies with the consent.
  • The system consented must be the system installed. Any changes must be approved through the amendment process before made. The Building Act does not allow retrospective consents for work already undertaken.

Multiple Use Approval

If your designs are similar and repetitive, we recommend you look into whether applying for a Multiproof certificate. The repetitive designs and any ‘optional’ variations are sent in to MBIE for assessment and approval. If successful you are issued with a certificate which you submit with your consent application plans and specifications.

The BCA must only check that the plans and specs are the same that were approved by MBIE. The processor does this by logging on to the MBIE account and enters your certificate number. This takes him to the files where your approved plans are kept and he only compares these plans with what you submitted for a consent.

Among the several advantages this gives include:

  • Application must be processed in 10 days instead of 20
  • Processor does not process using the building code, only a plan comparison

For a detailed review whether this option is suited for your business refer to link below.


Once again, any queries or feedback, you are welcome to send to:


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