Specialist Input (Engineering Review of Design)

Consent fees and charges are based on the value of the work. The fixed fees include vetting, processing, inspections, BRANZ and MBIE levies and Code Compliance Certification.

A building consent authority must issue building consents only if it is satisfied on reasonable grounds that the proposed building work will comply with the NZ Building Code.

Applications that include structural engineering calculations can only be verified by qualified persons which involves certified engineers.

Engineering calculations or structural engineering design (SED) requires review by KDC contracting engineers since no processing officer is qualified to assess engineering calculations. This is the situation and practice of many smaller Councils across the country. Low-risk designs (e.g., residential detached dwellings up to three stories in height generally in accordance with NZS3604 or lightweight commercial structures) are able to be processed in-house.

Please note: Building consent applications involving foul water and or stormwater, which require specialist input, are currently covered under the building consent fees and charges, however this may change in future.

KDC uses a payment system that is applied at vetting stage prior to processing which does not include any engineering review component for the reasons given above. Kaipara District Council, as with most other smaller building consent authorities does not have in-house engineers but contract engineers who review SED elements. The review is primarily required for medium (such as sites with complex geotechnical or stability issues, specific design residential or light commercial buildings, etc.) and high-risk designs (such as work involving design or construction of complex buildings of importance level 3, 4, and 5 or multi-storey buildings; complex specific design or envelope design).

Applicants have the option to provide a PS2 (engineering design review) from their own CPEng. This would usually negate the need for KDC engineer to review and assess the calculations.  High-risk design work is however subject to either a peer review or regulatory review; the decision as to which option is agreeable is at the sole discretion of the Building Consent Authority. High-risk reviews are performed either by:

  • a suitably qualified expert appointed by Council; or
  • a suitably qualified expert proposed by the applicant and agreed to by Council.

If an applicant chooses to submit a design review for a high-risk structure and Council has not agreed beforehand to the Design Reviewer providing the PS2, Council may engage the necessary expertise and conduct a regulatory review. The cost of the regulatory review including the cost of any external experts is to be borne by the applicant for building consent

A PS2 (design review) is an issued document that underpins a detailed design review by a CPENG that must not be professionally associated with the engineer that issued the PS1 (design).

The KDC contract engineers review is not a ‘PS2’ but rather a review of the structural design.

Occasionally for complex engineering designs a PS2 will be requested from the KDC engineer since a peer review (PS2) is a far more detailed review than what KDC engineer undertakes.

Please refer to Council's Fees & Charges.

‘Professional services and specialist input costs if required will be passed on to applicants as invoiced plus the cost of an administration fee.’


  1. Example of some of the type of consents requiring Specialist review – Applications with - a reasonable sized set of engineer’s calculations, complex Geotech - H1 soils, sloping site, Retaining walls - particularly those supporting a dwelling, Unusual materials - lightweight concrete, odd timber species, screw piles or Surefoot piles, Odd shaped foundation slabs or waffle slabs - L or H shape; Applications with R3 complexity; etc.
  2. Specialist charges may vary, even considerably higher, depending upon the complexity of the project/SED involved. The charges are a total of specialist invoice/fees plus GST.