4. Applying for a code compliance certificate
A code compliance certificate states that the consented building work has been completed in accordance with the approved building consent and associated plans, specification and documents. It confirms the project has been legally constructed in accordance with the building code and all inspections have been carried out to our satisfaction.
Where a compliance schedule is required as a result of the building work, we will need to be satisfied that the specified systems in the building are capable of performing to the performance standards set out in the building consent.
How do I apply for a code compliance certificate?
An application for a code compliance certificate must be submitted as soon as reasonably practicable after the building work is completed OR within 24 months of the building consent being granted.
The content and detail of the plans and supporting material for the code compliance certificate is set out in the approved building consent conditions.
We must decide whether to grant an application within 20 working days from receipt of all required information if we are satisfied on reasonable grounds that the building work complies with the approved building consent.
We’ll engage expert consultants to assess an application to make sure the completed dam complies with the Building Code.
You can make your application via post or by delivering it personally to our customer services counter at 200 Tuam Street, Christchurch or 75 Church Street, Timaru.
How much will it cost?
The applicant will need to meet the costs incurred by us in processing the code compliance certificate application. The cost of processing a code compliance certificate is generally time-based. Costs include:
- Our time in processing the application
- Our actual costs in engaging external contractors with the required technical expertise to assist with the processing of the application
All costs must be paid before the code compliance certificate is issued and may be paid using internet banking, credit card and in person.
Costs are set out on pages 21–22 of our Fees and Charges Policy (PDF file, 468KB).
Further information requests
It is not unusual for additional information to be needed during the processing stage.
If a request for further information is made, the statutory consent processing timeframe will be suspended until the additional information is received.
Frequently asked questions
There are currently no dam safety provisions in the Building Act 2004. However, the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment are currently working on a dam safety scheme and hope to progress this soon.
What this means for dam owners is that while there is currently no legislative framework for dam safety in New Zealand, there is guidance in the New Zealand Society of Large Dams (SOLD) Dam Safety Guidelines, Module 5 “Dam Safety Management”. In particular:
- Responsibility for the dam rests with the dam owner (Principle 4)
- Dam safety management systems, commensurate with the consequences of dam failure and incorporating policies, procedures and responsibilities, should be in place for all dams (Principle 5)
- All reasonable efforts should be made to mitigate accidental releases, dam safety incidents and dam failures (Principle 6)
In some situations, it may be necessary for the public to use or access part of the dam prior to the issue of a code compliance certificate.
People who own, occupy, or control a dam may apply for a certificate of public use using form F015 Application for certificate of public use (PDF File, 223.39KB) where a building consent has been granted and no code compliance certificate has been issued for the work.
Section 112 of the Building Act 2004 provides that Environment Canterbury will not grant a building consent for the alteration of an existing building unless it is satisfied that, after the alteration, the building:
- will comply as nearly as reasonably practicable with the provisions of the building code relating to means of escape from fire and access and facilities for persons with disabilities; and
- will continue to comply with the provisions of the building code to at least the same extent as before the alteration.
These requirements may be waived, if we are satisfied that the alteration will result in improvements relating to escape from fire or to disability facilities or access; and that these improvements will outweigh the detriment likely to arise as a result of non-compliance with relevant building code provisions.
Sections 114 and 115 of the Building Act 2004 provide that a dam owner must give notice to Environment Canterbury if they propose to change the use of an existing dam. Environment Canterbury may issue a notice confirming that the dam, in its new use, will continue to comply with the building code, including in relation to means of escape from fire, protection of other property, sanitary facilities, structural and fire rating performance, and access and facilities for people with disabilities (if applicable).
In this context, a change of use is where a dam or its appurtenant structure(s) are no longer used for the sole purpose of impounding fluid. A change in how the impounded water is used does not constitute a change in use.
Some dams are built with an intended life of less than 50 years (s113 Building Act 2004) as provided for in the building consent.
The owner of a dam with a specified intended life must remove or demolish the building on or before the end of that life, unless the regional authority has given it written consent to extend the life. Environment Canterbury can only give consent to extend the intended life of the building if:
- the building has been altered in accordance with any condition imposed on it by Environment Canterbury under s113(2); and
- the building complies with s112 of the Building Act 2004.
Section 116A of the Building Act provides that Environment Canterbury will not issue a certificate under section 224(f) of the Resource Management Act 1991 for the purpose of giving effect to a subdivision affecting a dam or part of a dam unless it is satisfied on reasonable grounds that the building:
- will comply as nearly as reasonably practicable with the provisions of the building code relating to means of escape from fire and access and facilities for persons with disabilities (if appropriate), and protection of other property; and
- will, if it complied with the other provisions of the building code immediately before the application for a subdivision was made, continue to comply with those provisions; OR if it did not comply with the other provisions of the building code immediately before the application for a subdivision was made, continue to comply at least to the same extent as it did then comply.