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What is a determination?

A determination is a decision made by the chief executive of the Department of Building and Housing. It provides a way of solving disputes or questions about whether something complies with the Building Code or decisions made by BCAs, councils and regional authorities under the Building Act.

What is a notice to fix?

Where building work has been found to not comply with the regulations, the council will issue a notice to fix.  This specifies exactly what is wrong, what needs to be done to correct the problem and when it needs to be done by.  A failure to comply with a notice to fix can result in fines up to $200,000 with a further $20,000 a day until the work is completed.

I have received a notice to fix, what do I have to do?

A notice to fix may require the owner to:

•        apply for an additional building consent to carry out the remedial work

•        apply for an amendment to the existing consent

•        complete the work required

•        remove the work not covered by the consent

apply for a Certificate of Acceptance.

What is a Code Compliance Certificate?

The Code Compliance Certificate (CCC) confirms that the work has met the requirements of the Building Code 2004 and has been built in accordance with the approved plans.

What type of applications can be lodged with the Nationally Significant Proposals Division of the EP

Matters (applications for resource consents, notices of requirement or requests for regional plans or private plan changes) can be lodged directly with the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA). The point of applying directly to the EPA, instead of to the relevant council, is to obtain a more streamlined decision-making process. The Minister can only refer a matter to a board of inquiry or the Environment Court that is or is part of a proposal of national significance. So you should not lodge a matter with the EPA unless you think it is nationally significant.

What is a Board of Inquiry?

A Board of Inquiry is an independent body appointed to make a decision on a project of national significance.

What is a hearing Commissioner?

A commissioner is a person appointed by a council to carry out statutory decision-making duties on the council’s behalf, or to serve as an independent adviser to the council in the making of those statutory decisions.

Commissioners may be generally classified as:

  • internal commissioners – who are appointed from within a council
  • independent commissioners – who are not a member of the council i.e. appointed from outside the elected members or staff of a council.

Commissioners cannot:

  • approve a proposed policy statement or plan; or
  • delegate any powers or functions delegated to them.

These powers are given to a council only.


Commissioners can be delegated powers in respect of:

  • making decisions on proposed policy statements, proposed plans, variations or plan changes (other than approval)
  • making decisions on resource consent applications and recommendations on notices of requirement
  • making decisions on the notification or non-notification of resource consents
  • making decisions in regard to the service of an application
  • making decisions on plan changes or variations and on submissions to plan changes (other than declaring a plan change operative)
  • reviewing resource consent conditionsproviding advice on technical or procedural matters in assisting councils to make decisions on particular applications.