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Permits Overview



We get a lot of questions about how the permits work around building a new home, and we acknowledge the fact that understanding and working through the different permits that are needed can be a bit like negotiating a mine field. So we’ve decided to make ourselves useful and create a series all about permits, starting with an overview of getting the necessary permits for your new home.


We’ve been closely involved in the permit process since 2004 – for better or worse – and we’ve found it useful to look at permits in 3 categories. So this first blog is an overview of all the different permits, and in three successive blogs we’ll drill down into the detail a lot more.


By the way, if you would rather watch our video on this topic, click the play button below, otherwise, jump below and keep reading!


YouTube video


So if we step back for a minute and look at why permits are needed. Over the past few decades, the government and councils have steadily and significantly increased the rules and regulations around building a new home, and the way these rules and regs are enforced is through the permit system. To make sure the homeowner and builder and any else involved do the right thing and comply with the laws, you have to apply for a permit.


The three categories are

1. Planning

2. Building, and

3. Sundry.


Planning is more about the site rather than the home.


It’s about how the site will accommodate the home and how the occupants will use the site and the home. One key point we want to make really clear about planning permits is that not every site needs one. If the proposed ‘use’ of the site meets all predetermined conditions of the site, amongst a few other things which we’ll drill down into in the next blog, then a planning permit isn’t needed.


The next one is a building permit. This is more about the home itself – getting down to the Nitty gritty detail. It looks at engineering, plans, how it meets the building code for both design and construction and a host of other minor details. One point to note here is that this is the only permit that every new home build needs without fail – there are simply no exemptions to this.


And then we come to the third category – which is made up of a heap of sundry or peripheral permits. These include a septic permit if you’re on a rural property and will be needing a wastewater treatment plant. ResCode consent is another one. This refers to getting an exemption from compliance with the residential code on suburban blocks – more in this in a future blog.


Asset protection permit is another one that’s sometimes needed, which involves the protection of any council assets that may be used in the building process. And another classic we see from time to time is flood prone sites needing a permit – or type of permit – that specifies how high you need to build above the ground.


Ok, so that’s an overview of the three categories. Just to recap, every new home build will need a building permit – the detail of the home itself. And many sites will need a planning permit – especially smaller rural sites, but not all sites will need it.


And then there may be other permits needed depending on the location of your site, what services are available, and a few other varying factors.


So the next blog will delve into the detail of the planning permit – well worth reading – but one thing we want to emphasize is that the days of the homeowners handling their own permits are over.


We’re seeing a significant increase in the amount of detail that the council’s are requiring and as a result, we’ve been getting involved retrospectively where the homeowner has tried to apply for a planning permit themselves and it hasn’t worked.


Get a professional involved – someone like us – and you won’t go wrong. Thanks for reading and we’ll get stuck into the next blog.


As always, feel free to ask for more information!

Disclaimer. This blog is our opinion only. The information provided in our blogs is accurate and true to the best of our knowledge, but there may be omissions, errors or mistakes. The information presented in our blogs is for informational purposes only and we are not professionals, so the content we provide shouldn’t be taken as legal advice. We strongly recommend consulting with a professional before taking any sort of action. We reserve the right to change how we manage our blog and we may change the focus or content at any time.

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