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Building Consents Going Online

Local News Our Work
PUBLISHED: 23 OCT 2020

Forget the hours of form-filling and forests’ worth of trees - our building consent process is going digital. 

The modern, start-to-finish building consent process has been launched, allowing people to apply, pay for and track their application until they get a decision on their computer, smartphone or tablet. Anyone wanting a consent can go to bc.npdc.govt.nz, where you can complete the whole transaction online within minutes.  

The digital option comes as our $20 million Back On Our Feet measures help to keep the building sector humming with consents issued through June, July and August up by about 30 per cent to 383 compared with 293 for the same time last year. Fees and charges for the coming year have been dropped or cut to encourage the building sector and the Home Energy Scheme has been expanded so ratepayers can make their homes greener while providing work for tradies.

The move to digital will complement our existing online, phone and front-of-house services, says NPDC Group manager Community and Customer Services Teresa Turner.

“We understand a lot of people live busy lives and rarely have enough time in their working day, so this should help make the task of applying for a building consent easier and more convenient,” said Ms Turner.

“It will also contribute to a Zero Waste future by cutting paper use, but we’ll still be available to answer questions and help on the phone or at one of our service centres.”

The system has undergone comprehensive testing to ensure it is working properly and secure, Ms Turner adds.

We process about 2,000 building consent applications each year. Anyone previously wanting a consent could access the application form online, order an email version and pay for it with online banking.

However, a paper copy of the completed form had to be delivered to NPDC, or faxed or emailed with payment. The new system allows customers to submit their application online and use other online payment methods including credit cards.

Fast facts:

  • If you’re planning to build, you may need a resource consent and/or a building consent.
  • New buildings must comply with two key laws: the Resource Management Act (RMA) 1991 and the Building Act 2004.
  • NPDC uses its District Plan to define how land is used within the RMA, eg whether it’s residential or industrial.
  • The Building Act covers the construction, alteration, demolition and maintenance of new and existing buildings.