Is there a legal requirement to follow the guidelines for foundation repair or rebuild on TC3 land?

  • What can a resident do to ensure the viability of their build?
  • Do they have a right to challenge or refuse the guidelines?
  • Can they demand consent exemption and can they clarify what falls under consent?
  • Can people request consent for work and can the councils clarify what falls under an exemption here in Canterbury?

A meeting is requested with MBIE to discuss this further so we can frame the question to incorporate a large issue.

Asked: 9 April 2013

Category: Consents, Foundations

Answers

Waimakariri District Council

15 October 2014

Waimakariri District Council advises:

Is there a legal requirement to follow the guidelines for foundation repair or rebuild on TC3 land?

No but you would be hard pressed to get a consent granted unless the guidelines had been followed as these reflect substantial expert technical advice. In a hypothetical case where the guidelines were not followed a Council would be seeking substantial evidence of how the proposed design would work and they would refer to the guidelines to test the suitability of the proposed design.

What can a resident do to ensure the viability of their build?

When you say viability we interpret this to mean durability, fitness of purpose. In this context prove compliance with the relevant sections of the Building Code.

Do they have a right to challenge or refuse the guidelines?

It will depend upon the nature of the solution proposed

Can they demand consent exemption and can they clarify what falls under consent?

The consent application must specify the scope of works which will be covered by the application. If you are asking if an applicant can demand (your words) that some building works which should be included in the consented works are not included? The answer is yes if that building work does not require a building consent because it is exempt under schedule 1 or has been exempted by Council under section K of schedule 1. Anyone can apply to council for exemption from the requirement for a building consent. For the Council to be satisfied building work can be exempted they need to consider

  • the work is unlikely to be carried out otherwise than in accordance with the building code; or
  • if carried out otherwise than in accordance with the building code, is unlikely to endanger people or any building, whether on the same land or on other property.

 

See all answers from Waimakariri District Council >

Christchurch City Council

24 March 2015

Christchurch City Council advises:

Is there a legal requirement to follow the guidelines for foundation repair or rebuild on TC3 land?

There is no legal requirement to apply a solution from the guidance document when seeking a building consent.
The law requires that all building work comply with the New Zealand Building Code, regardless of whether a consent is required or not.
The MBIE guidance is a means of complying with the requirement for work to comply with the Building Code but is not the only way.
Where a method other than the guidance document is used it must comply with the Building Code.

The guidance document is designed to provide pre-determined solutions that are known to be effective for complex land types and save the need for individual designers and engineers needing to produce their own solutions independently.

What can a resident do to ensure the viability of their build?

Property owners are free to engage independent advice. A second opinion can sometimes have some value, even if it's just to give you a feeling of comfort that the right choices have been made for your situation.

Do they have a right to challenge or refuse the guidelines?

Application of guidance can be questioned to some extent. Many aspects of the guidance make recommendations for building designs that may perform better than what existed before due to the shape or weight of the building but there is no legal requirement to build in these ways. It may be more difficult to design a building that will perform better than an existing one if these principals are not applied. For example replacing an existing house that was constructed with brick cladding and concrete tile roof with the same thing may be very difficult to achieve on TC3 land and may not perform as well as a building with a concrete floor, weatherboard cladding and long run roof.

Can they demand consent exemption and can they clarify what falls under consent?

The Building Act places the responsibility to obtain the correct regulatory approval, consent or exemption with the property owner. Where insurers, designers or builders are involved they may act on your behalf to obtain these approvals or make decisions about whether the work is exempt as of right.

The 1st schedule of the Building Act describes the work that can be done without the need to obtain a building consent. Council can also make decisions on a case by case basis for certain types of low risk work where owners or their agents make an application for an exemption decision.

A meeting is requested with MBIE to discuss this further so we can frame the question to incorporate a large issue.

The Council is happy to meet.

Can people request consent for work and can the councils clarify what falls under an exemption here in Canterbury?

The definition of whether a project needs a building consent and/or a resource consent or not falls under the requirements of the Building Act 2004 and the Resource Management Act 1991 respectively. As a property owner you can request that proposed building work goes through the consent process i.e. make a building consent application. It is a fair assumption that many rebuild works, especially where there are any structural considerations (such as foundations), will require building consent. Completing the building consent process right through to code compliance means you will have documented assurance that you have carried out all legal steps. It is important that building owners understand that meeting the New Zealand Building Code is their legal responsibility.

Contact the Council about your project early, before you have finalised your concept designs, to find out if you need a building consent and/or a resource consent or if the proposed work is exempt under Schedule One of the Building Act. Each application for a building consent or consideration for exemptions is considered on a case-by-case basis i.e. will the proposed works meet the New Zealand Building Code. For example, the Government's technical categories were designated as a response to the Canterbury Earthquakes but any foundation specifications for TC3 must meet the New Zealand Building Code.

Read about work that generally does not require a building consenthttp://www.building.dbh.govt.nz/bc-no-consent [www.dbh.govt.nz]

Read about work that is exempt for Canterbury only http://resources.ccc.govt.nz/files/CDEM/InfoForHomeownersOrBuildingPractitioners.pdf [PDF]

Read about work that is exempt for Christchurch City Council only http://resources.ccc.govt.nz/files/Homeliving/buildingplanning/forms/B390_ExemptionInformationSheet.pdf [PDF]

We strongly recommend you engage professionals who have a sound understanding of the Building Act, the Resource Management Act and the rebuild context.

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Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment

20 June 2013

Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment advises:

Is there a legal requirement to follow the guidelines for foundation repair or rebuild on TC3 land?

No. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) guidelines have been issued as guidance only, so there is no legal requirement to follow them. There is a legal requirement that all building work must comply with the Building Code.

MBIE's technical guidance aims to provide foundation solutions that will comply with the Building Act 2004 and the Building Code. The guidance has been endorsed by the Christchurch City, Waimakariri and Selwyn District Councils, and if followed, will result in building consents being issued.

What can a resident do to ensure the viability of their build?

All building work must comply with the Building Code and you can take steps to ensure that your work complies with the Building Code.
All building work requires a building consent unless it is exempt under the Building Act 2004. Exempt work is usually only simple and low-risk work. Talk to your local building consent authority (usually the local council) to see whether your work needs a building consent or can be done without one. All work, whether it requires consent or not, must comply with the Building Code.

A building consent is issued by a building consent authority (BCA) if it is satisfied that the application for building consent demonstrates how the proposed building work complies with Building Code. The work will be inspected by a BCA official at various stages of the work, and on completion of the work, the BCA will issue a code compliance certificate, as long as it is satisfied that the work complies with the building consent. As the homeowner you are ultimately responsible for ensuring the building work has a building consent and a code compliance certificate.

Also, ensure you have the right people working on your home. Work critical to the structure of the building is known as Restricted Building Work and must be done by a Licensed Building Practitioner. To search the register of Licensed Building Practitioners and to find out more information go to www.dbh.govt.nz/lbp http://www.dbh.govt.nz/lbp

Do they have a right to challenge or refuse the guidelines?

We suggest that if you don't want to follow the MBIE guidance you discuss this with your insurer and/or EQC, and the local building consent authority (usually the local council) first.
Can they demand consent exemption and can they clarify what falls under consent?
All building work must comply with the Building Code. All building work requires a building consent unless it is exempt under the Building Act 2004. Exempt work is usually only simple and low-risk work. Talk to your local council to see whether your work needs a building consent or can be done without one.

A meeting is requested with MBIE to discuss this further so we can frame the question to incorporate a large issue.
There is further useful information on line at http://canterburyresidentialrebuild.govt.nz/tc3/foundation-guidelines.http://canterburyresidentialrebuild.govt.nz/tc3/foundation-guidelines Should you still require a face to face meeting after reviewing the available information we suggest that your issues may be better addressed by your local council.

Can people request consent for work and can the councils clarify what falls under an exemption here in Canterbury?

This link provides information on work that doesn’t require consent http://www.dbh.govt.nz/UserFiles/File/Publications/Building/Guidance-information/pdf/dbh-guide-for-building-work-consent-not-required.pdf[PDF www.dbh.govt.nz]http://www.dbh.govt.nz]/

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