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Guidance documentation – during construction

This section contains information on building consent amendments, minor variations, record of work examples, third-party inspections and preconstruction meetings for recladding.

Building consent amendments 

If you wish to make changes to your building consent, you can apply for a minor variation or an amendment. A minor variation or amendment must be granted before the building work is carried out.

It is also handy to know the difference between the requirements for an amendment and a minor variation. Discuss with the inspector on site, whether the changes you require need to be applied for as an amendment or can be completed on site as a minor variation.

To avoid delays, it is best to;

  • Apply as soon as possible.
  • If the work contains restricted design work, ensure a new certificate of design is supplied covering the changes.
  • Supply a cover letter detailing the changes and pages affected.
  • Supply only the plan sheets that have been amended, supplying a complete new set of drawings will require the plans to be fully reviewed to ensure they are compliant to building code requirements.
  • Amendment application drawings should be presented the same as drawings for a new alterations to an existing building. Showing the existing build and then showing how that build is to be changed.
  • Ensure all relevant supporting information for the changes has been supplied, for example a change of cladding system supply relevant manufacturer installation details and specification and all supporting appraisals (same as when applying for a consent).
  • If the change is an alternate solution to the acceptable solutions, supply all the information and a letter how the alternate system meets the performance criteria of the Building code. (Please note more than one code clause will be applicable so remember to look at the big picture. For example with a cladding system that is alternate solution not just E2 is relevant, B2 and other code clauses may be affected as well.)
  • Clearly note on the revised plans the new revision date and sheet revision number.

Documents required on-site

A complete set of all stamped approved building consent documents need to be on site in printed hard copy for the inspector, for all inspections. Keep the set clean and separate from other construction documents. That is; stamped approved plans, construction specification and support documents. This also includes all specialist reports e.g. Fire safety and egress. If in doubt please discuss with the inspector on site.

The inspector will fail an inspection if these documents are not available. This failed inspection is a cost charge on the project.

A minor variation is a minor modification, addition, or variation to a building consent.

It doesn’t deviate significantly from the plans and specifications that were approved with the consent.

You could use comparable products (for example, substituting an internal lining for a similar one), make a minor wall bracing change, make a minor construction change (such as changing the framing method used around a window), or change a room's layout (like changing the position of fixtures in a bathroom or kitchen).

A minor variation doesn’t include any building work where compliance with the building code isn’t required. For example, a change can happen without the need to seek approval for a minor variation such as:

  • built-in shelving, storage units or seating in a residential dwelling
  • changing most wall coverings in a residential dwelling from paint to wallpaper
  • kitchen or bathroom joinery carcasses 
  • skirting, ceiling covering or decorative mouldings.

Sometimes the requested change is not a minor variation, and must be submitted as an amendment. For example a change of cladding, a change of footprint, or variations relating to a department within Council other than building services (e.g. Council assets (development contributions), finished floor level or daylighting (planning) or stormwater (development engineering).

Submitting an application for a minor variation

If you’ve started work, but you need to make a small change to your consented plans, you need to:

  • Stop work on that particular part of the project
  • Complete the On-site application for minor variations to approved plans below
  • Book an inspection, notifying us that this inspection is for
    • the relevant inspection type (e.g. Framing)
    • a minor variation.
Form Online PDF Word
On-site application for minor variations to approved plans - (64kb pdf) (259kb word)
On-site application for minor variations to approved plans for Plumbing and Drainage only - (60kb pdf) (259kb word)

Manage the application

  • You should have a copy of the following on site for the inspection:
    • completed application form
    • amended plans
    • Memorandum from a licensed building practitioner - Certificate Of design work
  • Most minor variations will require written approval from the owner
  • Note that if these documents are not available on site at the time of the inspector’s site visit, the inspection will be failed and you will be charged
  • In the course of the inspection, plans and construction documents will be reviewed and stamped (dated, approved and signed)
  • Post-inspection, you will need to upload a PDF version of all documents to the online building consent system and keep a copy on site. Be sure to:
    • Use the file naming convention Minor Variation e.g. Minor Variation Framing
    • Load into Other Documents tab on the Online Booking System

Please note that Council staff cannot accept hardcopy documents on site. It is the applicant’s responsibility to upload documents.

If the proposed work falls outside the definition of a minor variation, you must apply online for an amendment. 

Online building consent system

Standard inspection checklist

T-801A - Standard inspection checklist (320kb pdf)

Record of work forms

We are no longer accepting incomplete record of work forms. See below some examples of correctly completed record of work forms:

For Bricklayers (205kb pdf) For carpentry (248kb pdf) For external plastering (210kb pdf)
For foundations (213kb pdf) For roofers (265kb pdf)

Third party inspections

Note: The Third party form has to have been agreed, approved and signed by the area supervisor prior to the work commencing. 

The applicant must phone the area supervisor (below) to discuss this.

Johann Schryvers - Pyes Pa/Welcome Bay, phone 027 2186 234, email johann.schryvers@tauranga.govt.nz
Hamish Alexander - Papamoa/Mt Maunganui, phone 027 275 9820, email hamish.alexander@tauranga.govt.nz
James Vincent - Bethlehem/Central, phone 027 319 7115, email james.vincent@tauranga.govt.nz 

A first inspection (ground check/foundations) third party request, can either be:

  1. booked with the supervisor for the area and discussed on site, or
  2. alternatively, phone the supervisor for the area to discuss.

If Council agrees, then the third-party application is to be filled out by the applicant and emailed to the supervisor.

The supervisor will complete Council's part of the application form, email it back to the applicant and upload the completed approved form to the online consent portal.

The applicant must keep a copy on site as this is considered to be part of the consent documentation.

Engineer inspection notes and any relevant documentation must be uploaded to the consent portal as soon as the inspections are completed.

This will be followed up on completion of all inspections with a PS4 producer statement from the Chartered Professional Engineer, (CPEng).

Any requested location certificates or Engineers Ground check certification must be loaded to the consent portal and be accepted by Council before any concrete is placed.

Please note: Section 90 of the Building Act sets out requirements for inspections by Building Consent Authorities.

Inspections in certain circumstances may be carried out by owners’ agents if sufficient evidence is presented to ensure that their quality assurance system will result in the building work being compliant with the Building Code.

Guidance note for filling out the T-501 Third Party Inspections form T-501 Guidance form (196kb pdf) 

Applicants must complete the T-501 form - T-501 (196kb pdf) or T-501 (135kb word doc) - and have this granted before work can commence.

Council reserves the right to audit.

Third party reports

Pre-construction meeting

The first inspection is to be carried out before any physical work is started on site.

At this inspection, the building consent officer will discuss:

  • your plans
  • approved scope of work
  • the construction sequence for each elevation
  • waterproofing of building wrap
  • inspection process
  • finished floor level

The construction sequence determines the number of inspections required, and may affect the CCC inspection charges.

Council is required to inspect/sight all of the framing before any building wrap is installed. This will determine what framing, if any is to be replaced.

All replacement framing must be inspected before any building wrap is installed.

During the council framing inspections, the Inspector will photograph any damaged framing before and after replacement, and record its location.

Failure to have all framing inspected will result in the inspector requesting the building wrap to be removed.

If you wish to use a council-approved building surveyor to assess the framing instead of a council inspector, then please discuss this with us.

The first inspection is to be carried out before any physical work is started on site.

At this inspection, the building consent officer will discuss:

  • your plans
  • approved scope of work
  • a check of Form 5
  • requirements for chartered professional engineer inspections/producer statements

These discussions will help determine the number of council inspections that will be required.

If the builder wishes to use an engineer in lieu of any required council inspection, then the application for a third party inspection will be discussed. 

All on-site verbal communication is recorded by the building consent officer on the inspection report.

Last Reviewed: 17/05/2022

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