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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 modification or addition to a building consent that does not deviate significantly from the plans and specifications to which the building consent relates (i.e. does not impact on compliance with the NZ Building Code).

On-site minor variations should be processed and approved prior to the building works commencing.

Minor variations can include (but are not limited to):

  • The brand of insulation (as long as it has the same insulation rating and does not relate to acoustics or fire ratings).
  • Minor construction change e.g. changing the framing method around a window.
  • Changing a room layout and/or the position of fixtures within a bathroom.
  • The type or location of a bracing element.
  • Changing a comparable wall lining. 

If you are not sure if a variation is minor, speak to your building inspector.

Minor changes or variations can be applied during a building inspection or via the preferred electronic application method.

Once building work has commenced, a customer may request a minor variation using the following steps:

  • Download the appropriate Minor Variation Application form below and complete it.
  • Email an application to the TCC minor variation inbox. Or,
  • Request an inspection via the standard book inspection process, specifying that this is a minor variation inspection for the relevant inspection type (e.g. Framing).
  • Present an application to the BCO during an inspection.

If booking through the inspection booking line, the inspection team will note the minor variation in the inspection booking system. The site contact or applicant will be expected to present the following documents at the inspection.

  • Minor variation application form.
  • Plans, specifications and supporting documents.
  • Certificate of design work (if applicable). 

These documents must be available on-site during the inspector’s site visit to avoid holding up work. If documents are not on site, it will be a failed inspection and you will have to rebook the inspection. If all the relevant plans and documents are acceptable, the inspector can then stamp approve, date and sign the minor variation on-site.

After your inspection, you’ll need to upload a copy of all documents to the online building consent system and remember to keep the hard copy documents on site at all times. Your inspection will remain marks as failed until the documents are uploaded and accepted within the online consent system.

When uploading your documents, please name them correctly and save them to the required file tab. This is done through the BC action tab drop-down by selecting ‘Upload Documents’. You can save your documents to the new Minor Variations file, or if you have an older application, upload them to the Miscellaneous documents.

It’s your responsibility to upload all the minor variation documents to the online building consent system. It is at the discretion of the BCO if they take any hard copy documents at the on-site inspection.


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
Alastair Aitchison – Papamoa/Mount Maunganui, phone 027 226 6082, email alastair.aitchison@tauranga.govt.nz
Brian Maney - Bethlehem/Central, phone 027 210 4007, email brian.maney@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.

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