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.

Minor changes (minor variation)

If the proposed change to your building consent does not differ significantly from the plans and specifications to which it relates, it can be processed as an application for a minor variation. You can find more information on what is a minor variation(external link) on the Ministry of Building, Innovation and Employment's (MBIE) website.

Depending on the change, an application for a minor variation can be processed by Christchurch City Council either by:

  • a building inspector on-site; or
  • a building consent officer when submitted as an application.

All applications for a minor variation must be authorised by the owner.

Minor variation processed by a building inspector

Minor variations that a building inspector can process on-site are changes that are easily established as not reducing the degree of compliance with the building code. For instance, a product substitution with a comparable product (where that product is not specific to a proprietary system), or minor detail changes that are within the scope of an acceptable solution or the specified manufacture's technical specifications.

Examples of on-site minor variation may include but are not limited to:

  • as-built plans for the drains that do not change the system type
  • roof truss as-built layout by an accredited fabricator
  • product substitution of a building wrap, roof underlay or tanking membrane
  • change of location of a sanitary fixture, bracing element, meter board, gas bottles or smoke alarms
  • change to a flashing detail within the scope of an acceptable solution for Clause E2
  • an increase in specification such as using a higher grade of timber treatment, higher concrete strength, glue-laminated timber instead of sawn timber, additional surface water sump, increased dimension of framing member or framing members at closer centres.

Building inspectors can process the above type of minor variations during the building inspection. The details of the minor variation need to be provided in written form (two copies) and require owner or owner's agent approval, but do not require an application for minor variation form to be completed.

The building inspector's decision on the minor variation will be recorded on the inspection site notice. Talk to the building inspector if you are unsure about whether the proposed minor variation can be processed on-site.

Minor variation processed by a building consent officer

A proposed change to a building consent that can be defined as a minor variation may involve a technical assessment beyond what is practicable to be processed by the building inspector while on-site. An application for these types of minor variation can be submitted via onlineservices.ccc.govt.nz(external link) or by email to minorvariation@ccc.govt.nz.

These applications for minor variation will be processed by a building consent officer. The application must include a completed Application for a minor variation to a building consent [PDF, 541 KB] (Form B-007) or Word [DOCX, 64 KB] and include the relevant plans and specifications.

We will process the application for minor variation within 48 hours of receiving a complete application. If the application for a minor variation is considered to be a significant change to the plans and specifications to which the building consent relates, it will be processed as an amendment to a building consent.

Ensure your minor variation is granted prior to undertaking the building work. The approved minor variation documents must be on-site at the next building inspection.

Major changes (amendment to building consent)

If the proposed change to building consent is significantly different from your plans and specifications to which the building consent relates, it must be processed as an application for an amendment to a building consent. To apply for an amendment, submit an Application for a Building Consent [PDF, 798 KB] (Form B-002) also available in Word [DOCX, 425 KB]

Some examples of amendments include, but are not limited to:

  • any alteration that increases or decreases the floor area of the building
  • relocating or removing internal load-bearing supports
  • substantive changes to ground levels, resulting in changes to foundations or retaining structures
  • changes to fire safety aspects.

We recommend that you submit your amendment application via onlineservices.ccc.govt.nz(external link) to avoid delays and scanning fees. Alternatively, you can also submit your application at the Civic Building, 53 Hereford St, Christchurch.

An application for amendment is processed in the same way as an original building consent application. The Council is required to process the amendment application within 20 working days, and charges for processing at the same hourly rates. However, unless the changes are extensive, an application for an amendment to a building consent can usually be processed more quickly.

Ensure your amendment is granted prior to undertaking the building work. The approved amended plans and specifications must be on-site at the next building inspection.

Check if your change is minor or major

Check for minor variations that are either processed onsite by inspector or in-house by a building consent officer.  

If the proposed change is outside these limitations it will require an application for amendment to building consent.

Fees for amendments and minor variations

A lodgement fee is charged for an application for amendment of a building consent. You may also incur charges based on the additional time required to review and process the amended consent, or for additional inspections.

There is a fixed fee for minor variations.

To view amendment and minor variation fees, refer to the Building Consents Fee Schedule.