New Zealand Eases Permit Requirements for Pole Buildings

In our North American centric world we sometimes lose sight of post frame buildings being used all across our globe.

Acquiring Building permits (consents in New Zealand) can be time consuming and expensive. New Zealand has made some policy changes to ease this process – especially for single story pole sheds (pole or post frame buildings).

From Monday (August 31) building consents will no longer be required for minor building jobs such as building a carport or garden shed or adding a veranda or porch to an existing dwelling, potentially saving homeowners up to $18 million a year in consent fees.

Changes to New Zealand’s Building Act have increased list of exemptions to requirements to obtain a building consent to include these following types of work:

  • Building a carport up to 40 square metres (430 square feet)
  • Building an awning up to 30 square metres on ground floor only.
  • Building a ground floor veranda or porch up to 30 square metres.
  • However exemptions for all above types of work will only apply if project design has been carried out or reviewed by a professional engineer, or a licensed building practitioner has carried out or supervised design and construction.

*www.building.govt.nz/projects-and-consents

It will also be easier to install outbuildings such as sheds, glasshouses or sleep outs, with these following structures no longer requiring a building consent:

  • Outbuildings with a maximum floor area of 30 square metres (323 square feet) where a licenced building practitioner carries out or supervises its design and construction.
  • Kitset or prefabricated buildings up to 30 square metres where manufacturer’s design was carried out or reviewed by a professional engineer.
  • Outbuildings up to 30 square metres are constructed of lightweight materials can be built by non-professionals, provided materials and components comply with a specified Building Code standard.
  • Single story pole sheds or hay barns won’t need a consent if their design has been carried out or reviewed by a professional engineer or a licensed building practitioner has carried out or supervised their design and construction.


These new rules are expected to apply to around 9000 small building jobs a year and save property owners up to $18 million a year in consent fees.

More details about these new rules can be found on New Zealand government’s Building Performance website.

Important to note is this relaxing of consents does not exempt one from meeting Building Code requirements and designs are required to be done by a professional engineer or licensed building practitioner.

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