Building Noticeboard


​ Changes to ECAN log burner rules 


Building Controls Update

Twenty-eight Acceptable Solutions and ten Verification Methods for complying with the Building Code have been amended and will take effect from 1 January 2017.

Consultation on the amendments to the Acceptable Solutions and Verification Methods, as well as two new Acceptable Solutions, took place from 20 July to 31 August 2016. Ninety-two people submitted feedback on these proposals, which helped to refine and finalise the amendments.

Two proposed Acceptable Solutions, E2/AS4 Torch-on Membrane Systems for Roofs and Decks and E3/AS2 Internal Wet Area Membranes, require further development and will not be published at this time.

The following describes which version of an Acceptable Solution or Verification Method to use when submitting a complete application for a building consent:

  • Until 31 December 2016: use the existing version (prior to 1 January 2017 only the existing version is an Acceptable Solution or Verification Method)

  • From 1 January to 30 May 2017 *: use either the existing version or the newly published version (during this transition period either version is an Acceptable Solution or Verification Method)

  • From 31 May 2017 *: use the newly published version (the existing version is no longer an Acceptable Solution or Verification Method)

    * An exception to this transition period is for D2/AS1, which is extended to 6 August 2017. From 7 August 2017, only the Amendment 7 version of D2/AS1 can be used as an Acceptable Solution. 

Amendments have been made to the following documents:

B1 Structure: B1/AS1, B1/VM1, B1/VM4
B2 Durability: B2/AS1
C1-C6 Protection from fire: C/AS1 to C/AS7
D1 Access routes: D1/AS1, D1/VM1
D2 Mechanical Installations for Access: D2/AS1
E1 Surface Water: E1/VM1
E2 External Moisture: E2/AS3
E3 Internal Moisture: E3/AS1
F2 Hazardous Building Materials: F2/AS1
F4 Safety from Falling: F4/AS1
F6 Visibility in Escape Routes: F6/AS1
F8 Signs: F8/AS1
G2 Laundering: G2/AS1
G3 Food Preparation and Prevention of Contamination: G3/AS1
G4 Ventilation: G4/AS1, G4/VM1
G10 Piped Services: G10/AS1, G10/VM1
G11 Gas as an Energy Source: G11/AS1
G12 Water Supplies: G12/AS1, G12/AS2, G12/VM1
G13 Foul Water: G13/AS1, G13/AS2, G13/AS3, G13/VM2
G14 Industrial Liquid Waste: G14/VM1

H1 En​e​rgy Efficiency: H1/AS1, H1/VM1.

Internal alterations that require retrofitting insulation

See the revised details from BRANZ.​ ​

Have you heard about the changes coming into effect for swimming pools?

 The Building (Pools) Amendment Act 2015 comes into effect on 1 January 2017.

  • It creates an additional building code clause F9 – Means of Restricting Access to Residential Pools and repeals the Fencing of Swimming Pools Act 1987

  • It clarifies what properties fall into the category of having to be inspected every three years.

  • It clarifies what type of structures or excavations are deemed to be considered a pool

  • It clarifies who is responsible for compliance of a pool

  • Pools can now be inspected by independently qualified pool inspectors

  • The term fence has been replaced with "any means of restricting or preventing access to a residential pool"

  • Every person who manufactures, sells, or offers for sale any new product that is designed to be used for swimming, wading, paddling, or bathing (other than a bath) must supply a notice summarising the responsibilities of owners, pool operators and occupiers.

  • Pools must now be inspected every three years. Previously no time ​frame set in legislation, but Council inspected every five years

  • Council can now issue a Notice to Fix for any pool that has non-complaint means of restricting access to young children.

  • Council can now enforce under the provision of a Notice to Fix that the pool be drained of water.

  • Council can now infringe people for any pool that has non-complaint means of restricting access to young children.

  • Failure to comply with a Notice to Fix incurs an infringement of $500

  • Failure to comply with a Notice to Fix can now also lead to a conviction and a fine of up to $5,000

  • Council can no longer exempt a pool from the fencing requirements. Pool owners will have to apply for a determination through MBIE for any non-complying pool.

  • Existing pools continue to comply if they complied with the Fencing of Swimming Pools Act 1987 or were granted an exemption prior to 1 January 2017.

  • Spa pools with lockable lids no longer have to be fenced if the sides of the spa pool are no less than 760mm from the ground or deck.

Blue Strap enquiry

Our Building Team received an enquiry today in regards to the inconsistency of inspectors regarding the spacing of horizontal strapping over building wrap.

This has been investigated and for the job the enquiry was about, the horizontal strapping was not required to be at 300mm centres due to the stud spacing being at 400mm centres.

Thank you for the enquiry and we hope this clarifies the matter.

GIB System updates

GIB® System updates were scheduled for release on the 5th of September 2016. 

For more information see the attached literature below or go to ​ or

1.     UPDATE — GIB EzyBrace® Systems 2016
GIB EzyBrace® Systems are being updated to offer improved flexibility and further build simplification. Winstone Wallboards is recommending updating bracing design software and specifications to GIB EzyBrace® Systems 2016 as soon as possible however consented bracing designs using GIB EzyBrace® 2011 remain valid and should be installed as designed and consented. GIB EzyBrace® Systems 2016 are fully compliant with NZS 3604:2011 and are BRANZ Appraised (No. 928, 2016).

Key changes in GIB EzyBrace® Systems 2016 include:

  • UPDATED — GIB EzyBrace® Bracing Design Software with improved user functionality that is compliant with
    NZS 3604:2011.

  • NEW — GIB® Bracing Element GS2-NOM. This new element permits internal walls lined with GIB® plasterboard
    on both sides and fastened off as per GIB® Site Guide standard fixing requirements to contribute towards
    bracing resistance.

  • UPDATED —  Guidance on openings in Bracing Elements and Ceiling Diaphragms

  • NEW--- Inclusion of GIBFix® Framing system in bracing elements.

 2.     New — GIBFix® framing system

 The GIBFix® Framing System is an alternative approach to timber framing for buildings within the scope of NZS3604:2011.

The GIBFix® Framing System Offers:

  • Reduced potential for fastener pop and joint cracking of interior plasterboard linings resulting from timber
    frame movement.
  • Lighter, quicker drying frames
  • Reduced potential for on-site call backs
  • Improved thermal performance
  • Fully integrated into GIB EzyBrace® Systems.

Construction Contracts Amendment Act 2015

Changes relating to adjudication and enforcement

For more information on the Construction Contracts Amendment Act 2015 check out the guidance document 
from MBIE.

Guidance on smoke alarm placement

Click here to see guidance on installation of smoke alarms in houses, as specified in the Building Code Clause F7 - Warning Systems.

Ban declared on foil insulation

The Chief Executive of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has declared a ban, under section 26 of the Building Act 2004, on retrofitting or repairing foil insulation.

The ban is specifically on the following building methods:

  • the installation of foil insulation into residential buildings with an existing electrical installation (retrofitting foil insulation), and
  • the repair of foil insulation in residential buildings with an existing electrical installation (e.g. stapling ripped or damaged foil back onto the floor joists of a building).

The ban follows strong feedback on the need to eliminate the risks posed by foil insulation products. These concerns were raised by submitters during consultation on proposed changes to the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 (that will require insulation and smoke alarms in rental properties).

The risk with retrofitting foil insulation is that the person installing it could accidentally pierce a live electrical cable with the fasteners (e.g. staples or nails) that they are using to attach the foil to the building structure. The foil, being metallic, conducts electricity and can become live if it comes into contact with live electrical wiring – potentially enlivening the entire underfloor of a building. To date, there have been five reported deaths in New Zealand caused by electrocution associated with foil insulation in a residential building, as well as one reported non-fatal electric shock.

The changes to the Residential Tenancies Act are expected to require about 180,000 properties to be insulated by July 2019. This will result in much more widespread insulation activity over the next few years - which could increase the use of foil insulation and therefore the chance of injury or fatalities.

MBIE considers that a ban is necessary to reduce the likelihood of any further injuries or deaths, and to ensure buildings are safer to use.

The ban comes into force on 1 July 2016 and will remain in place until amended or revoked by the Ministry. It is an offence under the Building Act to breach a ban and anyone who breaches the ban may be liable to a fine of up to $200,000.

As the Residential Tenancies Act will require landlords to assess the extent of insulation in their buildings, we expect landlords and tenants will be getting under their floors to conduct checks on existing insulation. This could pose an electrocution risk as there could be cases in existing buildings where previously installed foil insulation is electrically live (e.g. if foil insulation has been installed with the power off and not tested for safety once power was restored).

WorkSafe NZ has also developed some guidance, as part of its functions as the regulator of electrical safety under the Electricity Act 1992. Its Electrical Code of Practice is publicly available and sets out how to protect people and property from harm due to improperly installed foil insulation. The Code of Practice will enable building owners and the industry to better manage electrical safety risks associated with existing foil insulation.

Anyone concerned about how to work around foil insulation should consult WorkSafe's guidance or engage the services of a licensed electrical worker.

Read the full ban on foil insulation.​​

See the public register of electrical workers on the Electrical Workers Registration Board website.

New asbestos removal rules

Did you know that there are new rules coming into effect on the 4th April 2016 about the removal of asbestos?
Learn more about identifying asbestos, removal of asbestos and the rule changes

Stamped approved documents must be on-site at
all times

 As per the Building Consent document issued with every approved application, page two clearly states:

This building consent is subject to the following Building Act 2004 conditions:

Building Act Section 90 (1) - Inspections

Under Section 90 of the Building Act 2004, agents authorised by the Council (acting as a Building Consent Authority) are entitled, at all times during normal working hours or while building work is being done, to inspect:-

  • land on which building work is being or is proposed to be carried out; and
  • building work that has been or is being carried out on or off that building site; and
  • any building
  1. Failure to request any inspection may result in inability to issue a Code of Compliance Certificate.
  2. If a re-inspection is required it will be charged at the current rate. 
  3. Cancellations with less than 24hrs notice will incur the full inspection fee.
  4. Application for Code Compliance must be applied for on the statutory application form supplied and must be made upon completion of work.
  5. ALL Building Consent documents and any approved Amendments, including the Project Memorandum (PIM), must be on-site at the time of inspection. Inspections will only be carried out if the original stamped Council approved documents are present on-site at the time of inspection. If a re-inspection is required, due to the lack of documents on-site, it will be charged at the current rate.

Site preparation

Before a building is erected on any site, all rubbish, noxious and organic matter must be removed from the area that will be covered by the building.

This does not mean weed spraying to kill the vegetation.

Inspectors have from time to time come across a floor slab ready to be poured but grass and topsoil has been left with hardfill and polythene placed on top of the grass and vegetation.

This is not in accordance with NZS 3604:2011 and means that all the work in preparing the slab has to be redone.

Please ensure all vegetation is removed.

 New Environment Canterbury home heating rules

The following flow chart details the type of home heating you can install.

Ashburton proposed home heating rules

The provisions for home heating are outlined below for the Ashburton Clean Air Zone.
Please note that these may change through the air plan hearings process.

​​2015 - All sites less than 2 hectares (ha)
​All wood burners​Installed on sites less than 2ha and must be Environment Canterbury authorised wood burners.
​Ultra-low emission wood burners​Are allowed into new homes and other buildings.  This includes pellet fires that meet ultra-low standard.
​Low-emitting wood burner installation ​Not allowed in new homes or other new buildings except as replacement burners from 31 December 2015 up to 1 January 2019.
​Open Fires​Use is not allowed.
​Older style wood burners​Use is allowed for 15 years from the date of installation.​
2015 - All sites
​No visible smoke rule​Wood burner users are to manage their smoke emissions through regular maintenance of their wood burner, using dry/seasoned wood and operating their burner to ensure there is no visible smoke most of the time.​
2019 - All sites less than 2ha
​​Low-emitting wood burner​​Use is allowed for 15 years and can be installed up until 1 January 2019.  Replacement burners must be an ultra-low emission wood burner, pellet fire or other source of heating from 1 January 2019.

Guidance on Licensed Building Practitioner (LBP) supervision

Following recent hearings by the LBP Complaints Board, we will be providing some guidance soon on the requirements surrounding supervision by an LBP.

New permitted activity wastewater discharge declaration form

Have you seen our new form for permitted activity wastewater discharge declaration? 

With the changes to ECan's process we now have a new form included in our application pack that you can complete and submit if your effluent system meets the permitted activity criteria. 

 To check your application against the permitted activity criteria please visit the Environment Canterbury website.

Development Contributions, did you know?

If you build on a section within one year of removing an existing dwelling, you do not have to pay development contributions.

Learn more about Development Contributions

What's coming up...

We are currently reviewing and republishing all of our public information guides.

Keep an eye out for a new inspection guidelines booklet coming soon.

Page reviewed: 06 Mar 2018 12:00pm