Restricted Building Work

Critical building work (known as Restricted Building Work or (RBW) must be done or supervised by a Licensed Building Practitioner (LBP). This applies to most residential building work or renovation work.


This PDF will guide you through the building consent process when doing restricted building work.

RBW is design and building work that can only be carried out or supervised by a Licensed Building Practitioner (LBP) due to it being critical to the integrity of a residential building.  In the context of RBW, design work is the preparation of drawings, specifications or other documents for the purposes of a building consent. Registered architects and chartered professional engineers are automatically treated as LBPs (licensed in the design class) and can therefore also carry out, supervise or design RBW provided they deem it within the scope of their Engineering New Zealand competency.

Construction and alteration work is only RBW where that work falls within the scope of work of the seven licensing classes as described in Schedule 1 of the Licensed Building Practitioners Rules 2007. 

It is the responsibility of the 'design LBPs' including registered architects or chartered professional engineers, to ensure their Memoranda (Certificates of Design Work) covers all work they have designed. It is the responsibility of the owner to include all Memoranda (Certificates of Design Work) that collectively cover all the RBW in the consent application. 

Building work that is RBW can only be carried out or supervised by a person licensed in the relevant trade class.  For example, a person licensed in the carpentry class may also carry out or supervise the construction of concrete foundation and/or pile foundations and/or the installation of lightweight profiled metal roofing.

More information on using licensed people for restricted building work can be found on the Building Performance website. 

Restricted Building Work (RBW) applies to, but is not limited to:

  • Foundations
  • Framing
  • Roofing
  • Cladding
  • Active fire safety systems in small-medium sized apartment buildings (two or more residential units with a maximum height of 10m)

Licensed Building Practitioners (LBP) include, but are not limited to:

  • Designers
  • Carpenters
  • Roofers
  • External Plasterers
  • Bricklayers
  • Block layers

Registered architects, chartered professional engineers and plumbers are deemed to be LBPs.

Owner-builder exemption

Owner-builders are able to carry out RBW, design or building work, on their own home.  You are an owner-builder if you:

  • Live in or are going to live in the home (includes a bach or holiday home).
  • Carry out the RBW to your own home yourself, or with the help of your unpaid friends and family members, and
  • Have not, under the owner-builder exemption, carried out RBW to any other home within the previous three years.

Before you can use the owner-builder exemption you need to complete a statutory declaration as to owner-builder status form showing that you meet the owner-builder criteria.  The statutory declaration form has to be witnessed and signed by a Justice of the Peace or someone else authorised by law to do so.

How does this affect you and the building consent process?

  • You must make sure that the practitioners you use are currently licensed by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to carry out the building work.

    To find a licensed building practitioner, search here. 

  • When you submit your building consent application, you will need to include a Certificate of Work from a LBP certifying that the design work complies with the Building Code. Otherwise, your application will not be accepted.

    If you are an Owner-Builder, you will need to submit a notice of owner-builder and a statutory declaration as to owner-builder status. 

  • Restricted work can not start and inspection will not be accepted until the Council has been advised of the relevant LBP who will be doing the work.

    If you are an owner-builder and you have not provided a notice of owner-builder and statutory declaration at the time of application, you will need to submit these documents before an inspection can be carried out.

    On the other hand, if you submitted all the necessary documentation for owner-builder and you have decided to use a LBP, you will need to submit another notice of owner-builder form indicating this change.

  • When your building work is complete, you will need to include the Record of Building Work from your LBPs with your application for code compliance certificate (CCC). Otherwise, your CCC may not be issued.

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