Certificate for Public Use

A Certificate for Public Use (CPU) is a statement by us declaring that it is safe to use an area of a public premise affected by building work before the Code Compliance Certificate is issued. We will take into account any safety measures that have been put in place.

CPUs can be used as an alternative to staged or separate building consents for large building projects.

Section 363 of the Building Act 2004 makes it an offence to use public premises that are affected by building work before a Code Compliance Certificate is issued and without a CPU. This only applies to the part of a premise that is intended for public use.

What are premises intended for public use?

These are premises that are intended to be open to members of the public, whether free of charge or for payment and typically include:

  • Schools and childcare centres.
  • Hospitals and rest homes.
  • Premises providing public accommodation such as hostels and guest houses.
  • Places of assembly including churches, cinemas and conference facilities.
  • Clubrooms and recreation centres with public access.
  • Restaurants and bars.
  • Public foyers in office and apartment buildings.
  • Public structures.

Premises can be all or part of a building. Premises with free and open access will typically be classified as premises intended for public use. Premises with restricted access, e.g. where access is blocked and entry gained via a keypad or coded swipe card, are unlikely to be considered premises intended for public use.

What should people who control premises do?

People who control premises are responsible for ensuring building work is performed safely and in accordance with the law. This includes ensuring all building consents and code compliance certificates have been issued. 

People who control premises also need to ensure members of the public can use their premises safely.

If premises are affected by building work, safety measures can include ensuring barriers are put up to restrict access, or in some cases, closing all or part of the premises. 

More information on public access while building or altering a public building can be found here.