Certificate of Acceptance and Safe & Sanitary Reports


Both of these reports are required by Council when unauthorised (illegal) building works or unconsented additions or alterations have taken place. Or if Building Works was carried out with URGENCY for the purpose of saving or protecting life or health or preventing serious damage to property.

With the New Zealand “DIY” culture combined with “She’ll be right mate!” attitude, alterations are undertaken which would require a Building Consent, without one. Often this has happened when a house is “flipped” or been done up and sold on.

Common issues:

Structural wall removed to open the room up
  • Garages converted to sleepouts
  • Structural walls removed
  • Rooms added into the roof space
  • Bathrooms moved
  • Change of Use – Residential to Commercial or in reverse.
  • Building Consent has expired without a CCC being issued.

A Council cannot issue a Building Consent and subsequent Code of Compliance Certificate (CCC) retrospectively, so within the Building Act, there is a process set out where that work can be surveyed, assessed whether or not that it complies with the Building Code. If it doesn’t then the works will need to be remediated with a Building Consent.

Risks of not getting the building works complied:

  • Refusal of Insurance cover
  • Refusal of an insurance claim
  • Fines can be issued by the Councils
  • Extreme cases where the property is deemed unsafe … the property is closed to everyone until it has been remediated. A section 124(No access to building),125(Restricted Access) or 164 (Notice to Fix) can be issued by Council.

Certificate of Acceptances (CoA) apply to building works completed without a Building Consent after 1 July 1992. Prior to that, a Safe and Sanitary report can be filed and placed on the Councils Property File.

Certificate of Acceptances
The process is about providing adequate proof to the Council by visual surveys, invasive investigations, photos, receipts, costings, plans, Producer Statements from builders, plumbers, electricians, engineers.

All this gets compiled into a Report by the Building Surveyor who then evaluates it into three categories;

Certificate of Acceptance

I have evaluated the building work and come to the following conclusions:

  1. Building work that I conclude has been constructed in accordance with the Building Code.

The following building work was able to be inspected and is supported by sufficiently detailed and accurate documentation that reflects what is built, and for which I, therefore, have reasonable grounds to concludes complies with the Building Code:

  1. Building work that I conclude has not been constructed in accordance with the Building Code

The following work was able to be inspected and I have reasonable grounds to conclude the work does not comply with the Building Code;

  1. Building work that I cannot ascertain and reach a conclusion about whether the work has been constructed in accordance with the Building Code.

The following building work could not be inspected or the information provided was insufficiently detailed or inaccurate and there was variation between the documentation and the observations made on-site, and I, therefore, have concluded that there is insufficient information and no reasonable grounds to ascertain compliance with the Building Code:


It is important to understand that it will be measured against the Building Code that is current at the time of investigation NOT when it was built!


If items end up in Parts 2 & 3 then a Building Consent will be required to remediate these items and this needs to be submitted at the same time. At times a Resource Consent may also be required e.g. In cases of lifestyle block where a second dwelling has been built.

The Council then evaluates the Report and Documentation, if happy will issue a Certificate of Acceptance.

It is not a quick process, but a very thorough one.

If you would like to discuss your particular situation please feel free to give us a call on 0274 572 285 or drop us an email to brett@westwindprojects.co.nz 

Tasman District Council CoA information 

Nelson City Council CoA information


Safe and Sanitary Reports
A Safe and Sanitary Report is an independent Assessment of Building Works that were carried out prior to 1 July 1992. The report considers Under the Building Act Sections 121  & 123 whether the property is Dangerous or Insanitary and explains why.

The report is usually lodged with the Council on the Property File for Public viewing.

The following two Sections are extracts from the Building Act and make up the basis of the Report:

Section 121: meaning of Dangerous Affected Building: In the ordinary course of events (excluding the occurrence of an earthquake), the building is likely to cause:
i. Injury or death (whether by collapse or otherwise) to any persons in it or to persons on other property.

ii. Damage to other property. iii. In the event of fire, injury or death to any person in the building or to persons on another property is likely.

Section 123: meaning of Insanitary Building: A building is Insanitary for the purpose of this Act if the Building is:
i. Offensive or likely to be injurious to health because how it is situated or constructed.

ii. In a state of disrepair.

iii. Has insufficient or defective provisions against moisture penetration so as to cause dampness in the building or in any adjacent building.

iv. Does not have a supply of potable water that is adequate for its intended use.

v. Does not have sanitary facilities that adequate for its intended use.


If you would like to discuss your particular situation please feel free to give us a call on 0274 572 285 or drop us an email to brett@westwindprojects.co.nz