Compliance schedules for specified systems

The Building Act 2004 introduced changes to the compliance schedule and building warrant of fitness regime.

Compliance schedules

Buildings containing certain safety and essential systems, known as specified systems, require a compliance schedule. These specified systems ensure a building is safe and healthy for members of the public to enter, occupy or work in. The building owner must ensure continued effective operation of those features and systems and sign an annual building warrant of fitness.

Under the Building Act 2004, all buildings other than single residential buildings require a compliance schedule and annual warrant of fitness if they contain any of the following.

  • Automatic systems for fire suppression (eg, sprinkler systems)
  • Automatic or manual emergency warning systems for fire or other dangers
  • Electromagnetic or automatic doors or windows (eg, ones that close on fire alarm activation)
  • Emergency lighting systems
  • Escape route pressurisation systems
  • Riser mains for use by fire services
  • Automatic backflow preventers connected to a potable water supply
  • Lifts, escalators, travelators, or other systems for moving people or goods within buildings
  • Mechanical ventilation or air-conditioning systems
  • Building maintenance units providing access to exterior and interior walls of buildings
  • Laboratory fume cupboards
  • Audio loops or other assistive listening systems
  • Smoke control systems
  • Emergency power systems for, or signs relating to, a system or feature specified for any of the above systems or features
  • Fire separations (as defined in the Building Code)
  • Smoke separations (as defined in the Building Code)  
  • Systems for communicating spoken information intended to help evacuation  

All buildings that have a cable car, including single residential buildings, require a compliance schedule for it. (A single residential building will require a compliance schedule only for the cable car and not for any of the other features listed above.)

For a complete list of specified systems, please see Schedule 1 of the Building (Specified Systems, Change the Use, and Earthquake-prone Buildings) Regulations 2005.

Role of building consent authorities and territorial authorities

The compliance schedule is a document issued by a building consent authority (BCA). Nelson City Council is a BCA.

BCAs issue building consents, undertake inspections during construction, and issue code compliance certificates, notices to fix and compliance schedules. BCAs can charge a fee for these services.

In addition to providing a BCA service, territorial authorities have a range of other building-related responsibilities, including monitoring the compliance schedule and building warrant of fitness regime. Territorial authorities can also charge a fee for these services.

Compliance schedule content

The compliance schedule lists the building’s specified systems and the inspection, maintenance and reporting procedures needed to keep them in good order.

Applications for a building consent need to contain compliance schedule information for:

  • a new building with any specified systems
  • building work in an existing building that includes modifying or adding to the specified systems - this requires an amendment to an existing compliance schedule

The BCA requires details of the design features of the specified systems and the proposed procedures for inspection, maintenance and reporting to be included in the compliance schedule.

See the forms required to apply for building consent on the Consent forms and guides A - Z page.

Amending compliance schedules

A territorial authority and a building owner can agree to amend a compliance schedule, as required, at any time. This can be triggered by:

  • a building consent application
  • the request of a building owner
  • the decision of the territorial authority at any time
  • a suggestion from an independent qualified persons (see below).

Where an independent qualified persons recommends an amendment to a compliance schedule, the owner has the right to make submissions and enter into dialogue with the territorial authority before the territorial authority makes its decision on whether to accept or refuse the recommendation.

An application for an amendment to a compliance schedule must be made on a form prescribed in regulations, which will be available from your territorial authority.

There may be buildings that have not had their compliance schedule updated since issue. The territorial authority may inspect and review the compliance schedule for these buildings.

Note that, while most territorial authorities are BCAs, the functions of the BCA and the territorial authority are different.

  • a BCA issues compliance schedules.
  • a territorial authority amends and administers compliance schedules.

Download the Application for amendment to compliance schedule from the Consent forms and guides A - Z page.

Compliance schedule statements

A compliance schedule statement (previously called a building statement of fitness) is issued by the territorial authority as temporary public notification of compliance schedule requirements. It is replaced after 12 months by the building warrant of fitness. The owner must display the compliance schedule statement in a public part of the building.

Offences and infringement

Failing to comply with the requirement to obtain a compliance schedule is an offence under section 101 of the Building Act 2004, and may result in an infringement fee.