Certificate of Public Use (Form 16)

A certificate for public use is issued by a Council where it is satisfied the premises are safe for members of the public to use, before a code compliance certificate is issued. It specifically applies to ongoing construction work.

You must have a certificate for public use if the public are to have access to all or parts of the building (either during construction or on completion) before a code compliance certificate is issued. Anyone who owns, occupies or controls premises intended for public use may apply for a certificate for public use.

Class Property Plant & Equipment
Also known as Form 16
Relevant Standards New Zealand Building Act 2004
How often does it need to be renewed As required
Where Applicable New Zealand

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Issuing a certificate for public use

If the public uses all or part of your building, and you want them to access it before your building work has been signed off as complete, you can apply to your council for a certificate for public use. Your application will need to show that all or part of the building (whatever you are applying for) can be used safely by members of the public.

If you don't have a certificate for public use, you could be fined up to $200,000, and fined up to a further $20,000 for every day or part of a day the offence continues.

Premises with free and open access will typically be classified as premises intended for public use. Examples include shopping centres as well as premises where the public can enter on payment of a fee, such as a sports stadium, swimming pool or zoo.

Premises with restricted access are unlikely to be considered premises intended for public use (for example, where access is blocked and entry gained via a key pad or coded swipe card).

A reception area that is open to the public, even though the remainder of the building is closed off, would be categorised as premises intended to be open to members of the public.

Premises intended for public use are likely to include, but are not limited to:

  • 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.


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