Dam building consents

From 1 June 2021 Environment Canterbury (ECan) will process all Building Consents and Code Compliance Certificates for the Otago, Southland and West Coast Regions. For more information on this please contact Kate Rutherford at ECan at kate.rutherford@ecan.govt.nz

While Building Consents and Certificates of Compliance (CCC) are to be received by Environment Canterbury, the Otago Regional Council must receive Certificates of Acceptance (COA) for the Otago Region. These will be processed or the co-ordination of the processing managed by the Otago Regional Council. You will be made aware of who is processing your COA once it has been received.

For building work in Otago, we ask that you obtain a Project Information Memorandum (PIM). For building work in Southland or the West Coast you obtain it from the regional council in these areas. You can also obtain a PIM from the relevant district or city council.

The regional and district council PIMs contain information held by the two councils which may be relevant to your proposed building work, such as natural hazards. You can apply for the two PIMs at any time – you don't have to wait until you apply for a building consent.

While there is no legal requirement for you to obtain a PIM, it is recommended you obtain the two PIMs first, review information provided, and consider this information when designing your dam.  The PIMs may contain important information, therefore we consider them to be essential. Applications for building consents will be put on hold until ORC receives the two PIMs.

To apply for a Project Information Memorandum (PIM) for building work in Otago, complete the below application form and send it to us.

Application form

Our staff will initially check your application has the necessary information for processing. If the application is not complete, it will be returned to you. Once the application has all the necessary information we will compile your PIM within 2 working days.

You will be charged a fee for processing your application. Cheques should be made out to Otago Regional Council.


Contacts for other councils providing a PIM

Environment Southland
Ph 03 211 5115

Gore District Council
Ph 03 209 0330

West Coast Regional Council
Ph 0508 800 118

Southland District Council
Ph 0800 732 732

Central Otago District Council
Ph 03 440 0056

Invercargill City Council
Ph 03 211 1777

Queenstown Lakes District Council
Ph 03 441 0499

Buller District Council
Ph 0800 807 239

Waitaki District Council
Ph 03 433 0300

Grey District Council
Ph 03 769 8603

Clutha District Council
Ph 0800 801 350
Web: www.cluthadc.govt.nz

Westland District Council
Ph 03 756 9010

Dunedin City Council
Ph 03 477 4000

The Otago Regional Council is required under the Building Act to maintain a register of dams in Otago. The register enables us to contact dam owners if we need to discuss the regulations for managing dam safety. There is no charge for the dam registration service.

If you own a dam in Otago you should check with us as to whether your dam should be on our register. Phone 03 474-0827 or freephone 0800 474-082 or email public.enquiries@orc.govt.nz

If you own a dam in Southland or the West Coast, you should check with Environment Southland or the West Coast Regional Council as to whether your dam is on their respective registers.

For more information phone our customer services staff on freephone 0800 474 082 or email public.enquiries@orc.govt.nz.

Find out more information on dams and the Building Act from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment website.

NZSOLD is a technical group of Engineering New Zealand. This site has information on dam safety and construction, including the proceedings of conferences at which papers on dam safety and background to the Building Act dam safety legislation have been presented.   Find out more information on the NZ Society on Large Dams.

Find out historic information on some Otago dams from the Heritage New Zealand.

Certain types of applications must be sent to Fire Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) for their review (Section 46 of the Act). The BCA will receive a memo from FENZ (Section 47) and will take this into consideration in any application process. Find out more information at https://fireandemergency.nz/contact-us/ 


Dangerous dams

Otago Regional Council policy on dangerous dams. Read more

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