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Securing your Building Warrant of Fitness (BWoF) in Whangarei, New Zealand


Every business undergoing a compliance schedule faces plenty of challenges, and as a property owner you have to think through in detail how best to manage the compliance inspection, so you can be granted that Form 12A Certificate of Inspection in Whangarei.

As long as your property stands, and your business address holds true, you are obligated to commit to this standard.

Here are some common questions most people ask about getting their Building Warrant of Fitness (BWoF).

If you own a building and it has specified systems installed, then you are required by law to have a BWoF. Your obligation as a building owner is to display your BWoF publicly as a sign it has been inspected and found safe for occupancy. Now not posting your BWoF is a mistake and will cost you money, you could be penalised with fees amounting to $20,000.

BWoF stands for Building Warrant of Fitness. This is the building safety compliance certificate in New Zealand, officially and locally they refer to it as the Building Warrant of Fitness. This attests that the systems specified in your compliance schedule have been checked, and will continue to function properly until the next annual inspection.

Any residential or commercial building with declared emergency and utility specified systems built into its construction.

It’s not the size or scope of your building, the façade or the brickwork doesn’t matter either. A BWoF has more to do with what mechanical and automated machine systems that are in your building that needs to be kept up to performance standards.

Specified systems are parts of a building’s infrastructure that are crucial to the health and safety of all its occupants.  The nature of these specified systems means they require ongoing maintenance to guarantee reliable performance and operation.

Some examples of specified systems are:

  • Emergency fire or danger warning systems
  • Automatic fire sprinkler systems
  • Emergency lighting systems
  • Lifts, service elevators or escalators
  • Air conditioning systems
  • Smoke alarm control systems

With a compliance schedule underway, an IQP (Independently Qualified Person) will come in to assess the current state of the specified systems in the property.

The council simply wants to know from an IQP’s standpoint- if your building is safe and more importantly, are all the specified systems listed in your application running smoothly? Safety is their utmost concern.

Ideally, the IQP is a local tradesman or engineering professional qualified to inspect and test specified systems installed in a commercial building. The IQP also recommends the course of action on how to maintain and repair these specified systems.

More than anything, it is the property owner’s responsibility to hire an approved IQP who will sign off on the reporting procedures and forms once all compliance measures are taken.

Remember, you must hire the right IQP for the specified system you have in place. Another thing, the IQP rego number is essential when signing off inspections as it is required on the 12A forms and log book. This is so that the local council can keep tabs on whether you have the correct inspections done for the specified systems. Through a Building warrant of fitness log book, the council has official documentation of the IQP and who did the inspection record.

To note, an IQP has no vested financial interest in the building(s), and they are called in primarily to keep the New Zealand Building Code standards in place. An IQP is considered an independent entity.

Fireco NZ is one such compliance provider who can help you in the many complexities of vying for a BWoF in New Zealand. We have several IQPs on board and a network of trusted specified systems and fire safety experts. If you need assistance in contacting a specialised IQP to do an inspection for your specified systems, get in touch with us!

How much does a Building Warrant Cost?

Fees and charges in the Whangarei District may vary per year. But here’s the list of the fees stipulated by Whangarei District Council:

There are so many building owner responsibilities under the Building Warrant of Fitness NZ and in particular the 12A Form with its strict requirements of the Compliance Schedule. To boot, this is an annual cycle, and you cannot miss out on any deadlines or compliance dates as it will cause you hefty fines and a mark on your property’s safety record.

If your building repairs and updates are delayed, and you need help in getting your Compliance Schedule on track. Consult with us!

Trust in Fireco to put safety first as a priority. We are the #1 safety solutions expert in the Northland and Whangarei area. Call us at 0800 101 232.

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