Australian licence holders

If you’re an Australian building practitioner and want to work in New Zealand you will need to have a qualification that is recognised to undertake restricted building work. That is, building and design work which is critical to the structure and weathertightness of the building.

In New Zealand, restricted building work must be carried out or supervised by a licensed building practitioner (LBP).

Restricted building work (RBW) is the design and construction of the structure and weathertightness aspects of houses and apartment buildings.

Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition application

A person holding an Australian State design or trade related licence can apply for a New Zealand licence under the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Act 1997 (TTMRA). This works on the basis that an Australian State builders licence is equivalent to a New Zealand Licensed Building Practitioner (LBP) licence.

Not all Australian licences correspond to a New Zealand licence. If you have an Australian design or trade related licence its important to check the table below before you apply under TTMRA.

Licences likely to be accepted under mutual recognition

The following list provides an indication of the Australian State licences which the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment have assessed as covering activities that are equivalent or substantially the same as a form of Licensed Building Rractitioner licence for the purposes of mutual recognition.

Note this is a guide to what is likely to be acceptable. There may be circumstances where the applicant may hold the licence listed but not be eligible for mutual recognition.

Examples include where the applicant 

  • has conditions or limitations on their licence that significantly limit the scope of activities that can be conducted under the licence
  • does not hold a current Australian state licence as at the time of application
  • makes false statements with their application.

New South Wales

Registration/licenceLicensed Building Practitioner licence that may equate to the Australian state licence
Bricklaying licence LBP Bricklaying and Blocklaying in the two areas of practice:
  1. Veneer
  2. Structural masonry
Carpentry licence LBP Carpentry licence
General concreting licence LBP Foundation licence in area of practice
  1. Concrete foundation walls and concrete slab-on-ground
Roof slating licence LBP Roofing licence in area of practices as follows:
  1. Concrete or Clay Tile Roof
  2. Profiled Metal Roof and/or Wall Cladding
  3. Metal Tile Roof
  4. Roof Membrane
  5. Shingle or Slate Roof
Roof tiling licence LBP Roofing licence in area of practices as follows:
  1. Concrete or Clay Tile Roof
  2. Profiled Metal Roof and/or Wall Cladding
  3. Metal Tile Roof
  4. Roof Membrane
Wet plastering licence LBP External Plastering licence in area of practice 1: Solid plastering
Underpinning/piering LBP Foundation licence in area of practice 2: Concrete or timber pile foundation

Tasmania

Registration/licenceLicensed Building Practitioner licence that may equate to the Australian state licence
Architectural - Restricted LBP Design licence in area of practice 2: Category 1 & 2 buildings
Architectural - Limited LBP Design licence in area of practice 1: Category 1 buildings
Architectural - Domestic LBP Design licence in area of practice 1: Category 1 buildings

Queensland

Australian state registration/licenceLicensed Building Practitioner licence that may equate to the Australian state licence
Design Licence Low rise LBP Design licence in area of practice 2: Category 1 & 2 buildings
Design Licence Medium rise LBP Design licence in area of practice 2: Category 1 &2 buildings
Design Licence Open rise LBP Design licence in area of practice 3: Category 1, 2 & 3 buildings
Bricklaying and Blocklaying LBP Bricklaying and Blocklaying in the two areas of practice:
1: Veneer
2: Structural masonry
Concreting Trade Licence LBP Foundations licence:
1: Concrete foundation walls and concrete slab-on-ground; 
2: Concrete or timber pile foundation
Carpentry LBP Carpentry licence. There may be conditions imposed on the licence holder in relation to undertaking concrete foundation work
Carpentry and Foundations licence LBP Carpentry licence
Foundation Work (Piling and Anchors LBP Foundations licence in the following areas of practice:
1: Concrete foundation walls and concrete slab-on-ground;
2: Concrete or timber pile foundation There may be conditions placed on the licence holder that they may not undertake concrete slabs-on-ground unless they are competent to do so.
Plastering Solid LBP External Plastering licence the following areas of practice:
1: Solid plastering
2: Proprietary Plaster Cladding Systems (PPCS)
Roof and Wall Cladding LBP Roofing licence in area of practices as follows:
2: Profiled Metal Roof and/or Wall Cladding
3: Metal Tile Roof
Roof Tiling LBP Roofing licence in area of practices as follows:
1: Concrete or Clay Tile Roof
7: Shingle or Slate Roof

Victoria

Registration/licenceLicensed Building Practitioner licence that may equate to the Australian state licence
Domestic Builder Unlimited LBP Carpentry licence
Domestic Builder Limited
(C) – Carpentry
Domestic Builder Limited
(J) – Sub Floor works
Domestic Builder Limited
(O) – Floor slabs & Footings
Domestic Builder Limited
(I) – External Cladding to a home
LBP Carpentry licence
Domestic Builder Limited
(K) –Improvements to Roof
Roofing area of practice 1 – Concrete or clay tile roof and/or Roofing area of practice 7 – Shingle and slate roof
Domestic Builder Limited
(W) - Waterproofing
Roofing area of practice 4, 5 and/or 6
Domestic Builder Limited
(W) – Waterproofing Domestic Builder Limited
(K) – Improvements to Roof
Roofing areas of practice 1, 4, 5, 6 and 7
Domestic Builder Limited
(J) Sub Floor works
Domestic Builder Limited
(O) Floor slabs & footings
LBP Foundations licence Areas of Practice 1 and 2
Domestic Builder Limited
(O) Floor slabs and footings
Foundations licence– Area of practice 1
Draftsperson, class of Building Design (architectural) Design Area of practice 3
Domestic Builder Limited
(H) Brickwork
LBP Bricklaying and Blocklaying in the two areas of practice:
  1. Veneer
  2. Structural masonry

Multiple licences

In New Zealand an LBP Carpentry licence holder does not need to gain a roofing licence to install a profiled metal roofing or a foundation licence in order to install foundations.

Licences not listed

If your licence is not listed on the approved list you may still be eligible for mutual recognition if the activities you are authorised to do under your Australian licence are substantially the same or equivalent as the LBP licence you are applying for.

Licensed Building Practitioner Rules has the activities listed in the competencies under a LBP licence.

Site management licences

The following licences are not considered mutually equivalent.

  • Queensland Builders licences – low rise, medium rise and open
  • ACT – Class A builder (unlimited), Class B builder (medium rise), Class C builder (low rise), Class D builder 
  • South Australia – Building Work Contractor, Building Work Supervisor
  • Western Australia – Registered Building Practitioner

The reasons these licences are not accepted under mutual recognition are:

  1. Only a licence which permits a person to do restricted building work qualifies under the mutual recognition scheme
  2. the main site management activities covered by these licences are not restricted building work so are not covered by the mutual recognition scheme.

While some activities between the LBP trade licences (which enable a person to do restricted building work) and these types of licence may be similar, this is only a minor component of these licences. Mutual recognition requires that activities under mutually recognised licences must be ‘substantially the same’ or ‘equivalent’.