A resource consent is authorisation for land development or use of natural or physical resources that might affect the environment. Any activities which are not permitted by the Resource Management Act (RMA) or rules in our District Plan need a resource consent before they can be carried out.
Any resource consent is granted to the land, not to a person. A change of ownership of land generally does not change the ability to use the consent on that land.
For further details about the District Plan and to find out about the categories of activities follow the link below.
Applying for a resource consent
Our staff can explain which activities will require a consent and also give guidance on the information to be supplied and who should be consulted.
You must complete an application form for the type of consent you need and provide sufficient information for the proposal to be assessed.
Assessment of Environmental Effects
This report describes all the relevant effects of the activity on the environment and the ways any negative effects can be lessened.
Written approvals from neighbours
If there are people who may be actually or potentially affected by your proposal, written approval from them will be necessary before you lodge the application.
Contaminants in soil
The National Environmental Standard for Assessing and Managing Contaminants in Soil (NES) came into effect in January 2012.
It is used to assess whether land described in your proposal currently is, or has previously been used for an activity that may potentially have contaminated the soil.
The Hazardous Activities and Industries List (HAIL) is a checklist of activities that are considered to contaminate soil.
Hazardous Activities and Industries List (HAIL) Checklist [44kb]
Our guidance notes explain the process of applying for a consent and all the information which should be included with an application.
Resource Consent Application Guidance Notes [293kb]
For further information about land hazards, follow the link below.
A pre-application meeting is an opportunity to discuss your proposal with our staff before you lodge a resource consent application. We offer three types of pre-application meetings, each with a different focus.
- initial concept - discuss development proposals at the early concept stage
- technical review - discuss the technical issues associated with a proposed resource consent application
- pre-lodgement - a pre-lodgement check of your proposed consent for completeness prior to lodgement of the application.
You are entitled to one free meeting of each type. If any follow up work is required, such as a technical review of information, the actual and reasonable cost of this work will be charged.
Any information offered during the pre-application process does not pre-empt the normal resource consent assessment and decision making process.
For further information relating to these meetings, select from the links below:
Pre-application Meeting Request Form [86kb]
A Guide to Concept Meetings - Fact Sheet [67.8kb]
A Guide to Technical Review Meetings - Fact Sheet [72.5kb]
A Guide to Pre-Lodgement Meetings - Fact Sheet [62.9kb]
Contact our Resource Consent Administration Team Leader to arrange a suitable date and time for a pre-application meeting by phoning +64 9 430 4200.
Pre-application meeting appointments are available from 1.00pm to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday.
Rejection of an application
If your application does not include sufficient information, it will be returned to you within 5 working days of the application being submitted to us.
If an application has been returned as incomplete, and then lodged again with the required information, we treat it as a new application.
If you or your agent don’t agree with the reasons for returning the application, either of you can formally object, in writing, within 15 working days of receiving the returned application.
Cost of an application
A fee is charged for processing resource consent applications and an advance fee must be paid at the time you make your application.
Most applications incur some additional charges which are invoiced after the decision is made. Additional charges may also be incurred during the life of the consent, for example, if the consent goes through an appeal process which involves an independent hearing.
If you or Council engage professional consultants this will add to your costs. Our fees are payable whether or not your resource consent is approved.
The fees are detailed in our Schedule of Fees and Charges. You can request an estimate of fees at any time.
Fees and Charges
Processing time for an application
Legislation requires us to process applications within certain timeframes.
- 10 working days - decision on whether or not the application will be limited or publicly notified
- 20 working days - process non-notified applications
- 50 working days - process notified applications if a hearing is not required
- 70 working days - process notified applications if a hearing is required.
Timeframes may be extended if you need to provide further information at any stage during the process. The clock is stopped until you have provided this information.
A resource consent generally has a timespan of 5 years to be completed. A longer period may be considered if requested.
Discount Regulations, which came into effect in 2010, provide a discount of 1% per day (up to a maximum of 50%) to applications which are not processed within the timeframes set in legislation, if we are responsible for the delay.
The regulations only apply to consent applications lodged on or after 31 July 2010 and are not applied retrospectively to applications before that date.
We will automatically calculate the level of discount applicable (if any) to your consent at the time of invoicing. If you do not agree that the discount amount is appropriate, you have the right to request a reconsideration of the value of the discount.
To download the form, follow the link below.
Reviewing Decisions on Discount [28kb]
For further information about publicly notified consents, follow the link below.
Cancelling a resource consent
You can surrender or cancel a consent if you no longer wish to undertake the activity which it authorises. We are required to give notice of acceptance before the surrender takes effect. Prior to surrender you are liable for:
- any non-compliance with any consent conditions prior to surrender
- any consent holder charges for the consent up to the time of its surrender.
If there are any incomplete works at the time you apply to surrender the consent, we may direct you to complete the works.
If you need assistance, you can contact either the duty planner or Customer Services who will be able to help you with the application process.
Phone +64 9 430 4200.
Alternatively you can contact staff at any of our Customer Service Centres.
Council offices - locations and hours of opening