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Resource Consents

Image for the Resource Consents page.
This page contains general information about resource consents as an introduction to why you may need a consent for a development or activity on your land.
Updated: 21/08/2015 10:58 a.m.

Any land development or use of natural or physical resources that affect the environment may need a resource consent. The Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) emphasises the minimisation of adverse or harmful effects of activities. At a local level, our District Plan defines permitted activities in the district and contains rules about how you can use your land. Proposed District Plan Changes may also have an effect on your proposal in relation to the date when you lodge your application with us.  

Preparing your application

A resource consent application requires a range of supporting information so that we can assess your proposal. Check out the pages listed below for guidance to help you decide whether you may need professional advice or help to compile this information. 

If your proposal includes any building work, you may also need to obtain a building consent. 

Where land development involves the creation of infrastructure (ie roads, water and wastewater systems etc), our Environmental Engineering Standards set out the minimum acceptable levels for engineering design.

We recommend that you talk to us in the early stages of planning your proposal and before submitting your application. It's an opportunity to discuss your proposal and any planning matters which may affect processing of your application. 

Additional consents

There may be other aspects to your application which need additional consents from Northland Regional Council (NRC). These include:

  • discharge permit - generally for stormwater or sewerage
  • earthworks permit - for site or construction works
  • water permit - for taking or damming of water
  • coastal permit - for activities in the coastal marine area.

Visit the NRC website for information about consents that they administer.

Consents information (Northland Regional Council website) Opens in a new window. 

Applying for a resource consent 

When you have compiled all the necessary information, complete the relevant  application form and attach the information to it. We will assess your proposal and let you know if further information is required. Once we have adequate information we will determine if your application will be non-notified, limited notified or publicly notified. Find out about the criteria for notification by following the link below.

You can find information about specific types of resource consents and links to the application forms by selecting from the links below.

Consent processing timeframes

We will process your application within the following timeframes. 

  • 20 working days - non-notified applications
  • 60 working days - limited and publicly notified applications if a hearing is not required
  • 100 working days - limited notified applications if a hearing is required
  • 130 working days - publicly 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 'processing 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 wil be considered if requested.  

Planning check

Our customer services staff will do the initial check of your application to make sure it has been fully completed, the necessary information is included and sufficient copies have been supplied. If not, the application can't be lodged and we will let you know the reasons why.

Our planning staff will then do a preliminary planning check to make sure your application meets the RMA regulations. If the application is accepted, an advance fee/deposit is payable at this point.

Development contributions

We will assess your application for Development Contributions. Follow the link below for further information about our Development Contributions Policy and how contributions are calculated. 

Rejection of an application

If your application doesn't include sufficient information, we will return it to you within 10 working days of its receipt. If you lodge the application 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

We charge an advance fee which is intended to cover most of the actual and reasonable costs associated with processing any application. Where the costs exceed the advance fee, they will be invoiced once a decision on the application is issued. Additional costs may be invoiced where ongoing monitoring or compliance checking is required.

Our Schedule of Fees and Charges contain a breakdown of costs and you can request an estimate of fees at any time.

If we engage an external consultant, their fees are added to your costs together with a 5% management fee which is applied to each invoice.

Discount policy

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, 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 don't 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 [51kb]

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. You are liable for:

  • any non-compliance with any consent conditions before surrender
  • any consent holder charges for the consent up to the time of its surrender.

If there are any incomplete works, we may direct you to complete them.

Contact us

If you need assistance, you can contact our duty planner who will be able to help you with the application process.

Phone +64 9 430 4200.

Alternatively you can contact staff at either of our Customer Service Centres.


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