Resource consent enforcement

One of our responsibilities is to make sure our built and natural environments are protected or enhanced by the work people are doing.

We will investigate cases where this work breaches the Resource Management Act and District Plan. 

Examples of breaches include:

  • building works taking place without the required resource consent
  • commercial activity taking place without resource consent
  • unauthorised signage.

Note that commercial activities, structure setback, signage and many other provisions in the District Plan differ, depending on the zone of the land.  Something which is not compliant in one zone, may possibly be compliant in another and vice-versa.

Investigating non-compliance complaints

Step 1.Initial screening

We screen complaints to see whether planning rules have been breached. In some cases, when the planning non-compliance is small in scale, we may not pursue formal enforcement action.

Step 2.Case triage and site visits

We assign one of three levels of priority to cases depending on potential harm to the natural environment and the impact on surrounding properties.

Depending on the priority level we will carry out a site inspection within the following timeframes:

  • 24 hours for cases of significant harm (subject to normal Council hours)
  • 10 working days for cases of medium harm
  • 20 working days for cases of low harm.

Step 3.Further assessment

If no breach is detected during the site visit, the case will be closed immediately.

If a breach is detected the owner or relevant party will be advised of the action to take and be given a deadline to complete this.

Step 4.Enforcement options

In some cases taking formal enforcement action may be needed. 

If taking further enforcement action is considered necessary, there are a number of enforcement options that Council may undertake to achieve compliance:

  • Formal Warnings
  • Infringement Notices
  • Abatement Notices
  • Interim Enforcement Order
  • Enforcement Order
  • Prosecution.