Resource consents process
Applying for a resource consent can seem complicated, so there’s a few things you can do to help make your journey simpler.
Before you apply
There’s a number of things you can do before you apply for a resource consent to help make your application process go more smoothly.
Resource consent applications can be complex, detailed, and quite technical. We recommend you work with a planning consultancy, surveyor or architect to apply for resource consent on your behalf.
You can make an appointment with us for a confidential pre-application meeting with a resource consents planner and other technical officers. This allows you to discuss your project with us before you submit your resource consent application.
This can help you with the resource consent process, any potential issues and we can review your proposal before you finalise it. This free-of-charge meeting could save you time and money later.
You can find out more in our Pre-application meeting fact sheet[PDF 393 KB].
Speak to your neighbour
If your plans could affect your neighbours, you should discuss your plans with them as early as possible. In some cases it might be enough for your neighbour to complete our Resource consent written approval form (Form 8A)[DOCX 384 KB].
You, or someone representing your project (your builder, architect, surveyor or planning consultant), must complete one of:
- a land use resource consent application form
- subdivision resource consent application form
- request for deemed permitted boundary activity form.
You’ll then need to get this to us, with all the relevant information required, and drop it off to our service centres, post it, or email it to the Council's Resource Consents team – [email protected]. You’ll also need to pay the appropriate fee when lodging your application.
Resource consent applications take 20 working days to process, provided all the necessary information is included and your proposed project does not need to be notified.
Your application will follow one of three notification processes:
- limited notified
- publicly notified.
Once you submit your application, we’ll be able to determine which of these processes is required.
Non-notified resource consents
Under the legislation you can gain consent for discretionary and non-complying activities without public notifications and hearings, under specific circumstances. Resource consents staff will need to first consider each application. This process is only possible if both:
- approval of all affected parties has been obtained
- the effects will be minor.
The Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) allows any application to be notified under special circumstances, even if a relevant plan expressly provides that it need not be notified.
If your application is non-notified, resource consent staff will make the decision to grant or refuse consent under their delegated authority. Applicants can object to Council if consent is refused, or if you’re not happy with the conditions. Further information can be obtained from Council regarding non-notified applications and objections.
Limited notified resource consents
Where only certain groups or people are identified by Council as being adversely affected by the proposal, only those people can make a submission on the application. You can see current limited notification resource consents on our website.
Publicly notified resource consents
If your plans will have an effect on the wider community or environment, your application may need to be publicly notified.
This means members of the public will be able to make submissions on your application, and those submissions will be considered when we make a decision on your consent.
You can see current publicly notified resource consents on our website.
When deciding whether a consent should be publicly notified, the Council must consider a number of matters that are set out by the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA).
Sometimes we’re required to publicly notify an application, such as when:
- the applicant requests public notification
- the applicant refuses to provide further information or agree to the commissioning of the report
- there’s a rule or National Environmental Standard (NES) that requires it be publicly notified
- Council assesses the proposal and decides that the adverse effects are more than minor
- Council decides there are special circumstances that warrant public notification.
There are also some instances when an application cannot be publicly notified. We can’t notify an application if:
- There’s a rule or NES that states that an application will not be notified
- the application is for one or more of the following, but no other, activities:
- a controlled activity
- a restricted discretionary, discretionary, or non-complying activity, but only if the activity is a boundary activity.
If an application is publicly notified a summary notice will be placed in the newspaper and the full details of the application will be made available on the Council’s website. Members of the public will have 20 working days to make a submission on the application.
Depending on the type of activity, different consenting processes can be followed.
Deemed permitted boundary activity
Where a rule is breached in relation to a boundary, such as a setback or height in relation to boundary, an applicant can ask Council to issue a written notice deeming the activity to be permitted.
This request must include all of:
- A completed application for a deemed permitted boundary activity form[PDF 446 KB] for the aspects that do not comply with the District Plan
- written approval[PDF 176 KB] from all owners of the affected boundary
- plans detailing the encroachment.
If Council issues a written notice as a result, no resource consent is required.
You can’t apply for a deemed permitted boundary activity when non-compliance is along a public boundary, such as a road or reserve.
Council does not have to undertake an effects assessment and if all the information is supplied (there’s no ability to ask for further information), must issue a written notice within 10 working days deeming the activity to be permitted.
Fast track resource consent applications
Where a land use resource consent has been applied for in respect for a controlled activity, we must process and issue a decision within 10 working days. We have no discretion to decline controlled activity consents. The most common applications received for land use controlled activities are for home occupations and relocated buildings. Applicants in this instance are receiving a priority service, although they can opt out and pay a lower deposit fee if they wish.
Deemed permitted marginal or temporary exemptions
We have the discretion to determine if effects of a proposed activity are marginal or temporary and issue a written notice which exempts the requirement for a resource consent. There is no formal application process for public participation as Council determines what is marginal or temporary and there is no working day timeframe to assess marginal or temporary effects and make a determination. These exemptions are for situations in which the effects of an otherwise permitted activity are no different in character, intensity, or scale than the permitted activity and the adverse effects on any person are less than minor. Sufficient information must be supplied for Council to be able to determine what the effects are and if they are marginal or temporary. Council must issue a written notice if the activity is considered to meet the requirements of the RMA. Written notices lapse within five years unless given effect to prior.
Related forms and checklists:
- Applicants information checklist for resource consent[PDF 159 KB]
- Resource consent application form [PDF 311 KB]
- Resource consent written approval form - subdivision[DOCX 384 KB]
- Subdivision application guidelines[PDF 146 KB]
- Building consent written approval form for yard encroachment[PDF 179 KB]
Find out what you need to know about planning events on our Events page.
Note: If an application does not contain all the necessary information, it will be returned to be completed before processing begins.