If you’re thinking about buying some land, a business or a building, or you want to subdivide land, discharging waste water into a stream, moving earth, or discharging pollution into the air and these plans fall outside the rules in your regional or district Plans you will need to get a resource consent.
One job for councils is deciding whether to grant resource consents to people wanting to undertake activities that might affect the environment.
Whether you’ll need a resource consent, and what type of consent you’ll need, depends on the type of activity you want to do, and how it’s classified in your local district or regional plan. Every council plan is different, so don’t simply assume that just because you didn’t need a consent in one town, you won’t need a consent in another. There are also likely to be differences between areas within a district/city or region depending on what ‘zone’ your activity falls in.
Before you start any activity that might affect your neighbours, your wider community or your environment, contact your local council or check out their website. Council staff will tell you whether you need to apply for a resource consent. They will also tell you if the activity is prohibited, which means that it is expressly not allowed and you can’t even apply for a resource consent.
Activities that need a resource consent are classified as controlled, restricted discretionary, discretionary and non-complying. The council has to grant a resource consent for a controlled activity (with a couple of exceptions), but can refuse to grant a resource consent for a restricted discretionary, discretionary or non-complying activity.
There are five types of resource consent:
If you do need to apply for a resource consent, council staff will tell you:
-how your activity is classified in the plan, and what kind of resource consent you need to apply for
-whether you need to apply to both the district/city and the regional council for a resource consent (or they will refer you to the other council)
-what information you need to supply in support of your application
-how long the process is likely to take, and how much the council is likely to charge
The first step is always to contact the council to discuss the activity you want to do. If you’re unsure whether your activity will affect your neighbours, community or environment, check with the council; don’t just go ahead.
Part 4: Assessment of Environmental Effects & Public Consultation coming soon!