Guidelines for Consent Holders

Resource consents are monitored to ensure any conditions of the consent are being met. We may review the conditions of a consent at any time specified in the consent, or if it is found that the information provided at the time of application was inaccurate.

Resource consent holders are responsible for monitoring costs.

Cancelled and lapsed consents

Lapsed consents

Work on the approved activity must begin within five years, unless a different timeframe is stated in the consent, or your consent will lapse. Once established in accordance with consent conditions the activity may continue for an unlimited period unless otherwise specified in the consent.


You can apply for an extension to the timeframe in your consent. The application must be lodged with us within the three months before the deadline. As part of this process you may be required to obtain new written approvals from people affected by the activity and the time extension.

Cancelled consents

The holder of a resource consent may cancel the resource consent, either in whole or in part, by giving written notice to us. The consent holder may in certain circumstances continue to be legally liable for any previous non-compliance.

We may cancel a resource consent by written notice served on the consent holder, when substantial progress has not been made on the approved activity within the stated timeframe.

Monitoring resource consents

Once your resource consent has been issued we will monitor, or check that what was approved it being carried out in accordance with the attached conditions. Please contact us to arrange a suitable date and time for an inspection.

Different types of resource consents typically call for different skills and technical knowledge, as well as a different monitoring strategy - for instance, a land use consent often requires long-term monitoring. This may involve ongoing sampling and/or the implementation of highly technical procedures to avoid, remedy or mitigate any adverse environmental effects.

Although we are responsible for ensuring that resource consents are monitored, we might not carry out the monitoring ourselves. The nature and scale of a particular development will determine who undertakes the monitoring and the extent of monitoring carried out.

In some cases we might require the consent-holder to carry out their own monitoring by engaging a professional and responsible person, and provide the results to us, as a condition of the resource consent being granted.

For developments with major environmental effects a management plan may be required detailing:

  • The management of the operation.
  • Contingency and precautionary measures.
  • General monitoring activities.
  • What happens if the conditions aren't met?

We may take various actions if the conditions of a resource consent are not met. Depending on the circumstances, these include issuing:

  • An abatement notice – this is essentially an official warning that the Resource Management Act is being contravened.
  • An enforcement order – a court-backed order demanding compliance.
  • An instant fine (called an infringement notice).

Severe breaches of the Resource Management Act or the conditions of a resource consent can result in prosecution or a heavy fine.