Forms and Overview

Note: Payment is generally required at the time applications are submitted.

Land use forms and checklists

Subdivision forms and checklists

Other resource consent related forms

Fees and charges

Resource Consents Overview

There are different types of resource consents including:

  • Land use consents.
  • Subdivision consents.
  • Coastal permits.
  • Water permits.
  • Discharge permits - for discharges into air, water or land.

We grant resource consents for land use and subdivisions, while Taranaki Regional Council (TRC) administers coastal, water and discharge permits. Your intended activity may require resource consents from both councils.

What is the Resource Management Act?

The Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) is the cornerstone of environmental legislation in New Zealand. The RMA is a statute that promotes the sustainable management of natural and physical resources.  Natural and physical resources are things like: air, land, water, energy, soil, minerals, animals, ecosystems, buildings, roads, network utilities and the coast.

Sustainable management means managing our resources so that the needs of people in the future can still be met, while allowing people today to provide for their social, economic, and cultural well-being as well as their health and safety. The Act places emphasis on minimising any adverse or harmful effects of activities, and on providing for the needs of future generations.

New Plymouth District Plan

The New Plymouth District Plan provides the framework for promoting sustainable management at the local level. It consists of maps, objectives, policies and rules which set out the activities permitted in the district. It also determines when resource consents and subdivision consents are required, and under which conditions these can be approved.

The District Plan was developed in consultation with the community and aims to minimise the harmful effects that activities may have on the surrounding area and on the environment.

When considering the District Plan rules that your proposed activity triggers it is important to check all proposed Plan Changes and the dates at which the proposed Plan Change rules have legal effect in relation to the date which you lodge your consent application(s) with the Council.

See also Applying for a Resource Consent,  District Plan and Plan Changes and Private Plan Changes.

So what is a building consent?

Building consents are solely for building-related activities. They are concerned primarily with the health and safety of occupants and are subject to national standards and regulations. 

If your application for a land use or subdivision consent includes any building work, chances are you will need to obtain a building consent as well. Both building consents and resource consents are handled by us.

Where else can I go for help?

Incorporated in 1949 as a Charitable Trust, the New Zealand Planning Institute (NZPI) is the professional organisation representing planners, resource managers, urban designers, and environmental practitioners throughout New Zealand. NZPI promotes professional excellence and works in partnership with planners to shape the future according to the changing and diverse needs of all New Zealanders.

The New Zealand Planning Institute produces an Online Directory to help the public identify a qualified Consultant in their region. Seeking the advice of a qualified professional is more likely to smooth the path, and achieve the desired outcome. To find Professionals in Planning, Design and the Environment visit www.planningconsultants.org.nz/

Consent Process

There are two ways that resource consent applications can be processed: notified or non-notified. The Resource Management Act provides guidelines for what applications should or should not be notified.

Non-notified resource consents

Non-notified resources consents are not publicly advertised. We decide whether or not to grant the resource consent solely on the information provided by the applicant. Most applications are non-notified. This is because the adverse effects which might result from the proposal are only minor, and any affected people (usually neighbours) have agreed in writing to the proposal.

Timeframe: If an application has all the necessary information and all written approvals of neighbours and other affected parties are provided, and we have decided public notification is not required, the application will be processed within 20 working days. If further information is needed from the applicant, then the process will take longer.

Notified resource consents

Where the effects of an application are more than minor and/or the written permission of affected people has not been obtained, the application will be notified.

Discussing your proposal with us before lodging an application may speed up the consent process, save you money and make the application process simpler.

Resource consents may be notified in two ways:

  • Limited notification - this process requires us to notify only affected parties, as identified by us. Only these parties may lodge submissions supporting or opposing the application.
  • Public notification - this process requires us to publicly advertise the application in the newspaper and inform neighbours. A sign may also be placed on the site. Any interested parties may lodge a submission in support or opposition of the application. Publicly notified resource consents make the details of the information publicly available so that other people and parties can have their say.

To decide whether limited or public notification is appropriate we consider the scale of the effects of the proposed activity. Where the effects are minor and the wider public is not affected the consent follows the limited notification process.

Timeframe: A notified application takes much longer to process and is more expensive than a non-notified application. From the time that we accept an application as complete and begin processing it, a limited notified resource consent can take up to 100 working days to be processed and a publicly notified resource consent can take up to 130 working days. 

Submissions: A submission can support, object, or a mixture of both, to parts of or the entire proposal. Anyone can make a submission on a publicly notified resource consent application and affected parties can make a submission on a limited notified resource consent application. There is a 20-working day period following notification for written submissions to be sent to the Council.

Hearings

A hearing is the final part of the submission process. It gives the applicant, and all submitters who stated in their submission that they wish to be heard (whether in support or opposition), the opportunity to formally present their views to a committee.

Note: Only the courts can issue binding interpretations of the Resource Management Act. Indications and guidelines issued by us are provided with the intention of helping people to understand the legislation. They are, however offered on a no liability basis, and in any particular case those concerned should consult their own legal advisers.