Applying for a resource consent

A resource consent is a written decision from the Council about a building or land development project that may affect the environment or your community.

How it works

If you need a resource consent, you must get it before work starts.

Before you apply for a resource consent

Using an agent

We strongly recommend that your architect or surveyor applies for a resource consent on your behalf. If your application is complex, you should involve a planning consultancy instead.

Using an agent to prepare your application

How to apply

The Resource Management Act of 1991 has set specific time frames for deciding on resource consent applications, and these vary based on whether or not notification is needed:

  • 20 working days for a non-notified consent
  • 100 working days for a limited notified consent
  • 130 working days for a publicly notified consent.

A ‘working day’ doesn’t include weekends, public holidays, or the days from December 20 to January 10 (inclusive) each year. It also doesn’t include any days when the application is paused because more information is needed.

The actual time it takes to decide on an application can vary. This is based on:

  • the proposal’s complexity
  • the application’s quality
  • the need for additional information
  • the requirement for specialist advice.

1. Know what you need to provide

Your agent will need to provide supporting documents and plans with your application to show:

  • the type of activity you're doing
  • the environmental impact of your project
  • the impact your project might have on members of the public
  • who will be doing the work.

Supporting documents for a resource consent application

2. Submit your application 

Apply online

Download the form

Resource consent application (159KB PDF)

3. Pay the fee

Once you've paid the initial fee, we'll begin processing your application.

How resource consent fees work

4. We assess your application

Your application will be assessed in two stages:

  • An initial check for missing information or inaccuracies in your application
  • Full assessment of the environmental effects of your proposed activity – we may decide that your application should be assessed as a limited or publicly notified consent

How we assess your resource consent application

If your project will affect other people or the environment

If your application:

  • is likely to affect your wider community or the environment, we may require it to be publicly notified
  • will directly affect your neighbours (for example, by blocking their view or affecting their sun exposure) and you are unable to get their written approval for your plans, your application may be processed as a limited notification consent.

Notified consents follow a slightly different approval process and involve extra fees.

Notified resource consents

If your resource consent is granted

Your consent will tell you:

  • the reasons for our decision
  • the conditions of how you must carry out any activity – this may include administrative and monitoring fees.

If you don't think you'll complete the work before your consent lapses (usually after 5 years), you'll have to apply for your consent to be extended.

Check your consent documentation carefully to see what you need to do while work is under way.

Monitoring resource consent conditions

Once your resource consent has been approved, you can apply for any required building consents.

Building consents

If your resource consent is declined

You'll receive a letter giving the reasons why your application was declined.

Your application can be declined for a number of reasons – for example:

  • you haven't included enough information to prove your project won't harm the environment or impact others
  • the land isn't suitable for the proposed activity.

If your application is put on hold

The processing of your application may be put on hold if we've requested further information from you and haven't received it.

Contact us

The Resource Consents team is available Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm.

Phone: 04 801 3590