How we assess your resource consent application

Find out how we assess resource consent applications.

Assessing your resource consent application

Once your application and supporting documents have been submitted and you've paid your application fee, the assessment process takes up to:

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

The process can take longer if:

  • we need more information
  • you need to get written approval from affected parties
  • we need to commission a report to understand a technical aspect of your application
  • there's a change in your plans and you need to make an amendment to your application.

If you applied for a premium consent

1. Application check – clock starts

Once we've received your application and you've paid your initial fee, the clock will start on the assessment process. One of our planners will then take up to 10 working days to do an initial check for:

  • missing information
  • any inaccuracies in your application.

You'll receive an email to confirm that your application has been accepted.

If your application is rejected

Your application can be rejected if it's missing required information. 

You'll receive a letter outlining:

  • why it has been rejected
  • any outstanding fees or refunds.

If you submitted your application by post, we will send it back to you.

Depending on the type of information missing, you may be able to request for your application to be put on hold until you provide the information.

2. We review your application

Our planners will then assess the environmental effects (AEE) of your proposed activity to make sure it meets the requirements of the Resource Management Act.

We'll assess if your application:

  • considers the effect the project will have on the environment
  • needs written approvals from affected parties, such as the community or your neighbours
  • will create traffic or noise in the area
  • needs to have specific conditions – for example, the management and control of earthworks on site
  • needs specialist input, such as a traffic or an acoustic engineer.

We'll also check if your application could be a boundary activity instead or can be processed as a fast-track application.

If your application qualifies as a boundary activity

If you apply for a resource consent but we determine that your application qualifies as a boundary activity instead, we will advise you to reapply for a boundary activity.

You'll get a refund for the initial application fee you paid for your resource consent, but not for the time we took to process it.

Applying for a boundary activity

If your application needs to be processed as a notified consent

We may decide to process your application as a:

  • limited notified consent if we see that certain parties will be affected by your proposal. You'll be given the opportunity to seek their written approval first.
  • publicly notified consent if your application affects the wider community to a 'more than minor' extent.

Getting written approval from affected neighbours

You will need to pay additional fees if you wish to proceed with a notified application.

Notified resource consents

3. Receiving and responding to RFIs – clock stops

We issue a Request for Information (RFI) when we need more information from you or your agent.

We'll send an RFI by email once all our teams have assessed the application. The clock will stop on the assessment process. You will have 15 working days to respond, or you can request an extension of time from one of our planners.

If you don't respond in time, your non-notified application may be processed as a publicly notified consent instead.

If we decide to commission a report

We may need to commission a report to help us understand a technical aspect of your application – for example, a report relating to a contaminated site. The fee for this is determined on a case-by-case basis. The clock won't stop on the assessment process.

If you need to change your plans after your application is submitted

4. If your application needs to go to a hearing

If your application is notified, it will be open to submissions and may go to a hearing.

You'll receive an email to let you know:

  • the date of your hearing
  • what you need to provide.

Making a submission on a resource consent application

5. The consent is granted or declined

If we grant your resource consent, it will list any conditions you need to meet while building work is underway or any ongoing requirements such as landscape maintenance.

Monitoring resource consent conditions

If your consent is declined, we'll let you know the reasons why in advance.

If extra costs were incurred as part of assessing your application (for example, commissioning a report) or we spent more time than the initial deposit covers, you or your agent will be sent a final invoice by email.

If you want to object to or appeal the decision

Contact us

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

Phone: 04 801 3590

Email: planning@wcc.govt.nz