Existing use certificate

An existing use certificate will confirm that your building or activity has existing use rights.

Section 10(1) of the Resource Management Act 1991(the Act) addresses existing use rights for land use.  Under this section, land may be used in a manner that contravenes a rule in the Kaipara District Plan if both:

  • the use was lawfully established before the rule became operative; and
  • the effects of the use are the same or similar in character, intensity and scale.
Section 10 of the Act does not apply to activities that have been discontinued for a continuous period of more than 12 months after the new rule became operative.

With respect to the jurisdiction of our Council, existing use rights under section 10 do not apply to the reconstruction, alteration of, or extension to, any building that increases the degree to which the building fails to comply with any rule in the District Plan.

If you would like us to confirm whether you have existing use rights for a building or activity, you can apply for an existing use certificate under section 139A of the Act.  The onus is on you to demonstrate to us that you meet the requirements above.

What you need to provide in your application

  • A full description of the activity for which existing use rights are claimed
  • Evidence that demonstrates the lawful establishment of the activity, and that the activity has continued to be lawful. 
  • A full description of the character, intensity and scale of the effects of the activity, and how these are the same or similar to those at the time immediately before the activity most recently required a resource consent, i.e. before the current Plan rule(s) became operative.
  • Confirmation that the use has been continuous since the time resource consent was required, or if the use has/had ceased for a period, this period should be clearly identified.
  • All necessary plans.
  • Certificate of title and registered interests for the application site/s.


Once your application is complete, you will need to lodge both a hard copy and an electronic copy with Council. You will also need to pay the associated Application Instalment Fee and until this is paid the Council will not accept your application. 

You can provide an electronic copy of your application via email to rmaconsents@kaipara.govt.nz

Your hard copy can be posted to the below address or you can also drop it off at the customer service centre in Mangawhai or Dargaville.

Resource Consent Applications
Kaipara District Council
Unit 6, 6 Molesworth Drive
Mangawhai 0505


We will assess the information you provide to determine if we can make a decision, and if we need further information then we will contact you.

If you meet the criteria, we will issue an existing use certificate within 20 working days of the date:

  • you submit your application, or
  • on which we receive further information, if requested.