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 normally 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.

However, the process can take longer if:

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

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 will receive an email or letter to confirm that your application has been formally accepted.

If your application is considered to be incomplete

Your application can be returned to you within 10 working days if it's missing required information. 

You'll receive an email or letter outlining:

  • why it is considered to be incomplete, i.e. what is missing
  • any outstanding fees (such as rejection fee) or refunds.

If you submitted your application by post, you can request that we send it back to you.

2. We review your application

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

We'll assess if your application:

  • considers the effects the project will have on the wider environment
  • needs written approvals from affected parties, such as your neighbours
  • needs specialist input, such as a traffic or an acoustic engineer
  • needs to have specific conditions to avoid, remedy or mitigate any adverse effects

We will also check if your application could be a boundary activity instead.

If your application qualifies as a permitted boundary activity

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

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 under s92 of the RMA.

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 the processing planner.

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 unless the report is being commissioned because the planner considers that the adverse effects of your proposal may be significant.

4.    Making a notification decision on your application

We may decide to process your application as a:

  • non-notified consent if your application will not have ‘more than minor’ adverse effects on the environment and there are considered to be no ‘adversely affected persons’;
  • publicly notified consent if your application adversely affects the wider environment, including the broader community, to a 'more than minor' extent;
  • limited notified consent if we consider that specific persons will be adversely affected by your proposal (you'll be given the opportunity to seek their written approval first).

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

5. If your application needs to go to a hearing

If your application is notified, it will be open to submissions (either to the public generally or limited to certain persons) 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.

6. 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. These may be monitored for a period after your consent is issued.

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 or we spent more time than the application installation fee covers, you or your agent will be sent a final invoice for the additional charges by email.

Need help?

If you have a basic question about lodging an application email or phone call our Resource Consents Help Desk. The Resource Consents Help Desk provides 15 minutes of free assistance. Please email or call via the Customer Services Centre - 0800 727 059.