Resource Consents

What is a Resource Consent?

In broad terms, a resource consent is an approval from Council to do something on land that is not otherwise permitted by the local and/or regional rules.

Under the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA), Regional Councils prepare Regional Plans that manage our air, water, land and soil, whilst City and District Councils prepare District Plans that manage the land, its use and its ability to be subdivided. Every District and Regional Plan differentiates in the way it reflects the desires and aspirations of the local community in the context of their particular district and regional environments.

The District and Regional Plans include objectives, policies and rules to guide which activities can occur, to what extent and in which locations (zones) to ensure that New Zealand’s natural and physical resources are sustainably managed. The RMA[/sf_tooltip] requires Councils to assess the environmental effects of an activity; whether potential adverse effects are avoided, remedied or mitigated by the proposal, who is affected by such adverse effects and whether the proposal fits within the objectives and policies of the plan. In this way Councils are able to decide whether an application can be approved or be declined.

Under the RMA[/sf_tooltip] there are five different types of resource consents. Some projects may require one type of consent, while others might require a combination of different consents before a project can begin.


Eliot Sinclair can assist you with all types of consents for your project.


Land Use Consent

  • To carry out earthworks
  • To install or alter a bore
  • To establish an activity in a zone that is typically for other purposes (such as a non-residential activity in a residential area, or a residential activity in a commercial area)
  • To use an existing building for a different use
  • To establish an activity which requires more than 25 car parks
  • To build a house which does not meet building envelope rules (setbacks, site coverage, heights)

Coastal Permit

  • To build a wharf on the coast below the mean high water springs mark
  • To discharge stormwater into coastal waters

Water Permit

  • To take water from a stream for an irrigation scheme
  • To build a dam in the bed of a river

Discharge Permit

  • To discharge stormwater and/or effluent into land from a subdivision where there is no reticulated network available
  • To discharge combustion products from a wood curing kiln into the air

Subdivision Consent

  • To create new allotments, that is; to subdivide land for new residential, commercial, industrial or rural uses.
  • To create unit titles around a building development
  • To amend flats plans (cross leases)

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