FAQs – Your Resource Consent Once Granted
1. What do I do now that I have my resource consent?
If you have engaged a consultant to help you through the application process you should discuss with them any ongoing obligations on you as the consent holder for the term of the consent. The consent may include conditions that you have to meet in order to give effect to the consent. See question number 4 below.
If you do not have a consultant, you should discuss your on-going obligations with the Environmental Planning Officer who processed your consent application.
Other conditions of consent set out on-going obligations on the consent holder for the term of the consent, this may include monitoring and reporting to Council, maintenance of measuring and monitoring equipment, environmental surveys and fencing of wetlands, etc.
Diarise when your consent will expire and when it will lapse. You will need to lodge an application for the replacement consent if required. If you do this at least six months before the expiry of the existing consent you can continue to operate under the existing consent, as of right, until the new application is determined and any appeals resolved so that the consent is granted.
2. Why do I receive an annual monitoring and administration charge for my resource consent?
Some resource consents have conditions requiring on-going monitoring that requires Council to provide on-going administration of the consents and to undertake consent monitoring activities.
The cost for this administration and monitoring activity is recovered from consent holders through annual consent monitoring charges.
Each resource consent decision includes one or more certificates of resource consent depending on the number and types of consent required for the activity consent. The annual monitoring invoice will include a charge for each component of the consent that attracts the charge. This approach is designed to ensure the charging regime reflects the varying and often complex nature of resource consents. You can read an explanation of the resource consent monitoring fees and charges on our website at the link below.
Find out more about resource consent monitoring fees
Where the fixed annual monitoring charge is insufficient to recover the costs for resource consent monitoring, an additional charge may be incurred. Examples of what additional costs may be charged are: disbursements, travel expenses, laboratory and consultants charges. Council will also charge actual and reasonable costs for carrying out and monitoring all abatement notices and enforcement orders covering consented activities, where enforcement action is required due to a breach of resource consent.
The charge out rate for Council staff for all work relating to our resource management monitoring charges is $150 per hour.
The monitoring charges will be issued annually for the term of the consent, or until the consent is surrendered and a notice of acceptance is issued. This charge will be issued regardless of whether or not you are using the consent.
3. Will my resource consent expire?
Under the Resource Management Act 1991(RMA) resource consents granted for subdivision, reclamation and most land use activities are enduring, without an expiry date, unless otherwise specified in the decision.
The RMA requires water, discharge and coastal permits and some land use consents to be issued for a specified duration not exceeding 35 years. If no term is specified in the decision the consent term will default to a period of 5 years from the date of commencement. See section 123 of the RMA.
Go to the Resource Management Act
The term of the consent is located at the top of the Certificate of Resource Consent.
4. What is the lapse date?
The lapse date is the date by which the consent must be given effect to, otherwise it will be deemed to be in a state of lapse. A state of lapse means the consent cannot be operated and the activity cannot commence thereafter, under the terms of the consent. In effect, the consent is at an end.
The date is located in the consent at the top of the ‘Certificate of Resource Consent’.
If no date has been specified in the resource consent, the consent lapse date will default to 5 years after the commencement of the consent. For consents related to aquaculture activities in the coastal marine area, the default lapse date will be three years after the commencement of the coastal permit.
To give effect to consent you need to start operating under the consent.
The consent will normally include conditions, some of which will require some form of action before the consent can be utilised. The top of the ‘Certificate of Resource Consent’ will include any condition numbers that are termed establishment conditions. This is an indication of what conditions must be complied with before the lapse date.
Examples of establishment conditions are the requirement to install meters to record water abstraction on a water permit, or the requirement to surrender the previous water permit before the replacement permit can be utilised.
It is possible to extend the lapse date if the consent holder makes an application to Council before the consent lapses. The consent holder will have to, amongst other things, demonstrate that substantial progress has been, and continues to be made, towards giving effect to the consent.
See section 125 of the RMA.
5. When and why would I transfer my consent?
Some resource consents need to be transferred when there is a change to the person or entity that is operating under the consent. The transferable consents are water permits, discharge permits, coastal permits and some land use consents. Subdivision and most land use consents are not generally transferable, unless specified in the consent document, as they remain with the land rather than with the consent holder. This means if the land is sold the new land owner may carry out the activity under the resource consent and will be liable for any fees or costs incurred and to ensure compliance with the consent conditions.
Check the consent for conditions relating to permit transfer. In some cases the condition will dictate who and when the consent can be transferred to, e.g. a coastal permit associated with adjacent land that can only be transferred to an owner of the adjacent land.
As an example, the circumstances under which you would transfer your consent may be the sale and purchase of the property associated with the consent, or the permit holder is deceased and the estate transfers the consent to the estate or beneficiary. Of course the circumstances are not limited to these two examples.
When the new property owner does not want to operate the consent and a transfer is not sought, the consent holder should apply to Council to surrender the consent. The consent will not be deemed to be surrendered until a notice of acceptance is issued.
If in doubt, contact the Duty Planner Service or your consultant for clarification.
You can download the ’Notice of transfer’ form from our website using this link:
Go to the notice of transfer forms
The notice must be completed by both parties to the transfer and provided to Council for processing. A fee is required to be paid before the processing commences.
The fee varies depending on the category of consent to be transferred.
If the consent is not transferred the permit holder will continue to be responsible for the on-going compliance with the terms of the consent and the annual monitoring fees, together with any additional fees as they arise.
See sections 134 – 137 of the Resource Management Act 1991.
6. Can the conditions on my consent be changed?
Overtime, and through the utilisation of the consent it may become clear that some conditions are not working as you anticipated. The Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) provides an opportunity to change or cancel a consent condition on application by the consent holder.
The ability to change the consent conditions is subject to the following provisos:
- The consent when issued had been assessed as having a discretionary activity status.
- The holder of a subdivision consent can only apply to change a condition before the deposit of a survey plan. Thereafter any changes to a consent condition can only be by way of an ‘Application to vary a consent notice’, registered on the certificate of title.
No consent holder can apply to change the consent duration.
See sections 127 and 221 of the RMA.
Go to the Resource Management Act
If you want to change the activity for which the consent is granted you will need to lodge an application for a new consent.
Council can also review the conditions of consent with a view to changing them. They may do so only in limited circumstances and they must follow a process which allows assessment and the consent holder’s participation:
- A condition for consent provides for Council to review the conditions
- With respect to water, coastal and discharge permits, when a regional plan sets new standards for maximum and minimum levels in relation to the use of water, air quality, temperature or pressure of geothermal water.
- With respect to water, coastal and discharge permits or land use consent, when a new national environmental standard or national planning standard has been made.
- With respect to a land use consent, when a regional rule impacts upon the consent; or
- With respect to a consent granted on an application where the information provided by the applicant was inaccurate and those inaccuracies influenced the decision to grant the consent and further conditions are now required to address the effects that arise from those inaccuracies.
See s128 to s132 of the RMA.
7. What happens if I am no longer utilising my consent?
If you are no longer operating under your consent and have no plans to do so in the future, you have the option of surrendering your consent. You can do this either for the whole or part of your consent.
You must complete a surrender form below and provide this to Council.
Complete the Notification of Surrender of a Resource Consent form
Council will assess the surrender of the consent based on the following conditions:
- Whether it would lead to an adverse effect on the environment.
- If in part, whether it will
- Affect the integrity of the remaining consent; or
- Affect the ability of the consent holder to meet the other conditions of the consent.
The surrender takes effect on receipt by the consent holder of the notice of acceptance of the surrender from Council.
The consent holder remains liable for any fees or costs incurred and any breach of conditions that occurred prior to the surrender of consent and may be directed by Council to complete any work to give effect to the consent.
See section 138 of the Resource Management Act 1991.
8. What is the difference between a resource consent and a building consent?
Every building project must comply with the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) and the Building Act 2004 (BA04). These laws define the situations in which you need resource consent and/or building consent; and what you need to do to get them.
Resource consent is a formal approval for such things as the use or subdivision of land, the taking of water, the discharge of contaminants in water, soil or air, or the use or occupation of coastal space. New buildings may require a resource consent if the construction of them or the intended use of them is not a permitted activity that meets the standards in the plan. In addition existing buildings may require a resource consent if the building or the use was not permitted, or provided for, by a resource consent, or where there will be a change to the building or the use of the building that is not permitted by the plan.
The need for resource consents varies from one zone to another. If the activity you want to carry out isn’t clearly identified as either a permitted or prohibited activity in the plan, you may still be required to obtain resource consent. While Council’s Duty Planner Service is available to assist in the first instance, it is recommended that you seek the view of a consultant.
Building consent is a formal approval granted by your local council under the BA04 that allows a person to carry out building work. Building work includes work in connection with the construction, alteration, demolition or removal of a building.
Council will issue a building consent only when it is satisfied the proposed building work will meet the requirements of the Building Code.
You can check with the Council Duty Building Inspector on whether building consent is required for your proposed building project. For any building work requiring building consent you must have the consent approved by Council before any work can commence. This includes: alterations, additions, new buildings, plumbing, demolition work, drainage, bridges, farm buildings, marquees and the installation of log fires.
If you are proposing to do any building work then we recommend that you apply for a Project Information Memorandum (PIM) as soon as the floor plan, elevations and site plan are completed. Information provided with the PIM may be necessary to finalize the building consent application. Getting the PIM first may also speed up the building consent process.
A PIM summarizes information Council has on record about a property that may have an effect on the building project you are undertaking. This includes checking compliance of the project with the relevant Resource Management Plan rules. It will identify if resource consent is needed, and may include information and requirements for services connections and disconnections. The PIM may also include reference to technical information that needs to be provided with the building consent application.
Although a PIM can be applied for at the same time as a building consent; it is better to obtain a PIM before seeking a building consent. This ensures you know all the matters that may have an effect on your project. You do not have to have a PIM before applying for a building consent, but it can save time when you get to the building consent process. PIMs are not compulsory but we recommend that you apply for one for all dwellings, commercial projects and other significant projects.
When a building consent is applied for (but no PIM has been applied for), the building consent application will undergo a planning check to see whether a resource consent application is required. If a resource consent application is required, a section 37 Certificate under the Building Act will be issued by Council. The section 37 Certificate advises that no building work shall commence (even though a building consent may have been issued by Council) until a resource consent application has been lodged and approved by Council for the proposed building work/activity.