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Do you need resource consent?

Last updated: 15 March 2016

You may need to apply for resource consent, depending on the requirements of the district or regional plan.

A resource consent is formal approval from your council to do something that they haven't clearly identified in their plan as either permitted or prohibited.

It includes things like:

  • using or subdividing land
  • taking water
  • discharging contaminants in water, soil or air
  • using or occupying coastal space.

Under the Resource Management Act, regional and city or district councils prepare plans to reflect the desires and aspirations of the local community in relation to natural or physical resources, and activities that affect the environment.

Every plan is different because it relates to a different geographical location and:

  • regional councils prepare regional plans that focus on the management of air, water, land and soil
  • city and district councils prepare district plans that focus on managing aspects of subdivision and land use that can affect the environment, such as:
    • height, appearance and location of buildings and signs
    • noise, glare and odour associated with the activities that take place in and around buildings.

Just as council plans vary, the need for resource consents varies from one area to another.

If you don't need resource consent but want confirmation, a council can issue a certificate of compliance for permitted activities. This confirms that the activity is lawfully established in relation to the Resource Management Act. However, you may still need a building consent or need to meet our district requirements.

Have a look at the resource consent information

This information is published by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Chief Executive. It is a general guide only and, if used, does not relieve any person of the obligation to consider any matter to which the information relates according to the circumstances of the particular case. Expert advice may be required in specific circumstances. Where this information relates to assisting people: