For information on planning and Resource consents see below
Before embarking on a building project, check to see whether or not you will need approval from the Planning Department of your local Council. Building projects must comply with the District Plan and the Resource Management Act. This section contains relevant information that may benefit your proposed building project during the planning stage. For further information please contact the Planning Unit of your local Council.
The Resource Management Act 1991 (commonly known as the RMA) is the main piece of legislation that sets out the framework for resource management decision-making in New Zealand. The Act’s purpose is to promote sustainable management of natural and physical resources. Local Authorities (Councils) have direct responsibility for the day-to-day management of these resources, in both urban and rural environments, in accordance with the objectives, policies, and rules set out in the District Plan. A guide to the Resource Management Act can be found on the Ministry for the Environment website.
What is a Resource Consent?
A Resource Consent is a permission from the local Council for an activity that may affect the environment, and that isn’t allowed ‘as of right’ in the District Plan. Local Authorities ensure resource users avoid, remedy, or mitigate adverse effects on the natural and physical environment by considering Resource Consent applications. If you wish to use land in a manner that does not comply with a rule in the District Plan you will need to apply for a Resource Consent.
There are six consent categories and these are generally ranked according to the expected effects they might have.
Activities are classified in the Operative and Proposed District Plans and the Waikato Regional Plan. Every Council’s plan is different and rules will also differ between areas within a city, district or region.
Types of Resource Consent
Local Councils deal with land use and subdivision consents.
The Waikato Regional Council deals with land use consents, water consents, discharge consents, coastal consents. If your proposed activity involves these you will need to contact Waikato Regional Council for more information.
The first step is always to contact the Planning Unit of your local Council to discuss your proposed activity. You will also find the rules and controls relating to specific activities by referring to the relevant section of your local Council’s District Plan. A Resource Consent must be obtained before any activity or development commences, otherwise, you can be prosecuted under the RMA.
Applying for a Resource Consent
Plans and other material supplied with a land use or subdivision consent applications should be accurate and provide enough detail to enable any person to gain a reasonable understanding of the application. If you are unsure about the information required, you will need to seek professional services.
The above information is intended only as a guide. For further information contact the Planning Unit of your local Council or refer to the sections available online from the Council websites.
Hamilton City Council: Resource Consents
Hauraki District Council: Resource Consents
Matamata-Piako District Council: Resource Consents
Otorohanga District Council: Resource Consents
Thames-Coromandel District Council: Resource Consents
Waikato District Council: Resource Consents
Waipa District Council: Resource Consents
Waitomo District Council: Resource Management
The Ministry for the Environment has published the following information available in the section on the Resource Management Act on their website, www.mfe.govt.nz/rma
The purpose of District Plans is to assist Territorial Authorities (your local Council) to carry out their functions in order to achieve the purpose of the Resource Management Act.
The District Plan is the primary document that manages land use and development within the territorial boundaries through objectives, policies, and rules set out to address resource management issues.
Councils use the district plan rules to determine what activities you can do as of right (permitted activities), what activities you need Resource Consent for, and how certain activities may be carried out. District Plan rules cover things such as residential development, the use of land for agriculture, the subdivision of land parcels, noise and the location and height of buildings.
To view the District Plans please click on the relevant link below. Further information and hard copies of the District Plan are also available by contacting your local Council.
Why are there an Operative and a Proposed District Plan?
Some of the Territorial Authorities have Operative and Proposed District Plans. A Proposed District Plan has had legal effect from the date of notification. The existing Operative District Plan continues to have some legal effect until the Proposed Plan becomes fully operative. Once all of the requirements in the Proposed District Plan are no longer subject to any variations, submissions, and appeals, the plan will be made fully operative and replace the Operative District Plan.
It is necessary to comply with both the Operative and the Proposed Plan with the following exceptions:
Otherwise, both plans must be referred to when establishing if a Resource Consent is required. Section 19 of the Resource Management Act 1991 provides the circumstances when a new rule can be treated as if it is operative. If no appeals have been lodged, or all appeals have been determined or withdrawn or dismissed, the rule in the Proposed Plan is considered to be effectively operative and any previous rule inoperative.
With population growth comes an increased demand for infrastructure. Growth in the districts cannot be sustained unless we have development and financial contributions. Development Contributions are used by the Council to fund the costs of growth caused by development. Development Contributions are used to pay for new and or expanded infrastructure such as:
They will not be used to pay for renewing or replacing existing infrastructure, although they may contribute if the replacement infrastructure needs to cater for extra demand as a result of growth.
The contributions are calculated on the anticipated costs that the development will have on infrastructure. The amounts vary depending on both the area and the level of growth and infrastructure required to accommodate the development.
Contributions will also vary depending on your local Council and their Development Contributions Policy in their Long-Term Plan (LTP). Each Council of the Waikato Building Consent Group has the full policy available on their website (click on links above to view), or for further information please contact the Planning Unit of your local Council.
Who pays Development Contributions?
The existing population has already made a considerable investment in the current infrastructure. Those initiating new developments benefit from using existing infrastructure and consequently, they will place additional pressure on it. Developers, therefore, need to contribute towards the capital expenditure. The contribution is a one-off charge towards the infrastructure of the community. The subsequent operation and maintenance are covered through rates and other charges.
Developers are required to pay a financial or Development Contribution to Council when developing or subdividing a property. For example:
When will Council Charge the Contribution?
Contributions will generally be assessed and charged during the Resource Consent or Building Consent stage, whichever takes place first.