Resource Consents

If you would like to speak with a QLDC planning or building control officer in person, please visit the QLDC offices at 74 Shotover Street Queenstown, or 33-35 Reece Crescent Wanaka. Offices are open between 8:30am and 5pm weekdays.


Resource Management Amendment Act 2013 Changes

As a result of the Resource Management Amendment Act 2013 (RMAA 2013), changes to the way we process resource consents take effect from 3 March 2015.  The two main changes are:

  1. New direction regarding the content that must be provided with new applications for resource consents (Section 88 and Schedule 4 of the RMA)
  2. New six-month timeframe for processing of notified and limited notified resource consent applications

A guidance document on the changes provided by the Ministry for the Environment is available here. A summary of the changes:

  • The onus will be on applicants to provide full and complete information so Council can make a decision on whether to accept the application or not
  • Gives increased certainty over timeframes and the applicant more ownership of the process
  • Allows the applicant to suspend processing of the application for a set period of time
  • Requires pre-circulation of expert evidence for notified applications

If you have any questions with these changes and how they might affect your resource consent application we encourage you to contact our Duty Planner between Monday to Friday on 03 441 0499 Queenstown / 03 443 0024 Wanaka or email


What is a resource consent?

A resource consent is a written approval from the Council to undertake an activity that is not permitted as of right in the District Plan (a permitted activity) or that contravenes a rule, a site standard or a zone standard in the District Plan. The process for granting a resource consent is governed by the Resource Management Act and the district plan.

There are five different types of resource consent:

  • Land use consents - this term applies to most resource consents and includes things like constructing a building, undertaking an activity, running an event, carrying out earthworks, clearance of large areas of vegetation etc.
  • Subdivision consents – subdividing land to create one or more additional lots or Unit Titles or altering a boundary.
  • Water permits - jetty construction and commercial activities like jet boat operating, fishing guiding, kayak hire/guiding.
  • Discharge permits - for discharges into air, water or onto land. (Discharge consents are processed by the Otago Regional Council).
  • Coastal permits (not applicable in the Lakes District).

When do you need a resource consent?

A resource consent may be required for any proposed activity that relates to the use of land, subdivision, water, soil resources, the coast, air, pollution and noise control.   For example, you may need a resource consent if you plan to:

  • Construct a new building
  • Change the use of a residential or commercial building
  • Undertake earthworks
  • Build a wharf or jetty, or place a mooring
  • Erect a sign
  • Run a large event
  • Take water other than for domestic use
  • Clear significant areas of vegetation
  • Build a bridge over a waterway
  • Discharge waste into water, into the air, or on to land.

If you are unsure, please contact a duty planner on 03 441 0499 or email 

How do I get one?

Please complete the correct application form in full and provide all of the necessary associated information.

View Application Forms Page

Completed applications can now be submitted online. Or send your completed application to QLDC, Private Bag 50072, Queenstown.