Resource Consents

Whakaaetaka Rawa Taiao

A resource consent from QLDC is a written approval for you to carry out 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 (RMA) and the district plan.

Types of resource consents When you need a resource consent How to get one Contact us

COVID-19-affected services

Like other organisations, we are having to rethink how we operate through this period with the majority of staff now working remotely and non-essential travel prohibited. Our Resource Consents team has been reviewing what levels of service are possible in this uncharted territory, with the aim of continuing to meet your expectations and statutory timeframes.

Detailed below are confirmed services and other aspects being worked through.

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Contact us:

Thank you for your patience and understanding during this unique period, and we will advise of further decisions as soon as possible, or by Friday 3 April at the latest. If you have any queries, please email the planner processing your consent or email our duty planner with subject line “Attention Duty Planner” - services@qldc.govt.nz

    • We will continue processing all non-notified applications where a site visit was held before the shutdown period.

    • We will continue processing those notified applications where the submission period has closed, there are no submitters wishing to be heard, a site visit has been undertaken, all expert reports are completed (or don’t require further site visits), and a hearing is not required.

    • Pre-application meetings will occur via Skype.

    • Our Duty Planner service remains available through Skype and email queries; however, because Skype may not be consistently reliable with so many people using the internet right now, we are recommending that queries are emailed to services@qldc.govt.nz “Attention Duty Planner”.

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    • Notified resource consents where a hearing has already been scheduled, or is about to be scheduled. These have been postponed until further notice and this is reflected on the Council’s website. QLDC will be discussing with Independent Commissioners which steps can be undertaken to hold future hearings during and post the Alert 4 shutdown period. We are very conscious of maintaining the democratic hearing system, providing for all parties to have equal participation, and ensuring that principles of natural justice are upheld.
      • [Update 9 April] This remains the case. We have spoken with some of our Independent Commissioners who have provided us with valuable input into how we might progress some hearing processes. We have established that, in agreement with the applicant and submitters, we will look to progress some Hearings that only involve the applicant and 1 or 2 submitters where there is no or little risk to upholding the principles of natural justice. These will be determined by us on a case by case basis. Those applications that involve a number of submitters and / or have generated a high level of public interest we will not be able to hold a hearing for the foreseeable future until we are beyond the Covid-19 situation and our community is back operating more normally. In some cases for these applications we may be able to progress the issue of Council’s section 42A report and the exchange of applicant and submitter evidence, but this will need to be determined by us on a case by case basis. Forefront of such determinations will be whether the principles of natural justice can be upheld.    
    • Notified resource consents that are currently being processed where a site visit has been undertaken that requires a hearing. As mentioned in the previous bullet point, this is being considered further.
      • [Update 9 April] See the above bullet point for our update on this matter.
    • Notified resource consents that are ready to be notified. Whether we can continue with a notification submission period or not, and any implications with regards to public participation and natural justice are under consideration. 
      • [Update 9 April] We confirm that we will not be notifying any resource consent applications, either public or limited, while we are under Covid-19 Level 4. Once we have some information from central government on the country or our districts movement from Level 4 to Level 3 we will reassess this and advise any change. What we are doing is: where the applicant has agreed to continue with the notification process, progressing the administration processes of notifying the applications so that these can be notified with little delay once we are back notifying applications.  
    • Notified resource consents where the submission period is currently still open. Whether or not timeframes for submissions closing will be extended to allow the community to focus on the COVID-19 situation is also being considered.
      • [Update 9 April] We are considering these on a case by case basis. In a number cases, in order to uphold the principles of natural justice and participation in these processes by members of the community, we will be using section 37 and 37A of the RMA to extend out submission period timeframes. This will be communicated directly with those applicants and submitters affected.    
    • Applications where a s95 decision is to be made, which requires a site visit and expert input. We are in the process of analysing which consents we may be able to proceed with, without undertaking a site visit and/or whether or not timeframes need extending to allow for site visits and completion of processing to occur once we are back up and running post COVID-19.
      • [Update 9 April] We can confirm that we have progressed this work and are able in some cases to progress applications without the need for a site visit and or expert input. We are working closely with our development engineering team around confirming where their input is necessary and whether they can proceed without a site visit. Similar for other expert input. It is important to understand that while we are working to progress applications where we can, this is on a case by case basis, and there are a number of consent applications that we will not be able to progress without a site visit and expert input. In those instances we will progress applications as far as we practically can.      
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Types of resource consents

  • This applies to most resource consents. It includes things like constructing a building, undertaking an activity, running an event, carrying out earthworks, clearance of large areas of vegetation etc.

    Please note that some land use consents can be dealt with as fast track land use consent. This term applies to applications where they are a controlled activity land use and no other activity. A 10 day processing time applies to a fast track consent.

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  • Subdividing land to create one or more additional lots or Unit Titles or altering a boundary.

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  • Jetty construction and commercial activities like jet boat operating, fishing guiding, kayak hire/guiding.

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    • Discharge consents are for discharges into air, water or onto land.

    • Coastal permits do not apply in our district.

    Both are managed by Otago Regional Council (ORC), not QLDC.

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There are also two types of written notice for deemed permitted activities which came into effect with RLAA 2017.

  • This is where an otherwise permitted building or structure breaches a standard for the bulk and location of the building in relation to boundary. Where the owners of the infringed boundary have provided their written approval no further assessment is required and Council must issue a written notice confirming the boundary activity as deemed permitted.

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  • This is where an otherwise permitted activity has a temporary or marginal breach to a standard or rule. The effects must be the same scale, character or intensity as a permitted activity and any adverse effects on persons must be less than minor. Council has discretion to use this process and will consider doing so where the set requirements are clearly met.

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  • As a result of the Resource Legislation Amendment Act 2017 (RLAA 2017), changes to some resource consent processes came into effect from 18 October 2017. The main changes include:

    • Introducing deemed permitted activities for boundary activities or marginal or temporary activities

    • Introducing fast-track 10 day processing for controlled activity land use consents

    • Making changes to the notification processes

    The Ministry for the Environment website has guidance documents if you'd like more detail:

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When 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.

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How to get a resource consent

  1. Please take a look at the Resource Consent process page.

  2. Complete the correct application form in full and provide all of the necessary associated information. Details are on our Applications forms and fees page.

  3. Completed applications can be submitted online or you can email us at: resourceconsent@qldc.govt.nz  

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