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FAQs

Disclaimer: These Rules have been abbreviated for your convenience. For a full copy of the Rules please consult the RMA 1991 or relevant Regional Plan.

Compliance
Water
Air 
Geothermal
Rotorua Lakes Structures

Compliance Related

Q. What rights do you have to enter my property unannounced?

A. Under s.332(1) of the RMA 1991 any enforcement officer may at all reasonable times go on, into, under, or over any place or structure, except a dwelling house, for the purpose of inspection to determine whether or not this Act, any regulations, a rule of a plan, a resource consent, section 10, 10A, or 20A is being complied with.

Q. Somebody made a complaint against me – can I find out the name of that person?

A. Under the local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 we can withhold the name of the complainant. It is important that the public feel secure about reporting possible environmental offending.

Water Related

Q. How much groundwater can I currently take without resource consent?

A. 35 cubic metres per day per property where the temperature of the groundwater is less than 30° celsius (Rule 38 Water and Land Plan) or 15 cubic metres per day per property in the Tarawera River Catchment (Rule 16.8.5(e) Tarawera River Catchment Plan).

Q. How much surface water can I currently take without resource consent?

A. 15 cubic metres per day per property where the temperature of the water is less than 30° Celsius.The intake structure is required to be adequately screened with a mesh and the intake velocity shall not exceed 0.3 metres per second. The take shall not be from a wetland (Rule 41 Water and Land Plan).

Air Related

Any questions relating to the Rotorua Air Quality Control Bylaw 2010 visit www.cleanairrotorua.co.nz .

Q. What are the notification requirements surrounding the discharge of agrichemicals from aircrafts?

A. The owner/occupier or agent must notify the occupier of any adjoining properties within 200m of that agrichemical use. If an agreed form of notification has not been reached, such as an annual spray or application plan and individual notification of certain chemicals to be used, notification must be no earlier than 20 days and no later than 12 hours before the agrichemical use. This condition does not apply to agrichemical use on public land or land used for road or rail purposes. The property owner or agent acting on behalf of the property owner must advise the aerial applicator that notification has occurred before the aerial application of any agrichemical is undertaken.

Notification must include the following:

(i) The site of proposed application;
(ii) The date of proposed application;
(iii) Name and type of agrichemical to be applied;
(iv) Name, address, phone number and registration number of applicator.

Where agrichemicals are applied to land adjoining public roads and places, signs must be placed on the road boundary 24 hours before the time of application and removed by the applicator when safe for re-entry. The signs must include the following information:

(i) The agrichemical used;
(ii) The time of application;
(iii) The time for safe re-entry;
(iv) The name and contact details of the applicator (Rule 12 Air Plan).

Q. What are the notification requirements surrounding the use of agrichemicals using non-motorised hand-held techniques?

A. Notification requirements only apply to use in public places (public land, public roads or railways). Notification must be made at least one week before application by a public notice in the local newspaper and/or other recommended methods including letter drops stating:

(i) The area the agrichemical will be used;
(ii) The agrichemical to be used;
(iii) The reason for the use (e.g. weed control);
(iv) The duration of the use;
(v) The time after agrichemical use before safe re-entry.

The site of the agrichemical use or the public places beside the agrichemical use must be sign posted with the following information:

(i) The agrichemicals used;
(ii) The time of application;
(iii) The time for safe re-entry; and
(iv) The name and contact details of the applicator.

The signs must remain in place until the site is safe for public re-entry (Rule 11 Air Plan).

Q. What are the notification requirements surrounding the use of agrichemicals using other techniques?

A. The owner/occupier or agent must notify the occupier of any adjoining properties within 50m of that agrichemical use. If an agreed form of notification has not been reached, such as an annual spray or application plan and individual notification of certain chemicals to be used, notification must be no earlier than 20 days and no later than 12 hours before the agrichemical use. Notification must include the following:

(v) The site of proposed application;
(vi) The date of proposed application;
(vii) Name and type of agrichemical to be applied;
(viii) Name, address and phone number of applicator (Rule 13 Air Plan).

Q. How can I better manage smoke produced from open burning so I do not cause a nuisance to my neighbours?

A. Dry, seasoned material should only be burned. Increased moisture content affects the heat of combustion and increases the likelihood of smoke.  A week of fine weather should be allowed prior to burning. Preferably allow longer.

Fires should not be lit in winds greater than 10 knots, or in really calm conditions. 10 knot wind causes leaves and the smallest twigs to move. High winds result in the ash being more likely to be blown about, and the resulting smoke and particulate travelling further. Calm conditions are usually variable, so unexpected changes in wind direction and speed can quickly catch you out.

Where possible material to be burned should be stacked to allow plenty of airflow into the base of the fire to aid efficient burning. Avoid scraping soil into the pile.

For large fires the place of combustion should be at least 50m from any road other than a highway and 100m from any highway or dwelling house on an adjoining property or National Park boundary.

Q. What materials are prohibited from being burned in the open air?

A. The following materials must not be burnt in the open air:

(i) Chlorinated organic chemicals including but not limited to dioxins, furans, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB);
(ii) Contaminated material from contaminated sites and buildings;
(iii) Elemental materials that can produce toxic gases, including but not limited to boron, halides, phosphorus, sulphur;
(iv) Food waste;
(v) Heavy metals including but not limited to lead, zinc, arsenic, chromium, cadmium, copper, mercury, thorium;
(vi) Material associated with the recovery of metal from insulated electrical cables;
(vii) Materials or metals used in motor vehicles;
(viii) Mineral fibres including but not limited to asbestos;
(ix) Paint and other surface protective coatings;
(x) Pathological waste excluding animal carcasses on production land;
(xi) Pesticides, pesticide waste (excluding cardboard pesticide containers);
(xii) Plastic including but not limited to polyvinylchloride (PVC), polystyrene, nylon, styrofoam;
(xiii) Tyres and other rubber;
(xiv) Treated timber or timber treatment chemicals;
(xv) Waste oil or other waste petroleum products.

Q. Do I need a permit to light an outdoor fire?

A. Fire permits are regulated by the Local Authorities so please check in with them before lighting fires.

Geothermal (Tauranga) related

Q.What is the Tauranga Geothermal System?

A. The Tauranga Geothermal System is a low-temperature geothermal system (between 70°C and 30°C). It is not only cooler than those across the wider region, but it is also more sensitive to permanent cooling if it is overused.

Q. How much geothermal water, heat or energy can I currently take without resource consent?

A. The take and use of any amount of geothermal water, heat or energy in the Tauranga area that does not comply with Rule 72 or 75A of the Water and Land Plan and is not provided for under section 14(3)(c) of the Resource Management Act 1991 is a discretionary activity. Any activity which is not a permitted activity requires resource consent (Rule 73 Water and Land Plan).

Q.What area does the Tauranga Geothermal System cover and what is the resource used for?

A. It is found from Bowentown to Maketū in the western Bay of Plenty, including suburbs on the Tauranga Harbour coastline (Ōmokoroa, Te Puna, Otumoetai, Welcome Bay), Mount Maunganui and Pāpāmoa. The system is used for space and water heating for domestic, commercial and municipal purposes (including public and private swimming pools) as well as for horticulture for irrigation and frost protection.

Q.Why is the Tauranga Geothermal Resource sensitive to over cooling?

A. This resource, which extends from Waihī to Maketū, is heated by warm rocks. If too much fluid is taken, then cool water replaces the warm, and cools the heat left in the rocks.

Q. What happens if the resource is cooling fast?

A. Then we will need to take action. This might be:

  • Raising awareness of the value and vulnerabilities of the resource to residents.
  • Taking precautionary approaches to further allocation.
  • Reviewing current resource consent use.

Rotorua Lake Structures

Q. What do I need to do if my existing structure has no authorisation?

A. If you don’t have a resource consent for your existing structure, contact Bay of Plenty Regional Council on 0800 884 880 to discuss the situation.

Q. Can I maintain my structure?

A. At this stage, you can maintain your structure within your resource consent conditions, Regional Plan and Rotorua District Plan permitted activity rules, and (if applicable) any lease directives. If you want to extend your structure, you may need to follow the same process as for a new structure. Some maintenance work needs a Building Act consent – check with Rotorua Lakes Council (refer to your consent conditions for more details).

Q. What happens when buying or selling a property and/or a lake structure?

A. Resource consents and landowner approvals/leases are granted to individuals or entities, not property titles. If you’re selling your property, or just selling the lake structure, get a transfer form from Bay of Plenty Regional Council to transfer a resource consent. If you’re buying a property with a lake structure, or the lake structure itself, make sure its approval/lease and its resource consent are transferred to your name as part of the sale, and check that the structure complies with its Building Consent and Resource Consent.