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Applying for a replacement consent

Why do I need resource consent and land owner approval when my lake structure has been in the lake for more than 20 years?

Resource consent is for an activity that affects the environment. Within the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA), sections 9 and 13 require resource consent for all structures in, on, under or over the bed of the lake regardless of whether the structures are existing or proposed. As a consent holder you are responsible for ensuring this consent is up-to-date.

Unlike activities on the land, there are no existing use right provisions for activities on lake beds.

While a resource consent provides for the occupation of space within the lake, under the Resource Management Act, your structure(s) also occupies land or lake bed/and/or the water column which requires permission from the landowner or land manager. Therefore, in addition to obtaining a resource consent, all consent holders are required to sign a contract with the relevant land owner/manager.

Landowners and land managers are Te Arawa Lakes Trust (TALT), Rotorua Lakes Council (RLC) and the Department of Conservation (DOC). Land Information New Zealand administers the water column and airspace strum above the TALT lakebed.

The location of your structure will determine which land owner/managers you will need to sign contracts with. All consent holders will be required to sign a contract with the relevant land owner(s).

We are working with the other agencies and will provide you with the relevant documents in a package. However, the following might be helpful.


When do I need to re-apply for my consent?

It is important that you apply for your new consent before your existing consent expires.

Council is going to help you with this process by sending out a customised application form and this will include lake/lakebed owner leases to sign and return.

If you currently hold several consents for lake structures in the same location, you can take this opportunity to condense multiple structures into a single consent. On the application form please identify which structures you wish to condense into the one consent.

Renewal applications where no changes are proposed will follow a stream-lined consenting process.

How much is this going to cost me?

The total costs are unknown until consents are actually processed, but Council will minimise costs as much as possible. Total costs for applications that do not raise specific issues are not expected to exceed $1500 per application. 

Iwi/Hapu Engagement Lake Structure Replacement Consents 

Applicants for resource consent are required to provide an assessment of the activity’s effects on the environment, including the effects on Māori cultural interests and values. Rather than asking each consent applicant to provide this assessment, the Bay of Plenty Regional Council has commissioned a report from Te Arawa Lakes Trust to inform the consent process. 

A $50 fee, to contribute to the cost of this report, will be included in the total fees for each application. Applicants do have the option of providing their own assessment following consultation with Te Arawa Lakes Trust at their own cost. 

Please note that this assessment is independent of lakebed ownership issues as addressed in the Te Arawa Lakes Settlement Act 2006.

Shared structures

Where applicants have a share (1/2,1/4 etc) in a lake structure they will be required to communicate with the other parties who hold other share/s in the structure, complete one application only and return in the pre-paid envelope. 

What are the responsibilities of the nominated contact person for each consent?

As part of the resource consent process a contact person is nominated. Their responsibilities include:

  • To receive all correspondence regarding the lake structure
  • To ensure all joint consent holders are aware of the conditions of resource consent
  • To pay for the costs associated with the administration, monitoring and supervision of the consent. Any changes to the nominated contact person must be in writing to the BOPRC in the first instance

Why do I need to sign a contract with landowners?

Separate approval is required from the relevant agency(s) for the occupation of your structure on land that the entities identified above own or manage. This approval will be provided by way of the consent holder entering into a contract with the relevant entity.

For example:

  • Te Arawa Lakes Trust are landowners of the Te Arawa lakebeds and they administer and manage the Te Arawa Stratum. Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) administers the Crown Stratum on behalf of the Crown.  The stratum includes the water column and airspace stratum (see diagram above). If your structure was installed following the Te Arawa Lakes Settlement Act (2006) you will require a lease from Te Arawa Lakes Trust and LINZ. A signed lease agreement is required with your application form.
  • The Rotorua Lakes Council own reserves at various locations around the Rotorua Te Arawa lakes. If your structure occupies council reserve land you will be required to sign a contract with the Rotorua Lakes Council. You will need to sign this contract and return with your application form.
  • The Department of Conservation administer reserves and marginal strips at various locations around the Rotorua Te Arawa lakes.  If your structure occupies DOC administered land you will be required to sign a contract with DOC. You will need to sign the contract and return with your application form.

What happens if the lake structure is currently in the name of a company?

A company can be a consent holder. Full names and signatures of all the company directors are required on the resource consent application form and the land owner consent. 

What is the term of the consent to be granted?

Resource Consents will generally be granted for a term of 30 years.

Contracts between consent holders and land owner/administers will be granted for a period of 10 years and will be required to be renewed throughout the life of the consent term.

Changing your lake structure

All of the activities listed below will require a new application. Please contact the duty consents officer on 0800 884 880 to discuss your situation before making these applications.

What if I want to extend my lake structure?

Any proposed change to the shape or footprint of the existing structure will not be able to be included in this stream-lined approach. To extend, or change your lake structure is a separate process. You need to apply for a new resource consent and land owner consent separate to this process. Check out the forms in the right hand panel.

What if I have other existing lake structures or other works relating to my lake structure that I would like to include with my consent application?

It would make sense to include in your lake structure consent application any other existing lake structures that existed prior to the 1991 Resource Management Act, lake structures that you would like to keep and/or works in the lake that you would like to undertake now or in the future. This can include any of the following:-

Existing Structures – Retaining Walls, Moorings, Pontoons or similar types of structures

Removal of vegetation – If you require vegetation to be removed in conjunction with maintaining and using your structure.

Dredging – If you require dredging to access and use your lake structure

All of the above processes will require additional affected party consent approval from some or all of the various agencies (DOC, LINZ, TALT, Fish and Game, RLC). It is highly recommended that you obtain these approvals prior to lodging your consent application as you will require lake/lakebed owner approval and it will allow your consent to be processed in a relatively streamlined manner.

You will also require engineering reports for existing lake structures and detailed information including methodology, area  etc for removal of vegetation and dredging.