Cost of consents
Under the Resource Management Act (RMA), the Bay of Plenty Regional Council is responsible for managing the use of a wide range of natural resources. The costs of administration, monitoring, supervision of resource consents, and monitoring the region's resources are recovered from consent holders under Section 36 of the RMA.
Each year we review our Section 36 Charges Policy as part of the Annual Plan. For most resource consents, an annual charge is payable as set in this policy. The invoices for these annual charges for the period 1 July - 30 June are usually sent out in late September each year.
The annual charge is made up of:
- The base (administration) charge
- A compliance/supervision charge
- A regional/impact monitoring charge
For further information about these charges see:
Application charging process
When you first apply for your resource consent, you will need to pay a deposit which will cover any costs involved in assessing and initial processing of your application. These costs are non-refundable and are charged whether your application is granted or declined. An application will not be accepted as a complete application until payment of the required deposit fee is received either online, by cheque, or by eftpos at one of the Regional Council's reception desks. We are happy to hold the forms until payment is received, but the processing time does not start until payment is received.
The final cost of your consent will will vary depending on the resources we use processing your application (e.g. staff time). Our staff can give an indication of expected costs upon request. Generally the cost of your application is relative to the potential impact of your activity. So the cost of your consent can be calculated as:
Cost of consent = staff time + direct costs including disbursements + notification + hearing costs
Invoices are sent out monthly, and once your application has been granted or declined a final invoice will be sent to you along with the decision on your application. Your initial deposit will be deducted from this final invoice.
Reducing application costs
There are some easy steps you can take to reduce the cost of your application:
- Talk to our staff about your proposal before you prepare your application, or at any time if you are unsure of what is required.
- Consult with all parties who may be affected by your proposal, and where possible get their views and written approval (where appropriate), and try to resolve any issues.
- Fill out the application forms correctly and submit all the required information
- Make sure your Assessment of Environmental Effects (AEE) is detailed and covers all necessary aspects. For more complex applications it may be beneficial to include the input of specialists. For example engineering designs and calculations.
- Make sure you apply for all the necessary resource consents. Many activities require you to fill out multiple forms.
- If further information is requested, make sure you know exactly what is required and why, by talking to your assigned Consents Officer so you can provide it quickly and with the required detail.
The Resource Management Act 1991 amendment (2009) provides for discounts if the processing of resource consents exceeds set timeframes. If you believe the timeframes have been incorrectly calculated or the discount policy incorrectly applied to your costs, you can contact the Regional Council within 15 working days requesting a review. The matter will be reviewed by Senior Consents staff and you will be advised of their determination.
The Resource Management Act 1991 allows the Regional Council to charge the actual and reasonable charges associated with processing applications, if you think the charges are not actual and reasonable you can object to the costs within 15 working days of the decision being released. If you object to the costs, the matter will be reviewed by Senior Consents staff. If there is no satisfactory resolution at this point, you will be given the opportunity to present your objection to a Regional Councillor in an Objection Hearing. The Regional Councillor will consider your costs and make a determination on what is actual and reasonable.
You can also appeal the decision that has been made, including costs, within 15 working days to the Environment Court. This process can be expensive so it is best to discuss your options and the likely outcomes with a Lawyer before beginning this process.
Annual charges for consent holders
Once you are a consent holder, you may need to pay an annual charge to cover administration fees and any monitoring costs. Annual charges vary pending on the environmental impact of your activity.
Annual charges must be paid every year from the time your consent is granted, to the time it expires or you inform us you no longer require it (surrender).
If we are monitoring your activity to make sure you comply with your consent conditions, you will be charged for costs associated with this such as:
- Site inspections
- Sample collection and processing
- Data analysis
- Reviewing management and monitoring plans
- Reporting on monitoring work undertaken.