Existing lake structures
There are numerous structures sitting in, on, under or over Rotorua’s lakes. You need a current consent for these structures and to protect the environment cannot make changes to the foot print or carry our maintenance without applying for a new consent or notifying Council prior.
To transfer resource consent, you will need to complete a Resource Consent Transfer Form.
Renewing my lake structure consent
The majority of resource consents for lake structures in the Te Arawa Rotorua Lakes area are due to expire by 2020. As long as no changes are being made to the footprint of the structure, consent holders are able to renew their consent. To make the replacement consent process as easy as possible for consent holders, we’re simplifying and streamlining it on behalf of Te Arawa Lakes Trust, Rotorua Lakes Council, Department of Conservation (DOC) and Land Information New Zealand.
We are sending packs to lake structure consent holders in batches, lake by lake, based on consent expiry date. The packs outline the replacement consent process, what needs to happen by when and include the relevant forms. Consent holders would normally need to apply for replacement consent before their current consent expires, but because of this streamlined process instead consent holders must return the relevant forms within six weeks of receiving them.
Applying for a replacement consent
To make the replacement consent process as easy as possible we’re sending out customised information packs to consent holders. Separate lease forms will also be included in these packs on behalf of lake and lake bed owners and managers for the occupation of your structure on land they own and manage.
Consent holders would normally need to apply for a replacement consent before their current consent expires. Because the replacement consent process for lake structures is being streamlined, and consents are being managed in batches, there is more flexibility. Instead consent holders must return the relevant forms within six weeks of receiving them.
Unconsented existing lake structures, extensions or removal of vegetation (in conjunction with maintenance) all require a new consent. Retaining and protection walls are an exception, and if you do need a new consent for these, and are already going through the replacement consent process for other structures, it’s best to do these at the same time as you won’t need to individually approach the various affected parties or initiate a cultural effects assessment.
Why resource consent is needed
Resource consents allow people or organisations to do something that may have an effect on our environment. Structures (existing or new) that sit in, on, under or over the bed of the lake are identified as having an environmental effect in sections 9 and 13 of the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA). Managing these structures through the resource consent process helps ensure the number of structures is limited, they are kept to a safe standard and any environmental impacts are kept to a minimum.
While a resource consent provides for the occupation of space within the lake, under the RMA, 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. Lease forms for the relevant lake/lakebed owners have been included in the information packs.
As set out in the RMA, to fully understand the potential effects of a proposed activity on people and the environment you need to carry out an assessment of cultural effects.To streamline this process for local iwi, Regional Council has commissioned a report from the Te Arawa Lakes Trust on behalf of applicants to inform the consent process. As reports are finalised they are uploaded online. To access the completed reports please scroll to the downloads section at the bottom of this page.
Note. Applicants do have the option of not paying the $50 report contribution fee and providing their own assessment following consultation with Te Arawa Lakes Trust at their own cost.
Multiple structures on single consent
If you currently hold several consents for lake structures in the same location, you can take this opportunity to condense them into a single consent. On the application form please identify which structures you wish to condense into the one consent.
Where applicants have a share (1/2,1/4 etc) in a lake structure they will be required to nominate a contact person and then communicate correspondence with the other parties who hold other share/s in the structure. They will also be required to manage payment for the costs associated with the administration, monitoring and supervision of the consent.
Unconsented existing retaining and protection walls
If you are applying for a new consent for your existing retaining and/or protection wall, as part of the replacement consent process, like any new application you will need an engineering report. This repot must include dimensions, materials, a structural assessment and cover any effect to the environment.
An assessment of environmental effects is a key component of a resource consent application. By applying for this new consent as part of the replacement consent process, your new application may ‘piggy back’ off the blanket assessments already formed. Access our online consent forms and guidelines for lake structures here. Look for the application form called Unconsented Existing Retaining and Erosion Protection Walls.
Lake structures are currently inspected on a 10-yearly basis and consent holders will receive one charge at this time. All charges are on an actual and reasonable basis including those arising from a complaint or compliance issue.
Te Arawa Lakes Trust
Lakes Rotorua, Rotoiti, Ōkāreka and Tarawera are some of the Lakes owned by Te Arawa Lakes Trust (TALT). If your retaining wall existed prior to the lakebed settlement (18 December 2004) there is no need to obtain separate affected parties consent from TALT.
If you have erected your structure post the Te Arawa Lakebed Settlement (18 December 2004), you need to contact Council to discuss the way forward.
Department of Conservation
The Department of Conservation (DOC) have provided a blanket affected parties approval for all Lake structures that existed prior to the Te Arawa Lakebed Settlement (18 December 2004) with the provision that structures retain the existing foot print and any maintenance works be undertaken outside of bird breeding season. If your lake structure sits on DOC administered Crown land, please note on your form ‘DOC has already provided blanket approval’.
Landowner approval is different to an effected parties approval. For all structures (retaining walls, jetties, boat sheds, etc.) located on DOC land, an approval is required from the Department. These approvals will be processed on a case by case basis. To find out more information about this process contact:
Rotorua Department of Conservation Community Team Supervisor.
Rotorua Lakes Council
A blanket affected parties approval has been provided by Rotorua Lakes Council for all lake structures that existed prior to the Te Arawa Lakebed Settlement; regardless of them being previously consented or not.
The Council’s 'Right to Occupy' will be issued in conjunction with the resource consent for any Lake structures located within the Council’s lake/land parcels that existed prior to the Te Arawa Lakebed Settlement.
Land Information New Zealand
Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) has provided Council with blanket affected parties approval for all Lake structures that existed prior to the Te Arawa Lakes Settlement; therefore there is no need to obtain separate affected parties consent from LINZ.
If the existing structure is situated within the Crown Stratum (water and air space) and a resource consent is approved, LINZ (as the administering department) will issue a lease in the name of the resource consent holder.
Fish and Game New Zealand
Fish & Game has provided blanket approval to ‘Retaining Walls’ that were pre-existing prior to the Te Arawa Lakebed Settlement (18 December 2004), as long as the retaining walls are structurally sound and fit for purpose (for example have accompanying engineering report).
Term of renewed consents
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.
Replacement consent costs
A deposit of $775 (GST inclusive) is required with all resource consent applications. All communications beyond the first hour, and officers processing time, is charged at $160/hour (GST inclusive). To avoid unnecessary charges we encourage applicants to thoroughly read the website prior to making contact.Total costs are unknown until consents are actually processed, but applications that do not raise specific issues are not expected to exceed $1500 per application.
Fixed verse natural boundaries
Most of Rotorua's lakeside properties have natural boundaries as opposed to fixed ones, straight lines between points or pegs established by surveys.
Natural boundaries are defined by ground features such as the banks of rivers, lakes and tidal waters. A natural boundary means that when accretion (land has gradually accumulated) or erosion take place (a slow and imperceptible change) the land owner may become entitled to more or less land than that originally comprised in their title.
This means that the land title register and plans which support it do not control the extent of the parcel on the ground, the moving boundary controls the extent of the parcel at any given point in time.
This means if land is eroded away then the land lost by the action of the water is lost to the registered proprietor and becomes part of the lake bed/stratum which is owned by TALT/LINZ.
In some cases, where there is an esplanade reserve between the property parcel and the lake, because of the moveable boundary the lake structure now occupies lakebed owned by TALT and water stratum owned by the crown. Therefore a ‘Right to occupy’ from Rotorua Lakes Council may not be required and lake structure owners will instead need to apply for a lease from LINZ.