Do I need a resource consent?

We've listed examples of activities that may require a resource consent below. Sometimes an activity requires more than one resource consent. City and district councils also issue consents for some land uses and subdivisions.

Once you know what type of consent you require check out what application form you need to complete to get resource consent for that specific activity.  

Land use consents

  • Disturbing the bed of a river or lake (such as excavate, drill, erect a structure) or altering a wetland, geothermal surface feature or contaminated or potentially contaminated land
  • Constructing or altering a well, bore, culvert, ford access across a waterway, bridge or stopbank.
  • Carry out earthworks, roading or tracking, mining or quarrying activities, soil cultivation or nutrient discharging
  • Remove sand or gravel from the bed of a watercourse
  • Plant or clear vegetation
  • Land use change of more than 10ha from any form of farming to dairy farming
  • Land use change of more than 10ha from forestry to any form of pastoral farming
  • Increases in irrigated pasture for dairy farming above 10ha
  • Increases in the area for winter forage cropping above the annual highest amount between 2014/15 and 2018/19
  • Increases in dairy support activities above the annual highest amount between 2014/15 and 2018/19
  • All feedlots that do not comply with permitted activity standards
  • Structures in rivers that do not comply with permitted activity standards for fish passage
  • Reclaiming rivers (applications must demonstrate there is no other option)
  • Most earthworks in wetlands and rivers
  • The clearance of vegetation, earthworks, drainage or taking, damming or diverting water from in and around a wetland (consent conditions will need to minimise and offset damage
  •  Farming activities which do not comply with the National Environmental Standards for Freshwater (intensive winter grazing, stock holding areas and conversions)

Discharge consents

  • Discharging a contaminant to land, water or air (for example, dairy shed effluent to land or dust/smoke to the air)
  • Discharging water to land and/or water (for example stormwater).
  • Landfill or cleanfill leachate

See more information on dairy effluent management consents.

Water consents

  • Taking, using, damming and/or diverting water (for example, irrigation or stockwater).

See more information on water take consents.

Coastal consents

  • Disturbing the foreshore and/or seabed in the coastal marine area (zone between the line of the highest spring tide water mark and the twelve nautical mile limit). Examples include reclamation, structures, discharges.
  • Occupying the coastal marine area.

Lake structures

Any structure where some part sits in, under or over the lake is considered a lake structure. Examples include boatsheds, jetties, boat ramps and retaining walls. 

See more information on lake structure consents.

My consent is due to expire?

If your consent is due to expire and you are applying for a new consent for the same activity, section 124 of the Resource Management Act allows you to continue exercising your consent until a new one is either granted or declined and all appeals have been settled if:-

  • The new application is made six months before the expiry of the existing consent; or
  • The new application is made between three and six months before the expiry of the existing consent. In this instance, it is at our discretion to allow the holder to continue to operate.

How much will my consent cost?

The consent application process is 100% user-pays. This means you pay for the time spent on your application by staff, plus expenses, which may include distance travelled, scientific reports and/or consultants.

A deposit fee is required at the time of lodging you consent application and it won’t be received and processed by Council until this has been paid. Because every application is different, it’s not possible to estimate what it will cost to get your consent but you can find the current deposit fees, staff charges and other information about consent application costs through the RMA and Building Act Charges Policy.

A well prepared application costs the processing officer less time; therefore it makes sense to spend some time getting your application right before you lodge it. Any costs incurred over and above the deposit fee will be invoiced to the applicant upon a decision being made on the application.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council provides one hour’s free planning advice to consent applicants.