Skip to main content


Home > Our region and environment > Resource Consents > Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions

How long does a resource consent last?

Unless your consent is for a reclamation it is likely to have an expiry date. You may use the consent subject to the conditions imposed until that date. If you apply for a replacement consent no less than six months before the expiry date, you may continue to operate under the consent until your application and any appeals have been decided upon. If the activity specified in a consent has not started within five years of the date of issue the consent will automatically lapse. However, an extension of this time limit can be requested in writing to Bay of Plenty Regional Council with an explanation of the circumstances before the lapse. If a consent has been exercised but is then not used for a continuous period of two years Bay of Plenty Regional Council can cancel the consent by giving written notice.

Who is responsible for monitoring consents?

Bay of Plenty Regional Council are responsible for monitoring the use of resource consents to check that the consent holder is exercising a consent in accordance with its limits and conditions. Compliance monitoring is carried out to assess the impact that the consent activity is having on the environment. Consents are generally monitored by Bay of Plenty Regional Council staff visiting the location of the activity. In some situations the consent holders may also be required to report at regular intervals on a specified aspect of the consent.

Can a consent be transferred?

A land use consent, coastal permit, water permit or discharge permit can be transferred to another person by the consent holder unless specifically prohibited in the consent conditions. A water permit for the taking of water can be transferred to another site within the same catchment or the same aquifer in accordance with the approval of Bay of Plenty Regional Council.

Can a consent be surrendered?

If a consent holder no longer wishes to hold a resource consent they may return or surrender the consent back to Bay of Plenty Regional Council. This surrender must be put in writing to Bay of Plenty Regional Council who are required to give notice of acceptance before the surrender is valid. Forms for the surrender of a permit are available from the Consent Administration Officer. If there are uncompleted works at the time the surrender is applied for Bay of Plenty Regional Council may direct these works to be completed before accepting the surrender. The consent holder will remain liable for any non-compliance with any condition of the consent prior to surrender.

Can a consent be changed?

A consent holder can request a change or cancellation of a consent condition but can not change the expiry date. Bay of Plenty Regional Council can change consents when regional plans are prepared or reviewed. Bay of Plenty Regional Council can review consents or conditions for specified reasons such as a greater impact on the environment than expected.

What about resource consents and the law?

Anyone carrying out an activity is required under the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) to avoid, remedy or mitigate any adverse effects on the environment arising from the activity, whether or not it is covered by a resource consent. Under the enforcement provisions a person may be directed to cease or not commence an activity which has or is likely to have an adverse effect on the environment. Anyone who does not comply with a direction to cease an activity or who embarks on an activity which requires a consent without first obtaining one may be prosecuted. If you have are in any doubt about breaching the RMA please contact Environment Bay of Plenty. Many such problems can be resolved through discussion without the need for legal action.

Are there charges for holding a resource consent?

Yes.  For the majority of resource consents an annual charge is payable by the consent holder under Section 36 of the RMA.  You can find out what the annual charge for your resource consent on our  Section 36 RMA Charges Policy page.

The direct costs of monitoring are recovered from consent holders.  These costs include those incurred in: monitoring inspections, sample collection and processing, data analysis, review of management plans/monitoring reports, report on monitoring work undertaken, consent administration, and time spent responding to enquiries and justified complaints.  Extra charges may arise if additional monitoring is required because of non-compliance with consent conditions.