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Resource ConsentsTono whakaaetanga rawa taiao

Resource consent is permission to carry out an activity on a particular site that may have an effect on the environment. These activities might include anything from creating a subdivision or discharging wastewater, to moving earth or erecting a sign.

Lodging a Resource Consent

Before applying for a resource consent , it is beneficial to discuss the application with the Wairoa District Council's planning department. This may avoid delays and help streamline the process. To make an appointment, phone (06) 838 7309 or email 

Apply for a Resource Consent

If you are thinking about purchasing some land, a business, a building, or subdividing land you might need to get a resource consent. It is valuable to talk to the Wairoa District Council first. Council staff can help you look through the relevant plans and work out whether a resource consent is required. If a Resource Consent is required, then the WDC Planning team will be able to discuss the process. For some consents, you may also need to discuss with Hawke's Bay Regional Council (HBRC).

Your resource consent may be processed with or without the general public being involved. Proposals that might have an effect on the environment that is "more than minor", or may adversely affect someone who hasn't given their approval are publicly notified. Most resource consent applications are not publicly notified.

Council staff will inform you whether or not your application will be publicly notified. Anyone can make a submission on applications that are publicly notified. A public hearing is usually held to give applicants and submitters a chance to speak. Informal pre-hearing meetings may also be held. If you need consents from both a District and Regional Council the two Councils may decide to hear the applications together.

Councils are expected to process non-notified consent applications within a month and publicly notified applications in around three and a half months.

You can help your consent application be processed faster if you:

  • Seek a Professional Planner's advice
  • Supply a detailed drawing/plan for review
  • Talk to the Council staff early on about what you want to do
  • Talk to people who you or the Council thinks might be affected by your proposal
  • Give the Council a well prepared assessment of the environmental effects
  • Respond quickly to requests for further information

Councils can either grant or decline a resource consent. Generally, when a resource consent is granted, conditions are added to it. Council will also check that what is being done, is in-line with your granted resource consent. Monitoring may be carried out during the life of the resource consent. Councils will also determine how long to grant resource consent for; (the duration the works will need to be completed within). Some consents (e.g. like subdivision) last forever, while others may last a couple of years (e.g. a permit to take water from a river).

Councils will normally charge an administration fee for considering your application, and they may also charge for monitoring.

If you're thinking about purchasing any kind or property within the Wairoa District, it is always recommended to apply for a Land Information Memorandum. This report will tell you what information the council has on record, about that piece of land, including what the land can be used for under the district plan rules. To confirm if an activity is allowed (without a resource consent) under the WDC's District Plan, you can apply for a Certificate of Compliance.

If you are planning a project that will require a building consent, before you begin, you can apply for a Project Information Memorandum (a PIM) which will also inform you if you need a resource consent.

Sonya and Malcolm want to build a home for themselves and a three storey bed and breakfast in a bay surrounded by native bush, which includes a row of pohutukawa trees along the beach. The only access to the bay is by private gravel driveway. The district plan says that land they want to build on has "high conservation values"

The Plan also says that while a one-storey building is okay, a three storey B&B is not. This is because it will affect the visual amenity of the landscape.

Sonya and Malcolm talk to the district council and find out that they'll need resource consent to building the B&B. The Council says they'll need to fill out an application form and complete an assessment of environmental effects to support their application. The assessment they give the council includes detailed plans of the development and shows how the buildings will be designed.

The district council publicly notifies the resource consent application and gets 20 submissions from a range of people worried about how the buildings will affect the landscape.

The district council holds a pre-hearing meeting. Sonya, Malcolm, their architect and the submitters all turn up. The submitters say they'd be happy if Sonya, Malcolm and the council guarantee that the B&B wouldn't be too visible from the other side of the Bay and that the plans include landscaping to hide the buildings from view. The meeting goes well and everybody agrees that a formal hearing won't be necessary.

The council grants consent, but adds a few conditions to it:

  • Sonya and Malcolm need to make sure that the buildings are designed, located and painted in accordance with the design plans.
  • Some extra planting and landscaping is carried out and the pohutukawa trees are not harmed in any way.

 So while Sonya and Malcolm had to go back to the drawing board to change things a little everyone is happy that their concerns have been addressed and Sonya and Malcolm still get their house and bed and breakfast.

Reality Check

Sometimes things don't work out quite like this. For example, some submitters might decide to appeal the council's decision to grant resource consent. This would mean Sonya and Malcolm and the council would also have to go to the Environment Court to defend the decision made by the council.

Did you Know

About 48,000 resource consents are processed every year. On average only one percent of all decisions made on resource consent applications are appealed to the Environment Court.

On average five percent of all resource consent applications are publicly notified.

Deemed Permitted Boundary Activity

Deemed Permitted Boundary Activity 

When you can apply for a Deemed Permitted Boundary Activity

If your building activity or project is close to a boundary, and you have the neighbouring owners' written approval, you can  apply for a Deemed Permitted Boundary Activity. This application replaces the need to apply for a resource consent for your proposed activity. A building consent may still be required. If your boundary is next to a private driveway, you will need to get an approval from the neighbour on the other side of that driveway.

When you cannot apply for a Deemed Permitted Boundary Activity

You cannot apply for a Deemed Permitted Boundary Activity if you are building close to a public boundary. A public boundary includes a boundary with any of the following:

  • A public road or walkway
  • A public open space
  • A stream, river, or lake
  • The coast
  • An esplanade reserve or strip
  • Any other reserve
  • Any land owned by council or the crown (e.g. public schools).

What you need when applying for a Deemed Permitted Boundary Activity

In order to apply for a Deemed Permitted Boundary Activity, you will need to:

  • Complete the application form, including the description of your activity and the names of the neighbour/s with an infringed boundary.
  • Supply signed site plans from the neighbour, including any drawings depicting elevations and designs for your proposed activity or project.
  • Supply a neighbouring owners' written approval.

How to submit a request

The preferred method is an online application, but other methods are also accepted.

  1. Online submission

  2. Download, print, fill in and submit the application 'Deemed Permitted Boundary Activity'. Please download the form below.
    Submit via e-mail, at the Council offices on Queen Street or post to:


    Wairoa District Council
    Attention: Senior Planner
    PO Box 54
    Wairoa 4160

Affected Person's Approval (for Deemed Permitted Boundary Activity)

Each Deemed Permitted Boundary Activity application requires written approvals from each owner of an allotment with an infringed boundary, including signatures on the site plan or height to boundary elevations plan.

Please download, fill in and attach the 'Affected Person's Approval' form to the online application or the written application.

Application Forms

Making a Submission

WDC may publicly notify a resource consent application. When this happens, anybody can make a submission. Council will consider all the submissions that are received along with the application and make a decision whether or not to grant the resource consent. To publicly notify a resource consent application the council puts an ad in the newspaper and a sign on the proposed site.

Mel lives in a small town surrounded by dairy farms. Like everybody else, she knows that the dairy factory on the road out of town is planning to expand. For 60 years, the wastewater from the factory has been treated and then piped into a river that runs through the town and out to the coast. The river often smells bad and locals put that down to the discharge from the factory.

Mel reads a public notice on the factory site that says the factory wants to get resource consent from the regional council to increase the amount of waste going into the river. The council is asking anybody who's interested to make a submission by the end of August. Mel has a look at the application at the council offices. She then sends in her submission saying that she opposes the application because she thinks the extra discharge will make the odour problem worse. Mel says she's disappointed the application hasn't even addressed the existing odour problem. She wants the factory to do that as well as looking at extra treatment or other ways of disposing of its wastewater (such as spraying it on to land). Many people make similar submissions.

In October Mel goes to a public hearing at the council. The guy from the factory explains that they have looked at other disposal options, but they are too expensive and the soil isn't suitable for land-based disposal solutions. Mel talks to the council about her submission along with some of the other submitters.

In November, the council releases its decision. Mel receives a copy in the mail. The council accepts that other disposal options wouldn't work, but agrees with the submitters that the way in which the waste is treated needs to be improved. Resource consent is granted for the project, but on the condition that the factory rebuilds its treatment plant to improve the quality of the discharge. The consent also says that the regional council will be monitoring the condition of the river and will require further work if the odour problem isn't fixed.

Mel is making a difference by having her opinion heard. By getting involved, Mel and the other submitters have been able to impact on the way the factory treats its wastewater.

New Zealand Planning Institute

Incorporated in 1949 as a Charitable Trust, the New Zealand Planning Institute (NZPI) is the professional organisation representing planners, resource managers, urban designers, and environmental practitioners throughout New Zealand. NZPI promotes professional excellence and works in partnership with planners to shape the future according to the changing and diverse needs of all New Zealanders.

The New Zealand Planning Institute produces an Online Directory to help the public identify a qualified Consultant in their region. Seeking the advice of a qualified professional is more likely to smooth the path, and achieve the desired outcome. To find Professionals in Planning, Design & the Environment visit

Resource Consenting Fees

Resource Planning Fees and Charges approved for 1 July 2024 to 30 June 2025.

All fees and charges are inclusive of GST (except as noted *).

Resource Planning Fee (incl GST)
Deposit Payable With Full Cost Recovery
Deposit Land Use Consent (Non Notified)$2,400.00 
Deposit Subdivision Consent (Non-Notified) 1 to 2 lots$3,300.00 
Deposit Subdivision Consent (Non-Notified) 3 to 5 lots$3,800.00 
Deposit Subdivision Consent (Non-Notified) 6 to 9 lots$4,300.00 
Deposit Subdivision Consent (Non Notified) more than 10 lots$4,800.00 
Deposit Boundary Adjustment$2,600.00 
Deposit Land Use & Subdivision Consent (Non-Notified)Add $1,000 to applicable subdivision type above 
Limited NotificationAdd $1,500 to applicable consent above 
Public NotificationAdd $3,000 to applicable consent above  
Deposit Lapsing Consent Application s125$1,000.00 
Deposit Change of Conditions s127$1,300.00 
Deposit Designation & Notice Of Requirements$4,000.00 
Deposit Change or cancellation of consent notice s221$1,000.00 
Deposit Private Plan Change$18,000.00 
Deposit Overseas Investment Certificate /Crown Land Disposal Certificate$1,000.00 
Deposit for Certificate Of Compliance s139$1,000.00 
Bond Administration Fee$500.00 

Minimum Fee Fee (incl GST)
Note: * = Minimum fee, additional Fee may be charged.
*Review and approval - Consent Notice (s221)$600.00 
*Review and approval - Survey Plan (s223)$600.00 
*Review and approval - Title (s224(c))$600.00 
*Review and approval - Survey Plan (s226)$1,200.00 
* Outline Plan & Review$1,200.00 
Waiver to Outline Plan$1,000.00 
Deemed Permitted Boundary Activities$600.00 
Deemed Permitted Marginal or Temporary Activities$600.00 
Copy Of Certificate Of Title$80.00 
Copy Of Encumbrances$80.00 
* Right Of Way Application$1,000.00 
Resource Planning Staff
Graduate Planner (per hour)$160.00 
Planner or Intermediate Planner (per hour)$180.00 
Senior Planner (per hour)$200.00 
Principal Planner or Group Manager Planning/Regulatory (per hour) $220.00 
Planning Administration and Support Officer (per hour)$150.00 
Peer Review and Specialist Technical Review (per hour)$300.00 
Community Assets And Services Staff (minimum per hour)$300.00 
External Costs e.g. Consultants Are Recovered From Applicant At CostActual Cost 
Cost of commissioning report and other costsActual Cost 


For more information please contact the Wairoa District Council.

+64 6 838 7309
97-103 Queen Street, Wairoa 4108
PO Box 54, Wairoa 4160


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