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Frequently Asked QuestionsHe Pākiki

Please have a look below if you have questions regarding resource consents.

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Resource Consents

WDC does not currently charge Developer Contributions.

The District Plan, as a requirement of the Resource Management Act 1991, is a document that has standards that all subdivision, development and land-use activities are subject to across the Wairoa district. View the Operative District Plan.

Each Council has its own District Plan which sets out its own rules for managing natural and physical resources within its district. This reflects the unique circumstances within each district. What is allowed to be undertaken as a permitted activity in one district may require resource consent in another district.

Refer to Planning Maps or contact the District Planner.

The maximum height of a building / structure depends on the zoning of the property. Maximum heights are detailed in the District Plan but are summarised below:

Zone MaxMax Building Height
Conservation and Reserves  10m
Coastal  10m
Coastal (Mahia)  8m
Residential  10m
Residential (Mahia)  8m
Settlement  10m
Town Centre  12m
Industrial  15m


There may be some variances for utilities and also in relation to distances from boundaries.

Up to 2m. Fences higher than 2m will require both building consent and resource consent.

This will depend on the zoning of the property. The required setbacks are given below:

ZoneFront Boundary SetbackRear Boundary SetbackSide boundary Setback*
 Conservation and Reserves  15m  15m  15m
 Coastal  15m  15m  15m
 Coastal (Mahia)  15m  15m  15m
 Residential  3m  3m  1.5m
 Residential (Mahia)  3m  3m  1.5m
 Settlement  3m  3m  1.5m
 Town Centre  Nil  3.0m  Nil*
 Industrial  5m  Nil  Nil

 * There are some exceptions to these general rules - refer to the District Plan.

The Record of Title for a property shows the dimensions of the boundaries. There are normally survey pegs in each corner of the site. If these cannot be found, your should contact a qualified land survey determine where your specific boundaries are. Council's cannot advise you of this.

You can request a copy of your Record of Title from Land Information New Zealand or LINZ.

Generally, yes - All relocatable building (new and old) will be assessed in the same way as a new building. Building consent will also be required.

The building will need to be located in accordance with the District Plan and our properties zone. For more information about relocatable buildings, it is recommended that you talk to the councils building team. Either call on (06) 838 7309 or 

In all zones other than Coastal (Mahia) and Residential (Mahia), you can undertake any land use activity on your property, provided it complies with the relevant performance standards for that zone.

In the Coastal (Mahia) and Residential (Mahia) Zones, the following 'business' activities are allowed provided they comply with the relevant performance standards:

  • Education facilities for a maximum of 10 people
  • Home business
  • Accommodation facilities (for a maximum of four people)

All other business / commercial activities in these zones will require land use consent.

Not in all cases.

All applications for building consent will be assessed against the District Plan to determine if resource consent is also required. If resource consent is required, and you have not been advised already, you will be advised in writing.

If you are proposing to carry out work on a building that is on the list of heritage buildings in the District Plan, it is likely that you will need to apply for both a Resource Consent and a Building Consent.

The repair or maintenance of heritage buildings listed in the District Plan is generally permitted although there are some exceptions. Consent will be required for any alterations or additions to the buildings along with relocation, demolition or destruction.

Click here to visit Heritage New Zealand.

Your solicitor may have a copy or you can contact Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) and request a copy of your Record of Title (for a charge prescribed by LINZ).

Council does not hold Record of Title. 

Note: It may also be referred to as a Certificate of Title.

This will depend on the extent of earthworks that are proposed and the zoning of the land it is classified as. See the table below:

ZoneMaximum allowable volume of earthworks (m3) over 12 monthsMaximum allowable area of earthworks (m2)Allowable 'face' height of any earthworks (m)
Conservation and Reserves 50 300 1.5
 Coastal 50 300 1.5
 Coastal (Mahia) 150 500 1.5
 Residential 150 150 3.0
 Residential (Mahia) 300 320 - serviced sites
400 - unserviced sites
 Settlement 300 150 3.0
 Town Centre 300 150 3.0
 Industrial 150 150 3.0

Earthworks are not permitted within 20m of any water body – rivers, lakes, wetlands etc.

There are some exclusions, where certain activities do not fall within the definition of earthworks. Please contact the WDC Planning department for further information. (06) 838 7309 or 

This will depend on the extent of clearing and the type of vegetation to be cleared.

It is likely that removal of more than 1 hectare of 'significant indigenous vegetation' will require resource consent. Please contact the WDC Planning department for further clarification. (06) 838 7309 or 

Significant indigenous vegetation typically includes any indigenous vegetation that has the potential to attain a diameter of 30cm or more at breast height at maturity or has an average canopy height of at least 6m.

It is advised to discuss your proposal with the District planner along with contacting the Department of Conservation and the Hawkes Bay Regional Council as we will generally seek their comment on such activities.

A resource (land use) consent is written approval from the Council to use your land in a way that does not comply with all the relevant rules of the District Plan.

A resource consent for subdivision is written approval from the Council to subdivide your land. All subdivision requires consent (other than subdivision for boundary adjustments in most areas).

Land use and subdivision consents may be subject to conditions of consent.

Costs are payable for processing consents at an hourly rate. More complex applications, those that require additional reports or hearings, will require more time for processing and hence will cost more.

A deposit fee is required on application for all consents. Consents will not be processed without this fee.

  • Deposit fee for land use consent - $1,800
  • Deposit fee for subdivision consent - between $2,500 - $3,500

Higher deposit fees are required for those consents that will require notification. Refer to Fees and Charges Schedule.

Most consents are non-notified and are processed within 20 working days (four weeks) as required under the Resource Management Act 1991.

The length of time for processing consents depends largely on the quality of the complete application submitted, that describes the activity and the effects on the environment fully.

How the application is to be processed can also affect the processing time e.g. non-notified, limited notification or public notification. A non-notified consent will be processed within 20 working days while a notified consent will take a minimum of two months. It will take more time if a hearing is required.

You need to complete and submit an application form together along with other information, drawings/plans and a deposit fee. The information you need to supply will depend on what you are applying for. A check list is attached to the application form.

Refer to Guide to Applying for Resource Consent

Generally, an Assessment of Environmental Effects' will need to be prepared and submitted with the application. This provides information on the likely effects that your activity will have on the environment and what your proposals are, if any, to address those effects.

Conditions are added onto consents to protect the environment for current and future users and are designed to avoid or mitigate any negative environmental effects resulting from your activity.

The consent holder must comply with all conditions of consent on their consent.

When a resource consent is granted it will state it's duration or expiry date. Your resource consent will 'lapse' or expire after five years unless otherwise stated. Your consent will 'lapse' or expire if you have not started the activity (known as 'giving effect to your consent').

When applying for a resource consent, you may request a different timeframe.

You can apply for an extension of time under s125 of the Resource Management Act (refer to What happens if I do not use my Consent?)

Consents must be used (exercised) before they lapse (within five years of being granted unless otherwise stated).

You can apply for an extension of the period for the consent under section 125 of the Resource Management Act but this must be done before it lapses. Evidence must be supplied to show that you have worked towards starting the activity.

You can apply to change or cancel any condition of consent of your resource consent under section 127 of the Resource Management Act. Any request for a change or cancellation of conditions will be treated as if it is an application for a new consent.

Where there is a condition on the duration or term of your consent, you cannot apply for a variation to this.

Resource consents relating to land use generally 'run with the land' and will be transferred when you sell the property.

Failing to keep to the conditions of consent may cause damage to the environment and could lead to enforcement action being taken against you although sometimes, such issues can be resolved through discussion and agreement on a suitable course of action.

However, if cooperation is not forthcoming, the Council can prosecute the offending party or seek an Enforcement Order from the Environment Court. In such circumstances, Council can seek costs against the other party and the Court can also impose significant fines.

No. As well as copies of all notified applications being available for viewing at the Council's offices, copies are also held at the library and also on Council's website.

Depending on the application, copies may also be made available at a location close to the subject site.

Viewing locations will be identified for each proposal in the public notice / advertisement.

A subdivision is the division of a parcel of land, or lot, into smaller parcels (sections/lots). This results in the creation of new lots, each with its own distinct title.

All subdivision requires consent (other than subdivision for boundary adjustment purposes in some cases).

It is recommended that you apply for subdivision consent using a qualified surveyor.

There will be costs incurred by using a surveyor as well as costs from Council for processing the application.

Costs are payable to Council for processing consents at an hourly rate. More complex applications, those that require additional reports or hearings, will require more time for processing and hence will cost more.

A deposit fee is required on application for all subdivision consents. Consents will not be processed without this fee. The deposit fee for a non-notified subdivision consent will cost between $2,500 - 3,500. Higher deposit fees are required for those consents that will require notification.

We are unable to provide advice on the cost of employing a surveyor for your subdivision.

This will depend on various factors including the zoning of the land and its size. Refer to the District Plan for subdivision rules in relation to different zones or contact the District Planner.

It is advisable to take professional advice from your solicitor or a surveyor before purchasing a property.

The works must be completed and a completion certificate issued pursuant to Section 224(c) of the Resource Management Act 1991 prior to the section 223 certificate elapsing.

The s223 certificate confirms that the final survey plan complies with the agreed subdivision consent. You have five years (unless otherwise specified in the consent) to obtain a s223 certificate. A fee will apply.

The s224(c) certificate confirms that all conditions of consent have been met. You have three years from the date of the s223 certificate to obtain the s224(c) completion certificate and have it lodged with Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) for titles to be issued. A fee will apply.

Other than in the Coastal (Mahia) and Residential (Mahia) zones, minimum lot sizes are not specified.

However, there are a number of performance standards that may influence the lot size. Refer to Chapter 27: Subdivision of the District Plan.

The following minimum lot sizes apply for the Coastal (Mahia) and Residential (Mahia) zones:


Zone Minimum Lot Size 
 Coastal (Mahia) 4ha other than:
5,000m2 in the Coastal Mahanga Policy Area
 Residential (Mahia) 800m2 for unserviced sites
1,000m2 for services sites






  • Not all signs need resource consent. For example, temporary signs for community events and the disposal of property are permitted provided they meet the size restrictions for the relevant zone and provided they are erected no more than six months before the event and are removed within one week of the event
  • Election signs are permitted but must comply with the applicable Council policy.
  • Generally speaking, you can erect an advertising sign on the property to which it relates without resource consent, provided it meets certain criteria such as size and letter height.
  • All 'off-site' advertising signs, those erected on properties other than that to which it relates, will require resource consent.
  • Signs are not permitted on road reserve or other Council reserves.

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