Before you apply for a consent

Before you apply for a consent, it's important to understand when and why you may need one. 

We administer resource consents under the Resource Management Act 1991. The purpose of the Act is to promote the sustainable management of natural and physical resources. This involves managing the use, development, and protection of resources while enabling individuals and communities to provide for their social, economic and cultural needs. Sustainable management also involves:

  • sustaining resources for future generations
  • safeguarding the life-supporting capacity of air, water, soil, and ecosystems
  • avoiding, remedying or mitigating any adverse effects of activities on the environment.

A resource consent permits a person or organisation to use or develop a natural or physical resource and/or to carry out an activity which affects the environment in some way. Resource consents include special conditions designed to ensure that any adverse environmental effects are avoided, mitigated or remedied.

Some activities may require resource consents from your local district council as well as the regional council. In such situations, applications to both councils may be processed at the same time.  

Before you apply you will need to check that your application includes any additional information and resource consents under any of the new rules in our recently notified Plan Changes and the new national healthy waterways standards and regulations which apply from 3 September 2020.

We know there are a lot of changes to take in and understand. We’re here to help. If you would like more information about the new rules and how they might affect you please call 0800 474 082 or email customerservices@orc.govt.nz

 

Activities that require resource consents 

If your proposed activity involves using or disturbing a river or lake bed in any of the following ways, you will need a land use consent. For example:

  • drilling or altering a bore 
  • performing works which will alter a river or lake or a river or lake bed (e.g. dredging, reclamation) 
  • building a structure in a river or lake bed (e.g. a jetty). 

If your proposed activity involves discharging a contaminant or water into water, onto or into land, or into the air in any of the following ways, you will need a discharge permit. For example: 

  • discharging contaminated stormwater into natural water
  • discharging sediment-laden stormwater from a quarry or from a long-term sediment producing site 
  • discharging wastes, whether treated or untreated, into or onto land, into the air or into water. 

If your proposed activity involves taking, damming or diverting water in any of the following ways, you will need a water permit. For example: 

  • taking and/or using water from a river, stream, dam, lake, spring, well or bore 
  • damming a watercourse 
  • diverting surface water (e.g. by piping or bridging, or by realigning a watercourse). 

 

If your proposed activity involves the coastal marine area (which includes the foreshore, the seabed, the sea surface and the air out to the territorial limit) in any of the following ways, you will need a coastal permit: 

  • taking and/or using water from an estuary or the sea 
  • discharging wastes, whether treated or untreated, into coastal waters 
  • performing works which will alter the foreshore or sea bed (e.g. removing sand, reclamation) 
  • building any structure on the foreshore or sea bed (e.g. a sea wall) 
  • diverting coastal water 
  • occupying the coastal marine area (e.g. moorings, boat sheds). 


Activities for which resource consents are not required 

Resource consents are not needed for some activities which are permitted under Regional Plans and National Environmental Standards. There are criteria for these activities to ensure that the environment is protected.   

You do not need a resource consent to take fresh water for your reasonable domestic fresh water needs, for stock or for firefighting, as long as these activities have no adverse environmental effects. 

 

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