Here’s the latest information about building consents and resource consents from Waikato District Council.
If you wish to receive this via email, you can subscribe here.
Update from our Resource Consents Team
Number of resource consent applications signal an active property market
The Consents Team have remained very busy over the past six months – there has been no slow down. We have very high volumes of resource consent applications and LIM enquiries, which signals an active property market.
Resource Consent applications have been steadily increasing, with the exception of January and February. This may be a result of lower interest rates and expatriates returning to New Zealand.
Due to the higher numbers and the complexity of applications, our processing times remain at 17 working days.
Resource consent applications received:
Consents team update:
Unfortunately, we will be saying goodbye to one of our planners Jonathan Ward, who is moving to be with family in Rotorua. We are currently recruiting for his replacement.
Our Duty Planner service
There has been a substantial increase in the number of duty planner enquiries. This has increased our workload significantly and has meant that on some days we haven’t been able to meet our preferred time frames.
We have noticed that some enquiries aren’t within the scope of the duty planner service, or lack significant information for us to be best able to assist.
Due to high demand, our response to duty planner enquiries will be expanded to five working days.
What our Duty Planner can answer:
Our duty planners can answer enquiries on district plan rules (such as setbacks, earthworks, subdivision) policy overlays and zoning, assist in interpreting consent notices and existing consent conditions.
Please note: As the district plan rules differ depending on the zone we cannot help people who do not have a specific property address.
You will need to provide a specific address and include as much information as possible about your query.
What our Duty Planner cannot answer:
Please also check information on our website regarding District Plan rules and provisions: https://www.waikatodistrict.govt.nz/your-council/plans-policies-and-bylaws/plans/waikato-district-plan
Update from our building team
New System will make it easier for building consent applications:
Our Building Team will be making some changes to the way building applications are submitted.
The new system (called AlphaOne) will make it easier for you to lodge building consent applications. You will also be able to see the status of your building consents.
Another benefit is that it makes things more consistent because it is the same system used by the majority of councils in the region. We hope to change to the new system in a few months, but we will keep you updated.
Significant increase in number of Building Consents applications
Due to the consistently high number of building consent applications, our team will need to be stricter on applications that don’t have the necessary information. We will be introducing a threshold of 15 substantial RFIs before the consent
will be refused and you will need to apply again.
We have always done our best to help applicants who have not supplied all the information required, however this takes time away from reviewing other applications and penalises those who are doing it right.
Introducing Ngaire Kingsbury
Ngaire Kingsbury is our Principal Land Development Engineer based in Ngaruawahia. She grew up in the Waikato district, and was fortunate to be granted a student placement at Waikato District Council while studying engineering at Auckland.
Ngaire has worked as an engineer in Taranaki, Hamilton, Dunedin, Wellington, Brunei, UK and Auckland. She enjoys problem solving and site visits. Her hobbies are catching possums and planting native trees. For holidays she likes touring on cycling trails.
Ngaire says “it is wonderful to be living back in the Waikato.”
Graphs showing the latest numbers for building and resource consents, as well as LIMs and new lots.
LIM applications, new lots and Permitted Boundary Activities (PBA)
The number of new lots are on track with numbers in 2020.
The number of LIM requests continue to exceed the numbers from 2020, with exception of March 2021. This may be due to lower interest rates and the increase in expatriates returning to New Zealand.
Pre-application meetings have also increased.
Long Term Plan: Have your say
Recently, feedback opened on our 2021 – 31 Long Term Plan consultation document. The Long Term Plan is the district’s plan for the next 10 years. It is reviewed and updated every three years.
We asking three key questions: what general rate increase option you prefer, should we sell our pensioner housing and should we continue our inorganic kerbside rubbish collection service.
We’re proposing a ‘hard and fast’ general rate increase in year 1 of 9% and then 3.5% for year 2 and 3 of the plan. Our other option sets the general rate increase at 7% in year
1, 6% in year 2 and 4% in year 3.
The inorganic kerbside rubbish collection service has been popular in the Waikato district for a long time, but it is becoming harder and harder to deliver, not just because of rising costs in this area.
We have 34 pensioner flats in Tuakau, Huntly and Ngaruawahia. We’re proposing to sell these to a dedicated social housing provider.
You can find out more and make a submission before 5pm on Friday 7 May 2021 at www.waikatodistrict.govt.nz/ltp.
Have your say on our Development Contributions policy
We’re also asking for feedback on our Development Contributions Policy. Development contributions is money that developers or property owners pay towards the costs of infrastructure required for growth. This could include water supply, storm-water
disposal and wastewater pipes, roads and footpaths, parks, reserves and community facilities. The policy outlines in more detail how this works in our district.
This is a separate consultation but we’re running it at the same time as the Long Term Plan consultation.
You can find more information here: www.waikatodistrict.govt.nz/ltp.
Make sure to get your feedback in by 5pm on Friday 7 May 2021.
Helpful tips and reminders
Relocated building inspection report
When applying for a land-use consent for a relocated building, your application should include a 2nd hand building inspection report produced by the Waikato District Council Building Team. For buildings located outside of Waikato District you can get an
independent building inspection report (including photos) done. However, you will still need to apply for a 2nd hand building inspection report from Waikato District Council to include with your resource consent application. Our building team will
undertake a desk top review of your independent report. To request a 2nd hand building inspection / report, click here.
Changes to vehicle accessways or new accessways that did not get reviewed in a consent approval process will require an application to the Waikato District Council roading team for a vehicle entranceway assessment and approval. You’ll find this
. This is required under the Local Govt Act and the Waikato District Council ByLaw.
Proposed District Plan Hearings Update
The next hearing to be held is Natural Hazards and Climate Change which starts on 10 May. Hearing 25 Zone extents commence on 17 May.
National Environmental Standard for Freshwater
We have received a number of queries regards the National Environmental Standard for Freshwater 2020 (NESFW). The NESFW has regulations (rules) regarding a number of matters including the drainage
of wetlands. This is particularly relevant to quarrying and filling activities as well as subdivisions and other forms of land development. Any earthworks that result in the drainage of a wetland is now a Prohibited Activity. This means that
no application can be made to a Council and neither can any consent be granted for a project which involves earthworks which drain or filling a wetland. The Waikato Regional Council is the consenting authority responsible for implementing the NES
Freshwater. If you have any questions regarding this matter for your project you should contact them.
Common Further Information Requests on Building Consent applications
5 Top Requests for Further Information (RFIs)
Here is a list of the common reasons we request further information. Please check that you have all the information needed before submitting your application.
- F2 - Safety glazing: Needs to be designated on the individual glazing units.
- B1 - Ceiling diaphragms: Don’t forget there is a minimum number of bracing units required around the perimeter of the diaphragm.
- B1 - Engineered sand pads: These should be referenced as such on your plans.
- Application forms: Please make sure these are filled out fully to avoid delays in processing your consent.
- Further information response: Please supply only the amended pages and mark or ‘cloud’ all changes to avoid delays and potentially incurring additional processing fees.
We’d love to get your feedback
We’re interested in what you think about this newsletter so we can improve it over time. Click here to provide feedback.