Helpful tips and reminders
Integrated Resource Management and Resource Consent Processing
It is important to include Waikato Regional Council in any discussions around consenting requirements under the Waikato Regional Plan.
This is particularly important for earthworks and filling activities, which may require consent from both Regional and District Councils. It’s also really important when the proposal is reliant on a particular servicing solution, such as stormwater
treatment and disposal from larger subdivisions and comprehensive developments.
Each application will be assessed on its merits. However, both District and Regional Councils have the discretion to defer the notification and/or hearing of an application, if they consider that, on reasonable grounds, further consents are required.
This ensures that proposals are assessed in an integrated manner, taking into account any overlapping and cumulative effects that may result from the proposal.
Gaining district consents ahead of and separate to Regional consents (or vice versa), runs the risk that what is consented by one consent authority is not considered acceptable to the other.
As you may be aware Waikato District Council has now contracted out the asset management of its 3 Waters to Watercare. From the District Council’s perspective, with any larger proposal that involves 3 Waters and the vesting of those assets,
it is also wise to engage early with Watercare, in addition to Council’s own Land Development Engineers in the Consents Team.
A three-way conversation is often required between WRC, WDC Consents Team and Watercare. Not doing so can cause additional financial costs and delays well into the project timelines, where consent holders may have to re-design their proposal and seek
variations to their original consents to ensure their proposal is acceptable to both District and Regional Councils.
National Environmental Standard for Freshwater
You may be aware of the new National Environmental Standard for Freshwater 2020 (NESFW) that has recently come into legal effect. 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 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.
The Waikato District has a rich archaeological history, particularly along the banks of the Waikato River. However, not all known archaeological sites are listed in either the Operative or Proposed District Plans. All recorded archaeological sites
are kept by the New Zealand Archaeological Association (NZAA) on their site record scheme.
This information is available directly from NZAA for any individual or organisation to access (limited access is free, while numerous requests or licences are provided at a cost).
Many consultancies often hold these licences and regularly investigate the site record scheme themselves as a part of their own due diligence.
You can request a site record or contact their file keepers at http://www.archsite.org.nz/
As not all archaeological sites are recorded or listed and many are unknown, investigating the archaeological values of a site should be an important part of any project planning.
This is something that should be done in parallel to the pre application process for any resource consent application.
The Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Act 2014 makes it unlawful for any person to modify or destroy, or cause to be modified or destroyed, the whole or any part of an archaeological site without the prior authority of Heritage New Zealand. If
you wish to do any work that may affect an archaeological site, you must obtain an authority from Heritage New Zealand before you begin.
To find out if you require an authority and to obtain a list of recognised archaeologists, you should discuss your project with their Regional Archaeologist or Heritage Advisor.
Further information can be found here: https://www.heritage.org.nz/protecting-heritage/archaeology