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Growing Places e-newsletter

Here’s the latest information about building consents and resource consents from Waikato District Council.

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Update on processing delays

Applications are currently taking longer to process than they would have 12 months ago.

We are still receiving a large number of applications, and the addition of the Proposed Waikato District Plan means more work is needed to process resource consents, which is causing delays to our processing timeframes.

Like many of you, we also continue to have a number of staff and consultants on leave, due to sickness.

We apologise for the delay. We will do our best to turn things around as quickly as possible for you, but we encourage you to allow more time than usual to obtain resource consent.

What you can do to help

  • Ensure that you provide a complete application. This will minimise the need for us to request further information.
  • Consider engaging a planning consultant to prepare your application for you. Well-prepared information is usually quicker to process as they typically require less further information.

Why does the Proposed Waikato District Plan impact timings?

It means our staff must process applications under the current operative District Plan, as well as the Proposed District Plan.

Dates for December 2022 and January 2023

Here are some important dates to be aware of:

  • Statutory processing clock

    Both the Building Act 2004 and the Resource Management Act 1991 stop the statutory processing clock over Christmas and New Year. The period beginning 20 December and ending with the close of 10 January is excluded from the 20-working day timeframe, which means that the processing clock stops on/between these dates.

  • Resource Consents & Building Consents

    The statutory working day clock for resource consents will stop Monday 19 December 2022 and will start again Wednesday 11 January 2023.

    Any Resource or Building Consent submitted after Monday 19 December 2022 will not be processed until Wednesday 11 January 2023.

  • Building Inspections

    The last day for building inspections is Thursday 22 December.

  • Duty Planner service

    Our Duty Planner Service will not be available from Friday 16 December 2022 but will start again Monday 9 January 2023.

  • Engineering Services

    Our engineering services (consent processing, plan approvals and inspections/clearances) will not be available after Friday 16 December 2022. It will start again from 9 January 2023.

  • LIM reports

    The statutory ‘clock’ for LIM reports will stop on Monday 19 December 2022 and will start again Wednesday 11 January 2023.

  • Property Enquiries

    Our Property Enquiry service will not be available from close of business on Friday 16 December 2022 but will start again Monday 9 January 2023.

  • Offices and Libraries
    Our Offices & Libraries close on Friday 23 December 2022 at 12pm. They will re-open on Monday 9 January 2023.

Proposed District Plan Appeals Version and Section 86F of the RMA

Council has now released an Appeals version of the Proposed District Plan (PDP-AV). This is minus the Ohinewai Section, which is already operative.

The PDP-AV identifies which provisions are subject to appeal and any potential consequential amendments. A version of the PDP-AV planning maps has also been produced, which shows what properties are subject to appeal. You can find the PDP-AV and all associated planning maps here.

All provisions of the PDP-AV have legal effect, although some rules may also be treated as operative. This is in accordance with Section 86F of the Resource Management Act, whereby rules in the PDP-AV that are not subject to appeal are to be treated as operative; and any previous rule (in the Operative District Plan (ODP) are treated as inoperative and “falls away”.

Significant parts of the PDP-AV are still subject to appeal, therefore the opportunities for proposals to be assessed under just the PDP-AV and not the ODP are limited. Many activities still require consent under both the PDP-AV and the ODP.

What you need to do:

  • Please make sure your resource consent application includes an assessment of the proposal under both the PDP-AV and the ODP with these adjustments in mind.
  • Check both the PDP-AV and the planning maps each time you prepare an application. The appeals version is a ‘living’ document and consequential amendments are continually changing as appeals are being resolved.

Our response to housing intensification law changes - what happens now?

Central government has taken a stronger role in planning the growth of New Zealand’s largest cities and towns. They have introduced new rules to increase urban density and housing choices in areas that are close to public transport, shops, jobs, schools and parks.

There are two significant legislative reforms that Waikato District Council is required to put in place.

  1. National Policy Statement on Urban Development (NPS-UD):

    To give effect to Policy 3 of the NPS-UD, Council is required to allow for greater building heights and building density in residential areas.

  2. Amendments to the Resource Management Act:

The Medium Density Residential Standards (MDRS) are part of the amendments to the legislation. These apply to some of our towns with the aim of boosting housing supply and enabling more types of homes.

The legislation also requires changes to our design rules. These have now been set by central Government and relate to how sites can be developed.

What we are doing

Waikato District Council has prepared Variation 3 to the Proposed Waikato District Plan in accordance with the Resource Management Act 1991 to accommodate these new rules.

Council must apply the changes in Huntly, Ngaruawahia, and Tuakau because those towns had a population of over 5000 people in 2018. Pokeno has been included as it is intended to be a future urban environment and services the Auckland labour market.

The key aspects of the variation include:

  • Renaming the existing Medium Density Residential Zone in Huntly, Ngaruawahia, Pokeno and Tuakau to the Medium Density Residential Zone 2.
  • Retaining the density standards in the existing rules of the Medium Density Residential Zone to enable three, three storey residential units as a permitted activity per site if all the standards are met.
  • Amending the subdivision rules for the Medium Density Residential Zone 2 so residential subdivision is a controlled activity.
  • Limiting development on sites where there is a special feature, such as a significant natural area or the Waikato River as an outstanding natural landscape.
  • Limiting development on sites close to activities that are incompatible with intensive housing such as nationally significant infrastructure.
  • Concentrating intensive residential development within walking distance of town centres supported by a range of transport modes and employment opportunities close to home.
  • Retaining the current provisions for the General Residential Zone around the outer fringe of Huntly, Ngaruawahia, Pokeno and Tuakau.

More information
You can view full details of Variation 3, including planning maps and timings, here. You can also view these at any of our offices or libraries.

Blanket land use consent for Rangitahi - Precincts A, B and D

Since the release of the Proposed District Plan (PDP) decisions in January 2022, a number of proposed dwellings in Rangitahi were found to be non-compliant. These adjustments have been made based on adjacent service pipes, on-site manoeuvring and buildings within setbacks from electricity lines.

Council has granted Rangitahi Limited a blanket land-use consent (LUC0577/22) for lots within Precincts A, B, C and D. This provides dispensation from the following rules in the Appeals version of the Proposed District Plan (PDP-AV):

  1. Rule RPZ-R7 in relation to setbacks from buildings on residential lots and Comprehensive Development Lots;
  2. TRPT-R3 in relation to residential activities on residential lots (including Comprehensive Development Lots);
  3. Rules EW-R57(1)(a)(i) and EW-R58(1)(a)(v) in relation to earthworks on residential lots and Comprehensive Development Lots.

The specific lots that this blanket consent applies to are:

  • Precinct A: Lots 9 to 97, 101 to 105 of DP 545763
  • Precinct B: Lots 160 to 207 DP 548916
  • Precinct B3, D1, D2, D3: Lots 208 to 215, 230 to 252, 282 to 308, 323 to 333 DP 562987
  • Precinct C: Lots 401 to 480 of SUB0159/21
  • Precinct D4: Lots 334 to 343 of DP 571013
  • Precinct D5: Lots 253 to 277, Lots 350 to 358 of SUB0173/18.06

Going forward, this will enable dwellings on these lots to be constructed without the need for each separate owner to obtain their own resource consent for these non-compliances.

Now in effect: National Policy Statement – Highly Productive Land

The National Policy Statement for Highly Productive Land took effect on 17 October 2022. This means we need to take all relevant Policy Statement provisions into account when considering resource consent applications that have not yet been decided on.

The Policy Statement also notes that Regional Council must identify and map highly productive land within three years, and within a further six months, we must update our district and regional plans to reflect this.

All land that is zoned Rural and contains Land Use Capability (LUC) 1, 2 and 3 soils must be considered as highly productive land under Clause 3.5(7), regardless of whether the Regional Policy Statement has been updated or not.

Land-based primary activities can still be undertaken on highly productive land but there are restrictions on other activities that are not land-based primary production (clause 3.9), and restrictions on the subdivision of highly productive land (clause 3.8).

For Council to assess your application, we may ask you for further information to satisfy the requirements in the Policy Statement. These are likely to be LUC assessments and Farm Management Reports that have been undertaken by suitably qualified professionals that assess the matters set out in Clauses 3.8, 3.9 and 3.10 of the Statement.

You can read more here.

Notice before work starts – Monitoring consents

Almost all resource consents have some monitoring conditions, designed to make sure you comply with the conditions of the resource consent.

We monitor work throughout the duration of the activity to make sure it is consistent with the approved resource consent.

Our Monitoring Officers need to be advised of your start date at least 48 hours before you start work and there may be some conditions which are time sensitive (need to be actioned before works start).

Please double check your consent for conditions which require completion or notification ahead of starting work.

For notification of start date, you can email, or phone 0800 492452 and leave a message.

You’ll need to let us know:

  • the property address where the work will be done
  • your contact details
  • consent number 
  • the date the work will start.

You’ll find information on our website here.

Schedule vs memorandum for easements – what’s the difference?

Memorandum of easements are compulsory easements required by Council, imposed through subdivision conditions of consent.

In contrast, schedule of easements, while still providing the rights associated with easements (burden and benefited rights), are not required by Council as a condition of consent.

When creating schedules or memorandum of easements as a part of the 223 lodgement, please make sure you separate memorandum and schedules. We need these to be separated to approve a 223 package.

More information can be found on the Land Information New Zealand website.

Have your say

  • Reserve Management Plans – up for review

    The Waikato district is home to 55 playgrounds and a whopping 484 local parks spanning a total of 2177 hectares. To manage these spaces, we have nine different Reserve Management Plans (RMPs), all of which are guided by the General Policies RMP – and it's up for review.

    Take a look at the draft plan and let us know if you agree or disagree with the proposed changes by 5pm Monday 12 December.

    Read more and share your feedback.

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