Changes to the Resource Management Act came into effect on 18 October 2017. Click here to learn more about these changes.

First, find out how our pre-application service can make the resource consent process easier for you, before you start preparing your application.

Once we've received your consent application, one of our staff members will meet you onsite, assess your application and compile a report.

The four stages are outlined below. Click on the relevant link to jump down to each stage.

Note that if you have been granted consent for a subdivision, you'll need to go through some additional stages to those outlines below. See consented subdivisions - next steps for details.

Most of the information below applies to resource consents only: building consents are a completely separate process. However, if you are building, you may need a Project Information Memorandum (PIM) report - see below. Find out how to apply for a building consent.

Know all this already? Get a resource consent form and apply for your consent now - and/or check our resource consent fees.


1. Preparing your application (information gathering)

You will need to complete an application form and gather information so that you can prepare your application accurately. 

As well as noting the information below, find out more about how we can help you and how you can get a wide range of information online in relation to your application - see the resource consent process.  

Certificates and reports

Find out about certificates of title and HAIL reports, what they cover and how you can apply for them in property info requests, certificates and reports.

Find out about S223 and S224 certificates required under the Resource Management Act 1991 in consented subdivisions - next steps.

Preparing an assessment of environmental effects (AEE)

Your application must be accompanied by an assessment of environmental effects (AEE). Your AEE should be detailed and correspond with the scale and significance of the effects that the activity may have on the environment. Matters that should be included in an AEE are outlined in Schedule 4 of the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA). Your application must also include any plans and/or specialist reports relevant to the proposed activity. Details on what is required in an AEE report are set out in our resource consent forms available on our website.

Consulting affected parties

While consultation is not mandatory under the RMA, it is good practice to identify who might be interested in or affected by your proposal. You may like to talk to those people about your application to help the process run smoothly and help identify potential effects. If you do this, it's a good idea to take your site plans with you for them to sign and take an 'Affected-persons-written-approval' form for them to sign too.

Getting help from a professional

You may wish to engage a resource management planning consultant to help with the preparation of your application. These consultants can also manage the application process on your behalf.

Note also that when subdividing land you will also need to engage a licensed cadastral surveyor from the New Zealand Institute of Surveyors to prepare the necessary survey plan - consented subdivisions - next steps (223 application).


2. Lodging your application

We will check that your application is complete and that you have paid your lodgement fee (the full and final consent fee will be charged at the end of the consent process). If we accept your application as complete, it will be processed. We may also ask you to provide additional information after the application has been accepted. If we find that your application is incomplete, we will return it to you, along with a letter explaining why it was not accepted for processing. You can then decide to resubmit with more information when you are ready. This resubmission will be treated as a new application and you'll need to pay a new application fee if any of the initial deposit for your first submission was returned to you.


3. Notification assessment

Once your application has been accepted, we will consider the scale and significance of any adverse environmental effects associated with your proposal. We need as much information as you can supply us with so we can determine these effects - otherwise we may need to come back to you for more information and this might cause delays.

Most resource consent applications are processed on a 'non-notified' basis and are not open to submissions. In these cases, you will receive your decision more quickly (see below). However if the application is publicly notified, there will be a delay while submissions are gathered and assessed and/or a hearing on your application takes place.  

Find out more about what's involved in decision-making in relation to notified resource consents and check out our lists of the latest resource consent notifications and decisions.


4. Substantive decision-making

The vast majority of resource consent applications are approved, some are withdrawn and very few are declined. For notified applications, the relevant submissions will also be considered as part of this process. 

In considering whether to approve or decline your application, we have to consider the purpose and principles of the RMA (see in Section 104 of the Act for details). The consent authority looks at any relevant planning provisions, the environmental effects associated with the proposal and any other matters it considers relevant and reasonably necessary to determine the application.


More information

Find out more about the resource consent process including:

  • why resource consents are important
  • how we can  help you
  • background information and resources
  • resource consents costs and development contribution fees
  • receiving your decision
  • consent conditions and monitoring
  • when you can start work. 

See our District Plan and Waikato district ward maps - and use our Maps Online tool - to find out more about the Waikato district.

Related documents


Related links