Resource consents process

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

The consents process gives us a chance to work together with you, providing advice on what you need to know and do, to achieve your goals within the regulatory requirements of the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) and our District Plan

Together we can ensure that any effects of planning, developing and building on our environment and our infrastructure needs are managed sustainably. 

Note, the information below applies to resource consents only: building consents are a completely separate process. Find out how to apply for a building consent.

How we can help you

We want to make this process as easy as we can for you, so we're happy to talk with you at any stage of the process. Call us on our freephone 0800 492 452 or email a request for service to talk to a duty planner.

Or click on the links at left - you'll find most of what you need to know there - plus we provide a resource consents pre-application service which you might find valuable to use before you prepare your application.

Also see 'background information and resources' below which summarises other relevant online information available on our website and elsewhere.

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

Background information and resources

District Plan and Maps Online

You can check what zone and policy area a property has by viewing the planning maps and then referring to the appropriate chapters within the District Plan to find out about the property's permitted activities and rules. 

Our Council's Maps Online tool also allows you free access to a wide range of property information, including photographs and maps, from the Council’s spatial database. You can search for or view:

  • a property
  • property and road boundaries
  • property and rating information
  • District Plan information
  • utilities information (water, wastewater and stormwater)
  • aerial photography.

Open Waikato website

The Open Waikato website has a wealth of background information on the Waikato district, whether you're building or developing here; thinking of moving here; or wanting to know about businesses, industry, current projects and developments, case studies, demographics, land values, migration, population and other future projections for the district or a specific area within it. 

Take a quick tour with Mayor Allan Sanson as he explains why you should visit, live and invest in the Waikato district. 

Other sources

Get more property information from Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) and Maaori Land Online - Maaori land records.

Costs and development contribution fees

Note that the cost of the full consent will vary depending the type of consent you have applied for and how complex the application and its assessment might be. Time is charged on an hourly rate.  See our fees and charges schedule for more details. 

Any application for resource consent, building consent or service connection may be liable to pay development contributions. Read the current 2015/16 Policy and related appendices to find out more. 

Ensuring you supply the complete information and documentation required with your consent application is one area where your efforts can keep time and costs down at the processing end.

Stages of the resource consent process

Once we've received your consent application, one of our staff members will meet you onsite. After this, we'll assess your application and compile a report. Overall this process should take about 20 working days (unless additional information is required: or if the application needs to be 'notified').

Find out more about the four stages involved in the resource consents process, which are:

  • Preparing your application (information gathering).
  • Lodging your application.
  • Notification assessment.
  • Substantive decision-making (whether to grant or decline consent). 

See also consented subdivisions - next steps, as these kinds of resource consents have some additional checks to be made before approval to start the works is given.

Notifications and decisions

The length of time each consent application will take to reach the notification and decision stages will vary depending the type of consent you have applied for and how complex the application and its assessment might be. In some cases, the decision will need to be publicly notified before the decision is confirmed.

You will be contacted directly when a decision has been made on your application to let you know whether your application has been approved or declined (usually we email you this information). If the application is approved, it will likely be subject to conditions. If you don‘t like the decision or the conditions of an approved decision, you can object to Council or appeal to the Environment Court.

A list of resource consent notifications and decisions recently notified or issued under delegated authority is available online.

Consent conditions and monitoring

Because the activities that consents are required for are not permitted, most consents will contain conditions if the consent is granted.

As the consent holder, it's your responsibility to ensure the conditions of the consent are followed.

Some conditions may be a one-off, such as submitting engineering plans for approval. Other conditions may require ongoing compliance, such as a restriction on noise.

Our regulatory monitoring team actively monitors consents, including old consents, to ensure that any conditions imposed are followed. In cases of non-compliance, Council staff will try to work through the issues with you as the consent holder. In extreme cases, abatement and enforcement orders may be used to ensure the conditions are met. 

Further information can be found in our planning information fliers or resource consent forms. Or visit the Ministry for the Environment website. 

When you can start work

The conditions of your approved consent will tell you what you need to do and who you need to contact before starting works. If you've been granted a land use consent, you should also speak to our Monitoring Department. Call us on our freephone 0800 492 452 or email us at

However note that subdivision resource consents require additional checks and stages before you can start subdividing your land. See consented subdivisions - next steps for details.

Related documents


Information fliers

Related links