The required level of public involvement is decided
This decision is usually referred to as the notification decision. It is made by a council hearings panel, commissioner or senior staff, depending on the type of application.
The decision-makers consider:
- Whether any neighbours or other people are adversely affected and need to be involved in the application.
- Whether wider public input is needed.
There are three possible outcomes to this decision:
- Non-notified: If no one is considered to be adversely affected, or all the directly affected neighbours have given their written approval(external link).
- Limited notified: If there are neighbours who are directly affected and they have not given approval. Those neighbours are sent a copy and can make a submission stating their opinion of the application.
- Publicly notified: If an application is likely to have wider or greater effects on people or the environment. The application is advertised in the newspaper and on our website(external link), a sign is put up on the property, and directly affected neighbours are sent a copy of the application. Anyone can make a submission and be involved in this type of application.
Most of the applications we process meet the criteria for non-notification.
We must follow specific Resource Management Act requirements when making this decision. The test for whether someone is affected is whether the application has effects on them that are at least minor. When we’re deciding this we have to look at what sort of development the District Plan allows on the property, and the specific matters the plan says must be considered for the rules that are not complied with.
The Resource Management Act doesn’t enable the applicant, the neighbours or the community to have a say in the decision on what level of notification is required. The only way to object in this case is to apply to the High Court for a judicial review of the decision.