A resource consent is a formal approval needed when a building or activity does not meet the rules in the District Plan, or where the Plan states that resource consent is required for a particular activity.

Resource consent is also needed for all subdivision of land. Resource consents are sometimes referred to as land use consents or subdivision consents, depending on the type of project.

Each zone in the District Plan has different rules about the type of building, subdivision or land use that can occur in that area. The rules ensure that buildings and other activities within a zone are in keeping with the surrounding or planned environment and provide a reasonable level of amenity for neighbours. They specify limits and requirements for matters such as:

  • building size and location
  • permitted types of activity
  • parking and traffic
  • minimum section sizes.

A resource consent allows you to build or use your land in accordance with the conditions of the consent, and you do not have to comply with all the rules in the District Plan.

The Resource Management Act and the District Plan set out the matters the Council must consider when granting resource consent for different types of proposals. Generally, the Council needs to be satisfied that the effects on the surrounding environment and on neighbours is not significant, and that the proposal is compatible with the purpose of the zone.

A resource consent generally lapses five years after it is issued if the proposal is not completed by then.

Often when a resource consent is granted it is subject to certain conditions, for example, landscaping may be required. It is the responsibility of the owner to comply on an ongoing basis with any conditions. The Council will undertake monitoring, including a site inspection, to make sure that conditions are complied with.

In some cases a proposal may be exempt from the need for resource consent if it is a permitted boundary activity that only infringes boundary rules, and the written approval of the adjoining owners has been obtained. 

Other approvals

If your proposal involves building work or change of use of a building, in most cases you will also need to obtain a building consent to confirm that the work complies with the Building Act 2004 and the building code.

To find out whether your project is likely to need a resource consent you can contact our Duty Planner. Please include your phone number if you would like us to call you. For more detailed advice or complex proposals we recommend that you engage an experienced professional, for example a planning consultant or solicitor.