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Updated 22 March 2022 2:33pm

Here you will find answers to some frequently asked questions relating to resource consents:

Do I need consent from the district or city council?  

Possibly. This is dependent on your proposed activity. Let us know if you’re also applying to a district or city council for a consent (such as earthworks or a subdivision consent) as part of your proposal. If your application needs to be publicly notified, we may have to hold a joint council hearing to decide on your application.

Can someone else apply for a consent on my behalf? 

Yes. You can ask someone else, such as a consultant, to apply for your resource consent on your behalf. They should be listed under the name and address for service on the GWRC resource consent application form. We will deal with this person throughout the consent application process. Before you sign the application, make sure you read everything the consultant has prepared for you.

What can I do to reduce costs and avoid delays? 

You can help reduce costs and avoid delays in processing your application if you:

  • consult everyone who may be affected by your proposal and get written approval if possible
  • fill in the application forms fully and include all the required supporting information
  • make sure you apply for all the resource consents needed for your activity
  • provide any additional information we ask for quickly and with the required detail
  • try to resolve any submissions that oppose your application (if it is notified)
  • get professional advice from an environmental consultant if your proposed activity is large or complex, may significantly affect the environment, or may attract major public interest. 
What do I do if my consent is due to expire? 

If you want to keep using your consent after it expires, you will need to apply for a new consent. GWRC will notify you of the impending expiry of your consent. There are some important timeframes for you to be aware of when lodging a replacement application:

  • If you apply at least six months before your consent expires you can continue to use your expired consent while you wait for your new consent to be decided.
  • If you apply three to six months before your consent expires, GWRC has the final say about whether you can keep using your expired consent while you wait for your new application to be decided.
  • If you apply less than three months before your consent expires, you cannot continue to operate under your existing consent if this expires before your new application is decided. 
What happens if I do not use my consent? 

If you don’t use your consent within five years of your consent being approved, it will lapse and you will not be able to use it. There may be instances where conditions on your consent specify a shorter period than five years. If you don’t want your consent to lapse, you can apply for an extension of lapse time – but you need to do this before your consent lapses.

Also, if you start using your resource consent then stop using it altogether for five years or more, we can cancel it.

What if I no longer need my consent? 

If you no longer need your resource consent, you can surrender it. However, you’ll still be liable for any past breaches of consent conditions. You may also be required to complete any works the consent authorises. Once you’ve surrendered your consent you can’t reactivate it, and you need to apply for a new consent if you change your mind. 

To surrender your consent, download our Surrender of Permit form

How do I transfer my consent? 

You can transfer your consent to any other person who wants to undertake the same activity at the same site. If you have a water permit, you can transfer it to someone at a different site. Until your consent is transferred, you’ll be liable for any ongoing monitoring charges. So if you sell your operation or property, contact us and we’ll arrange the transfer. The processing charge for transferring a consent is $126.50. 

To transfer your consent to another person at the same site, download our Change of resource consent holder form

What if I want to change my consent conditions? 

You can apply to GWRC to change or cancel any of your resource consent conditions, except for the expiry date. If the changes you propose will have only minor effects on the environment, your application will be processed on a non-notified basis. The initial fixed application fee for processing your non-notified application is $506 (incl. GST). If your application requires limited or full notification, the initial fixed application fee will be $5,060.00 (limited notified) or $10,120.00 (fully notified).

To change conditions on your resource consent, download our Application to change or cancel resource consent conditions form

Do I need to consult anyone about my application? 

This is dependent on the nature and scale of your activity. Consultation aims to identify how other people may be affected by your proposal and how you can modify your proposal to overcome any negative effects on them. In most cases, thorough consultation helps the smooth processing of your application. Your application will need to identify who you consulted, along with their names, addresses, telephone numbers and who they represent.

To read more about consulting with iwi download our Consulting iwi brochure, or visit the consulting with iwi page of our website.

Do I need written approvals of affected parties? 

If the effects of your proposal are minor and you would like your application to be considered as non-notified, you should try to get the written approval of all people or organisations who may be affected by your proposal. Potentially affected parties may include:

  • owners or occupiers of land and neighbours;
  • downstream and adjoining property owners;
  • community or environmental groups;
  • local iwi;
  • the Department of Conservation;
  • Fish and Game Council; and
  • local city or district councils.

To obtain written approvals, download our Written Approval of Affected Persons form.

What if I am not satisfied with a decision relating to a resource consent? 

If you a not satisfied with a decisions made by GWRC, you can object to certain decisions under section 357 of the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA). Common decisions made by GWRC that you may object to include:

  • The rejection of your application under section 88(3) of the RMA
  • The lapsing or cancellation of your consent under section 125 and 126 of the RMA
  • The decision made by a Council officer to grant/refuse a resource consent application
  • Additional charges (that exceed initial fixed application fees) under section 36(3) of the RMA

Any objection must be made in writing and received no later than 15 working days after a decision was made.

GWRC recommends that prior to lodging an objection that you talk through your concerns with us as any issues may be able to be resolved without the need of lodging a formal objection. 

To read more about appeals, download our Objections and Appeals brochure.

What should I do once my resource consent is granted? 

You should carefully read all conditions on your resource consent. Your conditions may require you to:

  • Notify us immediately prior to commencing works
  • Take photographs during any construction activity and submit them to us
  • Adhere to a particular methodology of works or management plan
  • Submit monitoring information or reports to us

If you are unsure about any aspects of your consent conditions, it is important that you contact us.