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Resource consents and the RMA

The Resource Management Act (1991) was passed to promote the sustainable management of natural and physical resources. It means the use of natural resources, including the ability of the environment to absorb waste, must be considered for any activity. For example, a farmer planning an irrigation scheme has to assess whether the water take will adversely effect the environment, including neighbours and future generations that might also benefit from that water.

However, it has generated a lot of paperwork and means that in most cases a landowner can’t just sink a bore, bury a septic tank or run a drain into the nearest stream. The types of activities that usually call for a Resource Consent include:

•        Taking, using and damming water

•        Discharges to air, land and water, including:

          •           Dairy effluent

          •           Stormwater 

          •           Domestic wastewater

•        Land use eg: Ponds and dams, river crossings etc

•        Activities in the Coastal Marine environment

Before you apply for a Resource Consent, you need to do your homework, and you may not actually need one. It may be that a Regional Plan allows the activity you have in mind, or with a few changes you may get away without needing one. Ask us to advise whether you need a Resource Consent.

When you need a Resource Consent, doing your homework and conducting the research not only speeds the process, it saves you money and maximises the chance of your project being approved, but that homework is rarely simple. It’s also important to provide the Council with the information they expect, and present it clearly and professionally using their language.

That’s where we come in. We have extensive experience in preparing Resource Consent applications, and we are a preferred provider for ECan (we process applications on their behalf) which means we know what they expect, and they take us seriously. We are able to advise you if your project is likely to be successful and then manage the Consent application process for you.