Before we make a decision to garnt or refuse a consent application, you may be able to make a submission to the Council presenting your point of view on it. You can make a submission if we have either:
After a consent is granted, you may be able to make an objection to the us about the decision. You can make an objection if you're the applicant and:
After a decison is made on a consent application, you may also be able to make an appeal to the Environment Court. You can make an appeal if:
You can only submit on a resource consent application if:
If others feel the same way as you about the application, you can consider making a joint submission. One way you can do this is by forming a community group and appointing a spokesperson- making sure too to name them clearly as your contact person. A joint submission has no less weight than if all the individuals made their own submissions.
You have 20 working days after the application is publicly notified to get your submission to us.
We always tell you the date and time the submission period ends. You must make sure that we receive your submission in time to ensure we can accept it.
You can either use a Council submission form or write your own submission
For more information about making a submission, you can go to:
Your submission must be in writing and clearly state:
To make you submission as effective as possible:
You can lodge your submission with the Council (Resource Consents Administration Officer) in any of the following ways:
You must also send a copy of your submission to the applicant.We always provide details of where you must send it to get to the applicant.
We will write to you once the submission period ends and confirm that we have got your submission. If you want to see the other submissions, you will either find them on our website, or you can view them in our Council offices.
The Council officer will always address the issues in the submissions in their report and recommendation.
If we are making a decision on the application by having a hearing, then we make the consent planner's report available electronically at least 15 working days before the hearing date.
Submitters can ask for an independent commissioner to decide on a resource consent application, rather than local Councillors.
If you do want an independent commissioner, you must make sure we receive your request for a commissioner hearing within five working days from the date the submission period ended. If you are asking for us to use an independent commissioner, you may have to contribute to any increased cost.
If you are an applicant you may object to the Council's decision on your application, or to the additional charges or costs that Council has requested.
As the applicant, you can object to the conditions that we put on the resource consent, if:
You have this right under s357A of the Resource Management Act (RMA). Some types of applications do not have objection rights.
You also have a right of objection to a request by Council to pay additional charges or costs. You have this right under s357B of the RMA.
You must lodge your objection with us within 15 working days of when you received Council’s notice of its decision.
You must send us your reasons for objecting. Set out clear reasons for your objection.
We consider your objection and:
If you ask for an independent commissioner to decide your objection, then we must use one for the hearing.
If you are still unhappy with our decision, you may have a right to appeal to the Environment Court. You have 15 working days from when you receive the decision on the objection to lodge your appeal.
If you are unhappy with our decision on a resource consent you may lodge an appeal with the Environment Court.
If you are an applicant or a submitter on many types of applications, then you may appeal our decision.
You are excluded from appealing applications if it was lodged with Council after 18 October 2017, and it included one of the following - unless it’s a non-complying activity under the TRMP rules:
This restriction also applies to appeals on objections on the same types of application above.
As an applicant, you might appeal if:
As a submitter (in opposition), you might appeal if:
You can only appeal on the same issues that you made in your submission. For instance, if your submission only focussed on how the height and location of a proposed building caused overshadowing on your property, then you can’t appeal on traffic issues.
If you are considering appealing a resource consent decision, you should seek professional advice first, especially from a lawyer. If the Environment Court finds the appeal is 'without substance' then you may have to pay for some of the costs that the applicant and Council have had to meet.
You can also find useful information in the Ministry for the Environment's An Everyday Guide to the Resource Management Act. We recommend you look at the sections on the Environment Court, the mediation process, and the costs awards process.
If you decide to appeal, then you must lodge your notice of appeal with the Environment Court and send a copy of the notice to the Council. You must do this within 15 working days of receiving the decision.
The Environment Court's website explains how you lodge an appeal with them and what is required. This includes the forms, fees, procedures, and how the Environment Court works.
In summary, you will need to:
When an appeal is lodged with the Court, then other parties have an opportunity to join the proceedings. Usually these are the submitters who join. If you do join, then this is the only way you have the right to participate in the appeal. You can find details on how to join the proceedings on the Environment Court website. Any person who joins in this way is known as a 'section 274 party'.
If you do want to become a section 274 party, you have 15 working days from the end of the appeal period (or when the appeal proceedings commenced) to lodge your notice with the Environment Court (and also serve a copy on the Council).
You will find all the details on how to join the proceedings on the Environment Court website.