Applying for a resource consent

When do I need resource consent?

A resource consent is a consent to do something that would otherwise breach a rule in a Resource Management Act plan or regulation. District Councils process resource consent applications for subdivision and landuse. The Resource Management Act and the Far North District Plan set out the matters the Council must consider when processing applications. 

Planning zones and rules

The District Plan sets out the zones and rules for subdivision and landuse activities in the Far North. Each zone has different rules. If an activity is permitted it does not need resource consent. If an activity is controlled, restricted discretionary, discretionary or non-complying then resource consent is required. 

Contact the duty planner for more information about when you need resource consent.


Before carrying out earthworks you need to check:

  1. The District Plan Chapter 12, Section 3 ‘Soil and Minerals’ which states the permitted standards for earthworks under the Resource Management Act. If the permitted standards cannot be met, resource consent is required. If resource consent is not required, check the Earthworks bylaw.
  2. The Earthworks Bylaw Chapter 22 of Council Bylaws which states the requirements under the Local Government Act. If resource consent is required, then an earthworks permit will not be required.

Contact the duty planner for more information.

Pre-application and concept development meetings

A pre-application or concept development meeting is an opportunity for you to discuss your proposed project with Council staff. Pre-application meetings are available for projects requiring building consents and/or resource consents. A building consent establishes that your planned building work complies with Building Act 2004 and the building code. A resource consent is a consent granted under the Resource Management Act 1991 for activities that are not permitted activities. You may need one or both types of consents for your proposal.

A concept development meeting can be especially helpful at design stage for:

  • Large scale or complex subdivisions
  • Change of use (e.g. residential home into a shop)
  • Commercial (including commercial activities adjoining living zones)

You may also consider applying for a project information memorandum (PIM) to obtain Council records relevant to your proposal.

Download a pre-application meeting request form from Resource consent forms

Preparing your application

What should my application include?

The information requirements for resource consent applications are set out in Schedule 4 of the Resource Management Act. In summary, a complete resource consent application must include:

  • a completed and signed application form
  • a current copy of the Certificate of Title (or we can obtain one for you)
  • plans and other details of the site and proposal
  • a list of the ways in which the proposal does not comply with the District Plan
  • an Assessment of Effects on the Environment
  • other supporting documents relevant to your particular proposal, for example, written approval from affected neighbours
  • an assessment of how your proposal fits with the objectives and policies in the District Plan and the purpose of the Resource Management Act (note: this is usually not needed for straightforward applications)
  • the required fee/deposit (payable after an invoice has been issued).


Subdivision consent applications must also include a plan showing:

  • the position of all new boundaries and the areas of allotments
  • existing and new reserves and access strips
  • areas to be set aside as new roads
  • areas of land within rivers, lakes and the coastal marine area

The amount of information that needs to be provided depends on the complexity of the application. It must be sufficient for the Council to understand the effects of the proposal. 

Professional advice and affected parties

For complex proposals and subdivisions we recommend using an experienced planning professional. Some proposals may also require input from other professionals such as an engineer, landscape architect, or ecologist. They can help you make informed decisions about your proposal and prepare a comprehensive consent application.

While the RMA does not require applicants to consult with anyone, it’s a good idea to consult those who you and/or the council think could be affected by your proposal. It’s best to have these discussions while you’re still developing your proposal. Depending on the type of proposal neighbours, tangata whenua and agencies such as the Department of Conservation and Heritage NZ may be affected. For information about consulting with potentially affected parties read An everyday guide: Consultation for resource consent applicants | Ministry for the Environment.

How to apply for an online consent.

Watch a short video to see how to apply for an online consent.

Online application links

You can now apply online for a resource consent. If you are a registered customer or company you will be able to track your consent progress, and upload any additional documents or information we may request.

Online application for the consent types below are now available, expand each section to view the application link.

Land Use Resource Consent

For breaches to district plan rules excluding subdivision.

Subdivision Consent

Consent to subdivide land, including boundary adjustments.

Combined Land Use & Subdivision Consent

Subdivision of land and land use consent as one activity.

Discharge to Land Consent

Consent to discharge treated wastewater to land.

Variation to Resource Consent (s127)

Change to or cancellation of conditions of a Resource Consent.

Certificate of Compliance (s139)

For confirmation an activity can be carried out without Resource Consent.

Permitted Boundary Activity (s87BA)

For activities which breach boundary rules where affected parties written approvals are provided.

Objection (s357)

Objection to a decision in accordance with s357 of the Resource Management Act.

Extension of Time (s125(1A)(b))

Application to extend the lapse period of an existing approval.

s223 Approval of Survey Plans

Approval of survey plans for an approved subdivision.

s224(c) Certificate

224(c) certificate. Can include application for a 221 consent notice.

s221 Consent Notice

Stand-alone application for a consent notice under s221.

Paying online

Please note an installment fee is payable at the time of lodgement, payment can be made at a Council Service Centre or into Council's bank account as detailed below:

Account name: Far North District Council

Bank: ASB Bank, Corporate Branch, Auckland
Account Number: 12-3244-0022509-03
Payment Reference: RC-####

Processing of the application will not begin until payment is received. Please note, actual processing costs will be calculated and invoiced after the decision is issued. Interim invoicing may apply.