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Before you apply for a Resource Consent

Welcome to our guide for Resource Consents in our district, your portal to navigating the resource consent process with the Far North District Council. Whether you are considering a new project or seeking clarification on existing regulations, we provide comprehensive guidance to streamline your journey through the Resource Management Act (RMA) and the Local Government Act.

Understanding when and how to apply for resource consent or other permits is crucial, and our platform offers detailed insights into the intricacies of planning zones, rules, and application requirements specific to the Far North District. From determining the right type of consent or permit to engaging with stakeholders and preparing thorough applications, on this website you will find the knowledge and tools needed to navigate the complexities of resource management seamlessly.

Let us guide you through every step, ensuring your projects align with environmental stewardship and community engagement standards while facilitating efficient processing with the council.

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 land use. 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.

If you are planning to undertake earthworks that exceeds 500mm in depth over an area greater than 50m2 or earthworks that exceeds 50m3 in volume you will need a form of permit.

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.
  3. The Proposed District Plan Earthworks Chapter. Some rules in our Proposed District Plan with immediate legal effect require that earthworks in our district are carried out in accordance with the Erosion and Sediment Control Guidelines for Land Disturbing Activities in the Auckland Region 2016 (Auckland Council Guideline Document GD2016/005);

Contact our duty planner for more information.

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.

Actual and reasonable costs for the meeting will be calculated based on the charge rate associated with the staff member(s) required to attend and for any research required prior to the meeting.

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.

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.

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.

We strongly encourage engagement and consultation with iwi/hapū prior to lodgement of the application for resource consent for your proposed development. Consulting with iwi/hapū not only enriches the proposal by incorporating valuable local and cultural insights, but also facilitates smoother processes by addressing potential concerns early, fostering better relationships with the community, enhancing environmental stewardship, and potentially expediting consent processes due to increased understanding and support from these groups.

The Resource Management Act (RMA) acknowledges the unique cultural and spiritual connections that Māori have with the environment and their responsibility in protecting it for the benefit of all New Zealanders. When assessing a resource consent application, it is essential to acknowledge and accommodate the relationship of Māori with their:

  • wāhi tapu (sacred sites)
  • taonga (treasures)
  • water
  • ancestral lands
  • significant sites.

These relationships and values may need to be considered in your resource consent application. The council will circulate your application with the relevant iwi/hapū authority for comments.

Te Puni Kōkiri maintains a website (Te Kahui Mangai) that provides a national list of iwi and Māori organisations with Government-recognised mandates to represent their iwi and hapū. It’s a useful starting point for basic information about iwi, hapū, and marae. If you are unsure who to consult, please contact tehonosupport@fndc.govt.nz for information and advice.

For information about consulting with potentially affected parties read An everyday guide: Consultation for resource consent applicants | Ministry for the Environment.

A proposal may be exempt from requiring resource consent if it is a boundary activity and the written approval of the adjoining owners has been obtained. This is referred to as a permitted boundary activity.

A boundary rule is a rule controlling the size or position of a structure in relation to the boundary of an adjoining property. A permitted boundary activity can infringe more than one boundary rule.

If the infringed boundary is a public boundary (e.g. roads, rail corridors, waterways) it is not a deemed permitted activity.

A marginal activity refers to an activity that may have some environmental impact, but the extent of the impact is not significant or substantial.

How to apply

1. Download application form

Download the permitted boundary activity application form

2. Provide required information

For a proposal to be eligible for the permitted boundary activity process the following information must be provided:

a description of the proposed activity

a site plan, floor plan and elevations of the proposed building (drawn to scale)

any other information necessary for the Council to check that no other District Plan rules are breached

names and addresses of all owners of the application site and owners of properties with infringed boundaries

3. Written permission from owners and neighbours

You need written approval those owners of the site and owners of properties with infringed boundaries. You should use the notice of written approval form. All owners of properties with an infringed boundary must sign the plans.

4. Receive a decision in 10 working days

If your application is complete and the activity is permitted, we will confirm this in writing within 10 working days.

Complete applications only

We are not able to request further information for this type of application. Incomplete applications will be returned, and need to be resubmitted in full. Submitting a complete application will help to reduce the time and cost involved in processing your application.

Cost and Fees

On our Fees and charges 2023/24 you will find the information about the cost and fees associated with processing a resource consent. Our process operates on a user-pays basis, meaning you cover the expenses related to the time and resources devoted to your application by our staff. These expenses can include travel, scientific assessments, and consulting fees.

To start the processing of your application, a deposit fee is required upon submission. We won't begin processing your application until this fee is paid. Since each application is unique, we can't provide a precise estimate of the total cost upfront.

It's worth noting that a well-prepared application typically requires less processing time for our officers. Therefore, investing some effort in ensuring your application is thorough and accurate before submission can ultimately save you time and money. Any additional costs beyond the initial deposit fee will be invoiced to the applicant once a decision has been reached on the application.

Tips and recommendations:

  • Consult with our Duty Planner (duty.planner@fndc.govt.nz) before submitting your application for valuable time-saving advice.
  • For larger scale activity applications, arrange a Concept development Meeting with our staff, including the Consents Team and technical experts.
  • Consider hiring a consultant Planner to assist in preparing your application.
  • Ensure your proposal aligns with the objectives and policies outlined in the District Plan
  • Include a thorough assessment of environmental and cultural effects in your application, involving technical experts and Tangata Whenua.
  • Obtain written approvals from potentially affected parties, including Tangata Whenua.
  • Inform us of any time constraints or deadlines you need to meet.

Last updated: 18 Jun 2024 9:02pm