Assessing and processing

Once your application arrives, one of our consents planners will check it thoroughly to ensure you have supplied the correct deposit/fee and that there is enough information for us to begin processing.

We have 10 working days to get back to you to assess whether your application is complete and can be processed.

Processing the application allows us to decide if your consent should have public notification, limited notification or not be notified at all.

Is your application complete and accepted to process?
When your application arrives at the regional council it will be checked to make sure it is complete and the correct fee/deposit has been paid.
A consent planner will audit the application to ensure there is enough information to enable it to be processed.
If necessary, you will be asked for more information. Then a decision will be made on whether or not your application should be notified.
Assessment of an application

Once an application has been received, it is checked against relevant sections of the Resource Management Act and associated plans and rules.

The type of activity, degree of non-compliance, whether the application requires any affected party written approval, whether written approvals have been obtained and the associated environmental effects likely to occur from a permitted activity are all reviewed.

This allows Environment Canterbury to ensure the applicant has applied under the correct section of the Act, whether or not additional applications are required and if public or limited notification is required.

The assessment will also determine if additional site visits and/or specialist advice is required.

The Assessment of Environmental Effects (AEE) that you submit is a key document and will be reviewed regarding the nature and type of your activity and how you have considered the effects on the environment, tāngata whenua and your neighbours.

The scope and level of detail of the application will be considered with regards to the proposed activity and the receiving environment.

Data analysis contained in the AEE will be reviewed and the application will be evaluated in order to determine the size and significance of the effect and how the level of detail in the AEE matches up. If mitigation of the activity is required, your approach and the overall level of detail will also be considered during assessment.

In certain situations the council can extend the time period for an application under section 37 and 37A of the RMA when special circumstances apply or the applicant agrees to the extension.

The council must also consider the interests of those people affected by the extension, the interests of the community and avoid unreasonable delay.

In some instances, the outcome of the assessment will indicate that a Certificate of Compliance may be required as your proposed activity is considered to be lawful without a resource consent. You will be informed if this is the case.

Will my application require public or limited notification?
Publicly notified applications
A publicly-notified application is advertised for submissions from the public.
This will occur if your proposed activity could have significant effects on the environment or on people living in the area and other users of the resource.

It will be advertised in local newspapers, on the Internet and in some cases the physical site will be signposted.

This process ensures that people who may be affected by your proposed activity have the chance to take part in the decision-making process by making a submission on your application.

For a detailed look at the process and legal timeframes around publicly notified consents, click here.

Limited notification

If your activity has relatively localised effects but you are unable to obtain the written approval of all the affected persons, then only these people will be given an opportunity to lodge a submission on your application.

For a detailed look at the process and legal timeframes around limited notified consents, click here.


For a detailed look at the process and legal timeframes around non-notified consents, click here.