10. Decisions, objections and appeals made on my application

When we make a decision on a resource consent, we consider the effects on the natural environment and how the activity will affect other people's use and enjoyment of the environment.

Once a decision has been made

After Environment Canterbury has made a decision on your resource consent application, you will receive a copy — as will any submitters if your application was notified. Be sure to read it as soon as you receive it contact us and to clarify any points you do not fully understand. 

When can I object and/or appeal a decision?

You may wish to object to and/or appeal a decision made during the consenting process.

Our staff can help you understand the procedures required to lodge an objection or appeal.

Additionally, you can consult a lawyer or suitably qualified resource management consultant.

Objection
You have the right to object about decisions made by the council under section 357 of the RMA.
Applications
  • If your application is determined 'incomplete' under s88(3) of the Act, you have a right to object to the consent authority.
  • If your suspended application is returned under s91C(2) of the Act, you have a right to object to the consent authority.

Request for further information

  • Under section 92(1) of the Act, a council may ask for further information regarding an application; section 92(2) allows the council to request the commissioning of a report regarding your application. You have the right to refuse or agree to either of these requests. However, you must respond within 15 working days of the request stating your response. If you do not reply, refuse to provide the information or refuse the report, the council must publicy notify your application.

Submissions

  • You have the right to object if your submission is struck out under s41C(7) by the consent authority.
  • If your submission is declined to be processed or considered by the board of enquiry exercising the power of a consent authority under s99(8), you have the right to object.
If you are not happy with a resource consent decision via a hearing
If you are an applicant and not satisfied with the decision, you may:
  • Lodge an objection within 15 days with the regional council, which is only possible if there were no submissions; or
  • Lodge an appeal with the Environment Court.
If you are a submitter and not satisfied with the decision you may lodge an appeal with the Environment Court.
You must have legal standing under the Resource Management Act and understand the procedures that need to be followed before you lodge an objection or appeal. If you fail to follow correct procedures your appeal may be dismissed without you having the opportunity to present your case.

Certificates of Compliance

If you request a Certificate of Compliance, you can object to the regional council decision regarding that request under s139(13)(a) of the RMA.

Appeal
The Environment Court is administered by the Justice Department and is presided over by a Judge with expertise in planning and resource management issues. The Environment Court can override the decisions of local authorities.

It will hear the application again but will have regard to the regional council’s decision, unless issues are negotiated between the parties to the appeal beforehand.

If you wish to appeal to the Environment Court, you must do so within 15 working days of receiving the regional council’s resource consent decision. There are set procedures and court fees involved.

If you are happy with the decision
If you wish to carry out the activity covered by the consent you should advise the regional council in 15 working days of receiving it. This only applies to applications where there have been no submitters. The resource consent commences immediately unless you lodge an objection.
If there were submitters on your application, you must wait 15 working days to see whether any appeals are lodged. If there are none, then you may exercise the resource consent.
If you are not happy with the decision
If you (the applicant) or a submitter are not satisfied with the decision, you may be entitled to:
  • Lodge an objection within 15 working days with the regional council, which is only possible if there were no submissions; or
  • Lodge an appeal or enquiry with the Environment Court.

You must have legal standing under the Resource Management Act 1991 and understand the procedures that need to be followed before you lodge an objection or appeal. If you fail to follow correct procedures your appeal may be dismissed without you having the opportunity to present your case.

Our staff can help you understand the procedures required to lodge an objection or appeal. You should seek legal advice if you wish to appeal to the Environment Court. It is a good idea to get the estimate of the costs you may be faced with before proceeding with an Environment Court hearing.