Processing timeframes for resource consents

We continue experiencing a high number of consent applications.

This together with the increasing complexity of consents we receive, is causing delays in processing resource consents.

The current timeframe for most applications to be allocated to a planner for processing (once the acceptance decision on a lodged application has been made) is about eight weeks.

The actual timeframes vary depending on the size and complexity of the application. Once your application is allocated, you will be contacted by the planner. If you have any questions about your application please contact our advisory services team.

Affected application services

The delays will affect people who are:

  • applying for new consents,
  • seeking renewals or variations to existing consents.

For those needing  a pre-application advice, we will endeavour to be in contact within 20 working days of their request being lodged.

Processing of resource consent transfers and surrenders hasn’t been affected by delays. We aim to complete the transfers or surrenders within 20 working days.

If your consent is about to expire, make sure you lodge an application for renewal to prevent your continuation rights from potentially being impacted.

Where a resource consent is due to expire and you apply for a new consent for the same activity at least six months before the expiry of the existing consent, you may continue to operate under the existing consent until a new consent is granted or declined and all appeals are determined.

If you have applied for a new resource consent, you cannot legally start the activity until permission has been granted.

Consent application fees

Consent applications are a user-pays service where the applicant creates the need for the activity.

We will continue to charge fees in accordance with our Fees and Charges Policy (PDF File, 468KB).

In some cases, applicants may be entitled to a partial rebate of costs in accordance with statutory requirements.

We must refund up to 50% of processing fees if statutory timeframes aren’t met on individual consents. This is calculated as a refund of 1% per day to a maximum of 50 working days.

Addressing the processing delays

What we are doing

We are acknowledging that addressing the processing delays is not an easy or quick task. Especially since some of it is out of our control when considering new national regulatory requirements which we are tasked to implement at a regional level.

We are continuing to look at attracting additional staff, in the context of a nationwide planner shortage. Where possible we are outsourcing work to external consultants and redeploying staff internally. We continuously look at improving our processes and tools to be more efficient.

We are also looking at how our planning work can enable sustainable consent delivery. An example is the Council’s decision to make Plan Change 7 partially operative from 1 September 2023. This will reduce the number of consents being lodged and overall help streamline the consenting process.  Another example is considering enabling a specific catchment approach to review consents as they come in. Finally, we are also working with our partners, mana whenua on pragmatic approaches to how we can work together.

What you can do

Taking the time to ensure your resource consent application is clear and contains all the required information will help ensure processing is as efficient as possible.

We have guidance on our website to help you prepare your application.