Do you need a consent?

Engage your regional council early in proceedings and use their advisory service to help you


What is a resource consent?

A resource consent allow growers to do something that may have an effect on our environment.  As a consequence of measurement requirements it also allows the region to (with increasing accuracy) build a picture and understanding of the water resource.  Most importantly it will lead to more efficient allocation for growers and a more sustainable outcome for their region.

Under the Resource Management Act 1991 you must apply for a resource consent if you wish to do something that sits outside the permitted activity regime for your district or regional plans.

The process

Applicants can make their application directly, however, the nature of applying for a resource consent application for water is becoming increasingly complex.  It can save a lot of time and effort and facilitate a smoother transition through the council process when engaging a consultant.

In selecting a consultant:

  • Ensure they have a thorough working knowledge with the district/regional plan and its specific resource management issues.
  • Ensure their familiarity with the location where resource consents are being sought for.
  • Ensure they are experienced in and familiar with the activities which the resource consents are being sought
  • Ensure they understand wider community and stakeholder interests and implications
  • Ask for references so you can seek feedback from other growers

Suitable support is best sought through a reputable natural resource engineer or environmental consultant.

Consulting costs can vary and so it is recommended growers request a scope of works and a quote.  Costs can include just preparation of application through to getting it granted but additional costs may be incurred through aquifer or bore testing, the use of SPASMO or Overseer (alternate model used to determine crop water needs).

What you need to think about to make an application for a resource consent?

The consent process can be undertaken by the applicant or as often happens the applicant can engage a qualified consultant to progress their application and work with council.

Things to think about when looking to make a resource consent application:

1. Applicant and site details:

  • Contact your regional council
  • Application form
  • Location of activity
  • Drawn plan of activity
  • Water take details – source of water (ground or surface)?
  • Water course or body details

2. Water activity details

  • General description of activities
  • Water use – what will do with the water you take?
  • Irrigation method
  • Maximum rate of take
  • Maximum daily quantity
  • Seasonal nature of requirement
  • Type and area of each crop
  • Total area irrigated (show on plan)

3. Assessment of community & environmental affects – what regional rules might affect your project?

  • Alternative sources of water
  • Potential effects on environment
  • Effects on other users – directly, indirectly who has an interest in your immediate environment?
  • Mitigation of potential effects
  • Consultation with iwi and other identified affected parties
  • Monitoring