Resource Consent: What You Need to Know

With the alarming and intensifying effects of climate change, New Zealand territorial governments have been working to minimise the environmental impacts of different development projects. One of their milestones is to legislate and enforce laws monitoring the use of natural resources by releasing resource consents.

Here are some things you need to know when it comes to applying this authorisation:

What is a Resource Consent?

This is a permit allowing entities to utilise resources, including land, water formations and other similar assets. The acquisition of such approval gives holders accountability for the responsible use of resources. Ultimately, it is important to implement sustainable and effective resource management to minimise the damages on the environment and community.

When is it needed?

Entities are required to get resource consent if their project or activity fails to comply with the existing district or regional plans. Depending on the type of activity you plan to undertake, you will need to obtain the type of consent that corresponds to your needs. According to the Ministry for the Environment, there are five types of permits:

·        Land-Use – for activities involving buildings, earthworks, alterations and other similar purposes

·        Subdivision of Property – for cases dealing with titling, ownership, development, adjustments and other matters related to subdividing a resource

·        Water – used in projects that affect bodies of water such as rivers, lakes and streams. Other activities that need water permit includes fishing and dam construction.

·        Discharge – requested for removal or release of substances that may affect the environment

·        Coastal – for activities that can affect coastlines such as constructing structures and release of water from another source into the sea.

Take note that there are projects that require permits from both regional and district councils.

Some Tips on Requesting Resource Consent

·        Determine Your Purpose

Before applying for consent, make sure that you have a clear understanding of your project’s purpose. This helps you outline the activities involved, their foreseen effects and their impact on the community. With this, you can present a detailed proposal discussing the project, the site, positive and negative effects, ways to avoid adverse consequences and other similar information.

·        Research About Council Plans

Make sure that your proposal is created according to the council’s standards. The plan will serve as your reference in formulating your proposal. To ensure that you thoroughly understand the plan and other requirements, you might want to meet with council members or their staff for an in-depth discussion.

·        Hire an Environmental Lawyer – James Gardner-Hopkins

If you are clueless on how to start with your proposal, you need to hire an experienced environmental lawyer. They can help you ensure that your application will be within legal boundaries. Moreover, these experts are well-versed in environmental law, making their counsel a valuable addition to your project.

Whether you are a private citizen looking to establish a business or you work for a large-scale company, knowing these essential information helps you facilitate smoother operations, whilst making sure that it is within legal limits. This way, you contribute to upholding social and environmental responsibility not only of your company but also your own.