Resource consents

1. Applying for a resource consent

You will need to apply to Council for a land use or subdivision resource consent if:

  • the proposed activity or structure does not fully comply with all the relevant rules in the District Plan.
  • you want to subdivide land or buildings for separate ownership.

2. How do I apply?

The Resource Management Act outlines the process of obtaining a resource consent.

1. Preparing your resource consent application

  • Please complete the appropriate resource consent application form
  • Please complete an assessment of environmental effects or AEE. Refer to Ministry for the Environment- guide for preparing a basic AEE
  • Talk to your neighbours and other people that might be affected by your proposal. These people are referred to as affected parties. You might be able to obtain their affected party approval by asking them to complete a Written Approval to a Resource Consent form.

2. Lodging your application and paying fees

3. Subdivision Consent

Applications for subdivisions can be complicated. That is why we require accurate and detailed plans. We strongly recommended that you use the services of a qualified surveyor to prepare your application and plans. The process of obtaining a resource consent is set out in the Resource Management Act.

1. Preparing your resource consent application

  • A detailed report describing how the District Plan rules will be met and how any adverse effects that may be caused by the subdivision will be mitigated
  • An appropriately scaled subdivision plan/ scheme plan showing all relevant information including but not limited to:
    • the position of all new boundaries
    • the net area of all new allotments
    • the location and areas of new reserves to be created
    • the position of existing and proposed easements
  • A recent copy of the title for the land in the application. This can be requested from Land Information New Zealand.

2. Lodging your application and paying fees

Subdivision Approval Stages

A subdivision consent is implemented in three stages:

Subdivision approval stages

Where do I send my application?

  • By email :
  • By post: Waitaki District Council, Private Bag 50058, Oamaru 9444, New Zealand.
  • Drop it off at the Council office: 20 Thames Street, Oamaru 9444

4. How we assess your application

Confirming receipt

When your application is received, you will receive confirmation from the Council with an official receipt letter and a reference number.

Checking for completeness

After we've received your application, our staff check it for completeness. To ensure your application is accepted and processed quickly, please ensure you have provided all the necessary information. If information lacks detail or plans are not provided or affected party approval is not obtained we may return your application. If we do this we will usually send you a letter explaining why it was rejected, however, any refund will be less our cost in checking the application.

Assessing your application

Once we have accepted your application a planner will assess it. If they have questions about your application, they will send you a further information request. This is also called a Section 92 request, and delays the processing of your application.

We may need to commission a report from an expert on some aspect of your application. You will be notified before the report is commissioned. This would be at your cost and you may agree or refuse to have the report done. If you refuse, the planner will continue assessing your application. As part of the assessment, the planner will also visit the site.

Making recommendations

The planner will inspect your site and prepare a report that recommends whether the application will be processed as non-notified or notified and whether or not your application should be approved or refused. The decision is made by senior staff, councillors, or commissioners.

5. Information from the Ministry for the Environment

The Ministry for the Environment has a number of useful documents and links on its website to help people learn about the Resource Management Act and resource consents, including advice for people wanting to apply, submit or appeal consents.For more information please visit Ministry for the Environment website.

6. Other consents / approvals

You may need consent or approval from other parts of Waitaki District Council or from other agencies because a resource consent from Council doesn't cover or override other legislation. Some common forms of consent are as follows:

  • Environment Canterbury or Otago Regional Council resource consents (e.g. if you need to put in a septic tank or drill a bore) - Sometimes it is more efficient for Waitaki District Council and Regional Council consents to be processed together;
  • Building Consent from Waitaki District Council (if you are building or altering an existing structure);
  • Food or Alcohol licences from Waitaki District Council (e.g. if you are wanting to open a restaurant, a shop, are producing food, or selling alcohol).

7. Other things to consider

  • If the work you want to do will affect an archaeological site (anywhere that was associated with pre-1900 human activity), you will need to get an Archaeological Authority from Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga before you begin work on the site.
  • The Ministry for the Environment, Hazardous Activities and Industries List (HAIL) is a compilation of activities and industries that are considered likely to cause land contamination resulting from hazardous substance use, storage or disposal. The HAIL is intended to identify most situations in New Zealand where hazardous substances could cause, and in many cases have caused, land contamination. This does not necessarily mean your land is contaminated; the only way of finding out is to have the soil tested. Land is considered contaminated when there are any hazardous substances that could pose a threat to human health or the environment. Hazardous land uses include orchards, market gardens and other agricultural/horticultural land where chemicals may have been stored or spraying may have occurred; service stations and other underground or above-ground storage of hazardous substances; motor vehicle workshops, timber treatment sites and some industrial sites. The Ministry for the Environment keeps the nationwide definitive Hazardous Activities and Industries List (HAIL). A factsheet has been prepared by Wasteminz’s Contaminated Land Sector Group. This group includes representatives from Regional, City and District Councils around New Zealand, and from industry. Read this factsheet about buying and selling property that has had previous hazardous land use.
  • Some properties and sites have covenants and other legal restrictions which might restrict what you can do even if you get resource consent.
  • These matters can include:
    • Covenants on a title restricting what can be built and/or requiring approval from someone, such as the developer.
    • Restrictions by a "body corporate" or management structure on what can be done on a site in common ownership.
    • Easements or rights of way where someone has rights over your property that you are not allowed to block or build over.
    • It is safest to check these out before you apply for your consent, because it might mean that your project needs to be changed or may incur delays and additional costs. You may want to check with your lawyer if you are unsure whether any of these apply to you.

We suggest that you talk with your neighbours and explain what you want to do and why, even if you don't think what you are proposing will matter or affect them. We find that neighbours who are uninformed can get concerned when they think that something might affect them or their property. Although your neighbour might not be happy about what you want to do, they will almost always appreciate you taking the time to talk with them about your plans.

8. Development contributions

Your development may also incur development contributions. Please visit development contributions to see if it will apply to your development.