Before a decision is made on a consent application, you may be able to make a submission to the Council presenting your point of view on it. You can make a submission if:
After a consent is granted, you may be able to make an objection to the Council about its decision. You can make an objection if:
After a decison is made on a consent application, you may also be able to make an appeal to the Environment Court. You can make an appeal if:
You can only submit on a resource consent application when:
If others feel the same way as you about the application, you should consider making a joint submission (eg by forming a community group and appointing a spokesperson). One joint submission has the same weight as if all the individuals made their own submissions. Make sure you clearly identify the contact person for the submission.
You have 20 working days after the application is publicly notified to make your submission.
The current applications for which you can make a submission can be found here.
We will always include the closing date for submissions in our notice or letter. You need to get your submission to Council in time, as we may not accept late submissions.
You can either use a Council submission form or write your own submission
For more information about making a submission, you can go to:
Your submission must be in writing and clearly state:
An effective submission should:
You can lodge your submission with the Council (Resource Consents Administration Officer) in any of the following four ways:
You must also send a copy of your submission to the applicant.
As soon as the submission period closes, we will write to confirm that your submission has been received. We will not send you copies of the other submissions we received. You can view the other submissions on our website or you can view them come in our Council offices.
If the application goes to a hearing, the issues raised in submissions will be discussed in the Council officer's report presented to the hearing committee. We will make the council officer's report available online (or email it to you) at least 15 working days before the hearing date.
A recent change to the law means that submitters may now require that a decision on a resource consent be made by an independent commissioner (rather than local Councillors).
If you do want an indepndent commissioner, we must recieve your request for a commissioner hearing within five working days from the closing date for the submissions. If you are are asking for this as a submitter, you may have to contribute to any increased cost in using an indepedent commissioner.
If you are an applicant you may object to the Council's decision on your application, or to the additional charges or costs that Council has requested.
As the applicant, you can object to the conditions that Council put on the resource consent, if:
You have this right under s357A of the Resource Management Act (RMA)
You also have a right of objection to a request by Council to pay additional charges or costs. You have this right under s357B of the RMA.
Your objection must be lodged with the Council within 15 working days of receipt of the decision.
To make an objection, you must send us your reasons for objecting. You should set out the reasons for your objections as clearly as possible.
We will consider your objection and:
If you are still unhappy with the Council's decision, you may appeal to the Environment Court. You have 15 working days from when you receive the decision on the objection to lodge your appeal.
If you are unhappy with our decision on a resource consent you may lodge an appeal with the Environment Court.
If you are an applicant or a submitter on most types of applications, then you may appeal Council's decision.
You are excluded from appealing applications if it was lodged with Council after 18 October 2018, and it included one of the following (unless its a non-complying complying activity under the TRMP rules):
As an applicant, you might appeal if:
As a submitter (in opposition), you might appeal if:
Submitters can only appeal on the same issues made in their submission.
If you are considering appealing a resource consent decision, you should seek professional advice first, especially from a lawyer. If the Environment Court finds the appeal is 'without substance' then you may have to pay for some of the costs that the applicant and Council have had to meet.
You can also find useful infromation in the Minstry for the Environment's An Everyday Guide to the Resource Management Act, and specifically the sections on the Environment Court, the mediation process, and the costs awards process. These are on the Ministry's website <insert link on text to http://www.mfe.govt.nz/publications/rma/everyday-guide-rma-your-guide-environment-court>.
If you decide to appeal, then you must lodge your notice of appeal with the Environment Court and send a copy of the notice to the Council. You must do this within 15 working days of receiving the decision.
The Environment Court's website <insert link to https://www.environmentcourt.govt.nz/ > explains how you lodge an appeal with them and what is required. This includes the forms, fees, procedures, how the Environment Court works, and how to contact them.
In summary, you will need to:
When an appeal is lodged with the Court, then other parties have an opportunity to join the proceedings. Usually these are the submitters who join. If you do join, then this is the only way you have the right to participate in the appeal. You can find details on how to join the proceedings on the Environment Court website. Any person who joins in this way is known as a 'Section 274 Party'.
If you do want to become a Section 274 Party, you have 15 working days from the end of the appeal period (or when the appeal proceedings commenced) to lodge your notice with the Environment Court (and also serve a copy on the Council).
You will find all the details on how to join the proceedings on the Environment Court website <insert link to E Ct>.