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  Services » Regional Services » Consents and compliance » Resource consents » Resource consent process » Evaluation and decision-making

Evaluation and decision-making

Evaluation/recommendation

The resource consent officer who is processing your application writes an evaluation report. This report weighs up your proposal against the statutory matters we have to consider when assessing consent applications and submissions.

The staff report will evaluate matters including:

  • The positive and adverse effects of the activity
  • How adverse effects on the environment and people are proposed to be mitigated/avoided
  • How the proposal fits with Council’s policies (as set out in the Regional Plan(s) and Policy Statement)
  • Whether the activity meets the sustainable management purpose and principles of the RMA

The staff report will make a recommendation as to whether the application should be granted or declined, and if the recommendation is to grant, what conditions should apply to the consent.

Contact during evalution

For most applications, the resource officer will contact you to arrange a site visit. You may also be contacted if further information or clarification is needed regarding your proposal or its potential effects. Staff may also contact people who they consider may be affected by the proposal.

Making a decision

After the evaluation report is complete, a decision is made to either grant or decline your application.

  • Senior staff make decisions on non-notified applications and notified applications which do not receive submissions or go to a public hearing.
  •  Hearing committees decide upon applications which go to a public hearing.
  • The applicant and any submitters will be notified of the decision in writing, along with reasons for the decision and the proposed consent conditions. There is a waiting period of 15 working days that allows for objections or appeals. If there are no objections or appeals the decision will become final.

Objections and appeals

If you disagree with the decision made on your application you have some options.

Objections

If your application is subject to public or limited notification (and has not received a submission) you may object to the final decision under section 357 of the Resource Management Act (RMA). An objection requires Waikato Regional Council to reconsider its decision within 20 working days of the objection being received.

If you are still not satisfied with the decision the option of appealing to the Environment Court remains available under section 358 of the RMA.

Appeals

If your application received submissions, you or any of the submitters can appeal the final decision to the Environment Court(external link) under section 120-121 of the RMA. An appeal must be lodged within 15 working days of you receiving notice of the decision. Your appeal must be sent to the Environment Court, and you must also send a copy to Waikato Regional Council. An appeal to the Environment Court means that your application will be reconsidered in full.

The Environment Court is a court of law and all parties are bound by its decision. Be aware that appeals to the Environment Court may be expensive and time-consuming. Preparation of evidence and employing expert witnesses if appropriate is required, and the Court can also award costs against unsuccessful parties. If you are considering such an appeal, you should seek legal advice.

More information

Contact us or call our Resource Use Freephone 0800 800 402 if you would like a copy of a consent application or decision, or want to find out what stage a consent application is at.

Find out more about the consent decision making process or making an objection or appeal by visiting the Ministry for the Environment website: https://www.mfe.govt.nz/(external link). This website has a range of guides for the public about resource management and consent processes.

 

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