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  Services » Regional Services » Consents and compliance » Resource consents » Before you apply » Permitted activities

Permitted activities

What are permitted activities?

You will not need a resource consent if your activity is expressly allowed under the Resource Management Act (RMA)(external link). For example, provided that there will be no adverse effects, the RMA allows you to take fresh water for your own reasonable domestic needs, drinking water for your animals and for fire fighting. However, in catchments that are currently over-allocated, even these activities may require consent.

Waikato Regional Council's Regional Plan and Regional Coastal Plan also have a range of ‘permitted activity’ rules. These rules allow specific activities to be undertaken as of right. They are subject to compliance with conditions, just as resource consents are. If these conditions cannot be met, then you will need a resource consent.

Permitted activity guides

Our permitted activity guides cover the most common permitted activities carried out by land owners in our region. You can use these guides to find out if an activity is allowed without consent, and read the relevant rule's key conditions. You can also find the permitted activity rule numbers so you can easily look them up in the Regional Plan.

Plantation forestry

The National Environmental Standards for Plantation Forestry (NES-PF) come into effect on 1 May 2018.  Under the NES-PF, some permitted forestry activities now require notification to the regional council within 20 days of starting an activity. A management plan is also required.

Find out more, including how to notify.


Soil disturbance, roading, tracking or vegetation clearance projects are permitted subject to compliance with specific conditions.

Whitebait stands

The placement, construction, alteration and use of a whitebait stand does not need a resource consent, as long as the stand complies with the conditions of Permitted Activity Rules or 16.4.3 at all times. Rule also requires persons who wish to construct a compliant stand to provide details of the stand’s location to Waikato Regional Council.

Find out more about this.

Farm dairy wastewater discharges

Farm dairy effluent that is spread or irrigated onto pasture does not need a resource consent, as long as the effluent management system and discharge comply with the conditions of Permitted Activity Rule at all times.

We have a form that helps dairy farmers notify Waikato Regional Council that they are managing their wastewater in accordance with this rule.

Spraying activities

You can spray agrichemicals (insecticides, herbicides and fungicides) as long as you can comply with the conditions of the appropriate permitted activity rule. The rules are (hand held spot spraying) or (widespread application, such as via aerial spraying).

We have a guideline for spraying contractors that can help you meet some of the rule requirements, such as putting together spray plans.

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