Resource consents

Looking to do a project that is slightly out the ordinary - then you might need a resource consent. Check in with us for free advice on where you stand.

What is a resource consent?

A resource consent gives you permission to carry out an activity that is not allowed as of right in the District Plan, and may affect the environment. We are governed by the Resource Management Act.

Find out if you need a resource consent

Check our District Plan to find out if your project needs a resource consent.

Phone us on (04) 237 5089 to talk to us about your project, or come to the Customer Services Centre at 16 Cobham Court, Porirua, during normal working hours and ask to speak to our Duty Planner.

The first two hours of advice are free.

For projects involving subdivision or land development with building work, you will need a resource consent for the overall activity and a building consent for the building work.

Our District Plan is governed by the Resource Management Act (RMA). 

There are five different types of resource consent. Porirua City issues two types:

  • land use
  • subdivisions.

Greater Wellington Regional Council issues the other three:

  • discharges to air land and water
  • coastal permits for coastal and marine area activities.
  • water permits for activities involving water taken from streams or bores, or using or diverting rivers, streams, waterways or lakes.

Visit Greater Wellington Regional Council - Resource Consents webpage for more information.

Before you apply

Prepare your application

You may need a resource management consultant to prepare your application. 

Assessment of Environmental Effects (AEE) report 

Your application will need to include an Assessment of Environmental Effects (AEE) report describing the environmental effects of your project.

You can prepare your AEE report yourself or use a consultant. 

Silt and sediment control

Silt and sediment are a problem for our harbour. We have guidelines on how you will need to control silt and sediment run off (all in pdf format).

Small Building Sites Minimum Erosion and Sediment Control Requirements (particularly relevant to Aotea) 

Boundary Activities

The Resource Management Act has been amended on 18 October 2017 to allow for certain infringements on boundaries to not have to go through a standard resource consent application process.  Such infringements are known as a ‘Boundary Activity‘ and are applicable in situations where:

  • Resource consent is required due to the infringement of one of more 'boundary rules';
  • No other District Plan rules are infringed; and
  • No infringed boundary is a ‘public boundary’.  

Examples of ‘boundary rules’ in the Porirua City District Plan is the ‘Other Yards’ and ‘Height Recession Plane’ Permitted Activity Standards.  In situations where the infringement of the ‘boundary rule’ is with a boundary adjoining a public area such as a Road, Neighbourhood Park, or Esplanade Reserve then the proposal cannot be treated as Boundary Activity.  

In such situations you will still need to apply to us for a Boundary Activity for the proposal to be able to be treated as a Permitted Activity.  As part of your application, certain information will need to be provided and the written approval from each owner of an adjoining allotment with an infringed boundary included.  The application form and written approval form which are to be used are below.  The information requirements are set out within the form.

Submit your application

If you’re able, we recommend you submit your application in person, and speak to our duty planner. This will allow us to check you have everything we need, so we can accept the application.

We’ll go through your checklist, and take your deposit if everything’s in order.

We need three copies of your application, supporting documents, and originals of all plans.

  • You can bring your application in person to:
    Porirua City Customer Services Centre
    16 Cobham Court
  • Or send your application by post or courier to:
    PO Box 50218
    Porirua 5240

If it hasn’t got everything, we may need to reject it.

You can save time by bringing your application in to us.

Fees – what it will cost

You need to pay a deposit when you submit your application. When we finish processing your application, we will invoice you for any extra costs.

There is an hourly charge of $163.30 for any extra time needed to process an application beyond the value of the deposit. You may also be charged for the time we spend providing advice to you before we receive your application, if it is longer than two hours. 

All fees apply from 1 July 2018 and include GST.

Application type Deposit
Minor land use applications (see note 1 below) $816.80
All other non-notified land use applications $1,633.60
All other non-notified subdivision applications $1,633.60
Section 10 waivers $163.30
Section 37 waivers $163.30
Section 125 extensions $163.30
Section 126 cancellation $163.30
Section 127 $163.30
Section 128 review $163.30
Per inspection (see note 2 below) $163.30
Existing use certificate $816.80
Certificate of compliance $816.80
Applications for new designations (see note 5 below) $8,168.90
Applications to alter existing designations - s181(2) $8,168.90
Applications to alter existing designations - s181(3) $816.90
Consideration of outline plans and waivers $816.80
Extensions to designations $816.80
Removal of designations under s182 (see note 6 below) $816.80
Applications to alter existing heritage orders - 2192 ref to s181(2) $8,168.90
Applications to alter existing heritage orders - s192 ref to s181(3) $816.80
Removal of heritage orders - 2196 $816.80
Additional (per hour) $163.30
Type of application Deposit
Section 221 consent notices $163.30
Section 222 completion certificates $163.30
Section 223 sealing only $163.30
Section 223 and s224(c)/(f) jointly $163.30
Section 225 $163.30
Section 226 certification $163.30
Section 240 cancel covenant $163.30
Section 241 amalgamation $163.30
Section 243 certification $163.30
Bond preparation and release $163.30
Section 348 Local Government Act certification alone $163.30
Overseas Investment Certificate $163.30
Removal of Building Line(s) $163.30
Signing of easement instruments and other legal documents $163.30
Permitted Boundary Activity Notice $489.80 (deposit, 3 hrs), additional per hour $163.30
Activities meeting certain requirements are Permitted Activities $489.80 (deposit, 3 hrs), additional per hour $163.30
Private Plan Change Request - Council adopted, Council accepted, Council rejected - up to 70 hours of officer time $10,000 (deposit only)
Additional (per hour) $163.30
Officer time hourly charge $163.30
Hearing commissioner/s (requested by applicant) Actual
Hearing commissioner/s (where not requested by applicant) Actual, or the equivalent attendance time of 3 councillors based on the councillor attendance rates listed below, whichever is less
Councillor attendance – resource consent hearings: Chair per hour $100
Councillor attendance - resource consent hearings: Members per hour $80
Councillor attendance at hearings for plan changes, designations, heritage orders: Chair per hour $100
Councillor attendance at hearings for plan changes, designations, heritage orders: Members per hour $80
Specialist advice (see note 8 below) Actual
Retrieving a certificate of title and associated instruments - per certificate $21.00
Retrieving a certificate of title and associated instruments - per each additional instrument $7.00

Note 1

Minor land use application means an application for a land use activity (excluding non-residential activities in the Suburban Zone) that:

- in the Suburban Zone, does not comply with the Suburban Zone permitted activity standards; or

- in the Rural Zone, is a controlled activity; and

- for which applicants provide evidence of consultation in accordance with the Fourth Schedule of the Resource Management Act 1991

Note 2: 

The monitoring charge becomes payable upon grant of resource consent, and/or confirmation of a requirement for designation.  In addition, the Council will recover additional costs from the consent holder for officer time should more than one inspection and associated activities be required, based on the ‘officer time hourly rate’.

Note 3: 

"Actual" means the actual and reasonable cost of the activity that is being charged for and includes hearing, commissioner, advertising and public notification costs, and costs relating to printing, production and distribution of material. In respect to plan changes and heritage orders, these charges will not be recovered on plan changes adopted by Council.

Note 4: 

The full costs will be charged for the chair and up to 2 committee members’ involvement (a total of 3 councillors) in hearings for plan changes and notified resource consents.  The level of the charge will be based on the attendance fees for councillors prescribed by legislation, and may include additional time spent by Councillors in formal pre-hearing meetings, formal committee deliberations and at formal site inspections as part of a group inspection or as part of a pre-hearing meeting.  The costs of councillor involvement in hearings for council-adopted plan changes; or designations and heritage orders under Part 8 of the RMA will not be recovered.

Note 5: 

This charge does not apply to applications for existing designations to be rolled over at a time of plan review.

Note 6: 

This charge applies to recovering costs associated with removing a designation, or part of a designation, from the District Plan planning maps and text and updating these documents

Note 7: 

The full and actual costs of processing any Private Plan Change request shall be recovered. If Council does not have in-house capacity and or/expertise to assess, process and/or report on all or any part of the private plan change request, it will advise the applicant and seek to engage an appropriate external consultant/s to fulfil this function. Where this occurs Council will advise the applicant of its preferred consultant and any associated quote for costs. Should the applicant choose to proceed with the application the Council will recover the full actual and reasonable costs of any engaged consultant/s. All Private Plan Change requests will require the payment of an initial deposit of $10,000. The initial deposit covers: the initial decision to accept or adopt the plan in whole or in part; notification and mail out costs; the processing of submissions; the preparation of any officers report; and costs associated with hearings and decisions, providing that the deposit only covers the plan change application process to the extent that the "additional per hour" rate and/or Council's actual costs are more than $10,000 then the additional costs for any engaged consultant/s, do not exceed $10,000. If Council's actual costs are more than $10,000 then the additional costs shall be recovered in full or as agreed with the applicant. Council retains the right to withold the public notification of any accepted private plan change and/or the notification of an operative date for any private plan changed until all actual costs associated with processing, assessment, reporting and any hearing on the private plan change have been settled and paid in full.

Note 8: 

Consultant's and legal fees associated with the processing of a consent, certificate, designation, or private plan change (including specialist technical or legal advice); or where a consent involves creating legal instruments, will be charged at cost and recovered in full. 

Note 9: 

This charge applies to recovering costs associated with time spent on resource consent related work after a resource consent has been granted and in the case of subdivision, before Section 224 RMA certification is applied for. This includes time spent by Council Staff, Wellington Water Staff and specialist consultants. Such work includes:

  • Assessment and certification of management plans and any other material required to be submitted as conditions of consent, prior to the commencement of works or and/or during works being carried out.
  • The overseeing/inspection/testing of physical works being carried out on infrastructure assets proposed to be vested in Council including 3 Waters, Roads and Reserves.
  • Any communications with consent holders and/or administrative tasks associated with carrying out this type of work.

Explanation of officer rates

Rates are not dependent on the experience level of the processing officer. Applicants are entitled to the same quality and timeliness of service independent of the officer’s experience. Chargeable hours are adjusted downwards accordingly for less experienced staff such that learning and mentoring required is not charged for. It’s not considered equitable to charge a higher rate purely because a more experienced staff member is processing their application when the chargeable time involved in the same.


Recovery time spent on pre-application – discussions, assessment and feedback

Council’s Policy for Administrative Charges under the Resource Management Act 1991 states that advice provided by Council officers prior to an application being received may be charged for after the second hour at the relevant hourly rate that applies for that particular financial year as contained within the Schedule of Administrative Charges under the Resource Management Act 1991.

Code of land development and subdivision engineering

You may also need to refer to the Code of Land Development and Subdivision Engineering (982KB pdf).  These set out the engineering requirements and standards for subdivisions and other engineering developments within Porirua City’s urban and rural areas.

What happens next

When we receive your resource consent application, we will decide whether other people or organisations need to be consulted about the project. This determines how the application will be processed and how long it will take.

We sort applications into three categories:

  • publicly notified –the public need to know about your project
  • limited notification –the people affected by your project need to be told about it
  • non-notified – It’s not considered to affect others, or if it does, you’ve already gained their written approval.

If your resource consent application needs to be notified, you’ll be told what to do. 

Read the RMA guide to consultation for resource consent applicants

You can carry out the consultation yourself or employ a consultant to do it for you.

How long it could take

If your application is straight forward and non-notified (it doesn’t need to involve other people or organisations), it takes up to 20 working days to process from the time we accept it and receive your deposit.

We’ll contact you if we need more information to process your application. The 20-day clock will be paused until we receive what we need.

Notified applications (those that could affect other people or the public) will take longer, to give people time to respond. More time is required if there are submissions or objections to an application and a hearing is needed.

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