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.

To help you, we have a resource consent duty planner available between 1pm to 4.30pm every day from Monday to Friday. We want to save you time and worry and our planners will be able to answer general questions about the District Plan or whether resource consent is needed for your project. Simply phone us on (04) 237 5089, or come to our Customer Services Centre at 16 Cobham Court, Porirua. 

The first two hours of advice are free.

Pre-application meetings can be arranged by contacting the duty planner as outlined above or via email to [email protected].

For any general enquiries you can contact the Duty Planner as outlined above or via email to [email protected]

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.

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.

What you need to know

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.  

Where a Boundary Activity is applicable then a Permitted Boundary Activity (PBA) can be applied for.  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.

Application fee information

In accordance with Section 36AAB(2) of the Resource Management Act 1991, we require an application fee to be paid in order to lodge and process your application.

An invoice will be generated once your resource consent application has been received and will be sent directly to the nominated payer for payment.

Once paid, we will commence processing your application.

Submit your application

Resource consent applications can now be submitted online via the MyPorirua customer portal.

Please note - you will need a verified user account in order to submit your application. The verification process can take up to 2-3 working days to complete and you will be notified once your account is verified. In the meantime - any applications you have started will be saved as Drafts under your login details.

Once you are set up - simply login in to MyPorirua and select Do it online. You will see a range of Resource Consent application forms available. Select the appropriate form, enter the information requested and upload any documents required. As this is not a full application form, you will still need to upload your Form 9 application form and any other documentation to support your application. Once submitted, you can either pay immediately with a credit card or a copy of the application fee invoice be sent to you directly for payment.

Alternatively, if you wish to submit a hard copy of your resource consent application, we require two copies of your application, supporting documents, and originals of all plans.

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 an application fee when you submit your application. When we finish processing your application, we will invoice you for any extra costs.

There is an hourly charge for any extra time needed to process an application beyond the value of the application fee. 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. 

👉 Download the 2023/24 application fee list here.

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 application fee.

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.