The consent process
You can lodge your application in any of the following ways:
- In person at either our Wellington office (100 Cuba St, Te Aro) or Masterton office (34 Chapel St)
- By post to either PO Box 11646, Wellington or PO Box 41, Masterton
- By e-mail to email@example.com. (A signed application in PDF format is required)
Please note that all the information in your application is available to the public on request.
The following is what is required to be included with your application:
- The required fee;
- Any information required by a regional plan or regulations;
- Written approvals of affected persons using Form 1b (for non-notified applications only); and
- A GWRC resource consent application form - please note it is important to provide the location of your activity (such as a map, aerial photo or sketch with scale) and an assessment of environmental effects (AEE)
An AEE is a report about the effects your proposed activity will or may have on the environment. It shows the ways in which any adverse (or negative) effects of your activity can be managed. An AEE should:
- Describe your proposal
- Specify alternative locations or methods if your proposed activity is a discharge; or is an activity that is likely to have significant adverse effects on the environment
- Assess the activity's actual or potential effects on the environment
- Describe any contaminants discharged and sensitivity of the receiving environment
- Describe the measures you will take to prevent or reduce effects on the environment
- Identify anyone who may be interested in or affected by your proposal. Include information on how your consultation went with those people your response to any views expressed
- Outline how any effects on the environment will be monitored and by who, if necessary.
The resource consent application forms provide sections for you to complete an AEE. However in many instances a more detailed AEE will be required to be submitted with your application. This is normally completed by an appropriate professional with expertise relating to your proposed activity.
For more details on what to include with your application download our Applying for a resource consent brochure. (PDF 376 KB)
Initial Assessment of your Application
All applications should be submitted with the initial application fee. Once your application is lodged, we’ll check it to make sure it’s complete. We will return it within five working days if:
- It isn’t signed or dated
- It doesn’t include all information requested in the required application forms an adequate assessment of environmental effects
- It doesn’t include the required fee
- You haven’t applied for all the consents you need.
Once your application is accepted, your application will be processed as either a non-notified, publicly notified or limited notified consent.
Non-notified consents are for activities which have only minor effects on the environment and where written approval has been obtained from any person considered to the affected by your proposed activity.
Publicly notified consents are for activities which have more than minor effects on the environment.
Limited notified consents are for activities where the written approval of any person considered to the affected by your proposed activity has not been obtained.
Timeframes of Application Process
Depending on how your application is processed, non-notified consents are required to be processed within 20 working days. Publicly notified and limited notified consents take longer, however, and there are various time-frames depending on where the consent process is at.
We can put consent applications on hold if we need to ask an applicant:
- for more information
- to get written approval from affected parties
- to apply for additional resource consents
The processing days are not counted when applications are on hold.
Under Section 37 of the Resource Management Act, we can sometimes extend the time limits. If more than double the statutory time limit is needed, both the applicant and GWRC must agree.
To read more about processing timeframes download our Resource Consent Timeframes brochure. (PDF 247 KB)
A submission is the way GWRC can take into account any views, comments or concerns about someone's resource consent application. Submissions can:
- Support the application
- Oppose the application
- Support parts of the application and oppose other parts.
Submissions must be received by GWRC by the submission closing time stated in the notification advertisement. It is important to get your submission in on time, as they will not be accepted by GWRC after the closing date unless the applicant agrees or there are special circumstances.
Tips in Preparing and Writing Submissions
- Make sure you read both the application and the AEE (Assessment of Environmental Effects)
- Make sure to take into account any plans associated with the application, and if necessary, arrange to visit the site with the applicant. You should clearly understand the proposal and how it could potentially affect you before you make your submission.
- Our current notified consent applications (link to the new page) provides all information on any resource consent application you wish to make a submission on.
- If others feel the same way as you about the application, you should consider making a joint submission (e.g. by forming a community group and appointing a spokesperson). Make sure you can clearly identify a contact person for the submission.
- You can either use a GWRC Submission Form or write your own submission.
Lodging Your Submission
You can lodge your submission in any of the following ways:
- In person at our Wellington office (100 Cuba St, Te Aro) or Masterton office (34 Chapel St)
- By post to either PO Box 11646, Wellington or PO Box 41, Masterton
- By e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. (A signed submission in PDF format is required)
You must also send a copy of your submission to the applicant. Please note that all the information in your submission is available to the public on request.
Once your submission is lodged and the submission period is closed; a summary of all the submissions received is sent to the applicant and all those who lodged submissions. At this point, a pre-hearing meeting is normally held to discuss the application and issues raised within the submissions.
If the issues cannot be resolved, a hearing is held to determine the resource consent application. Only submitters who request to be heard can speak to their submission at the hearing.
If you, as a submitter, are not satisfied with the decision arising from the hearing, you can appeal that decision made by GWRC to the Environment Court.
GWRC may arrange a pre-hearing meeting so that submitters and the applicant can talk about and clarify issues in the application. These meetings are held soon after submissions close, at a place close to the area affected, to make it easier for everyone to attend.
The issues raised in submissions can sometimes be resolved at a pre-hearing meeting, therefore, avoiding the need for a formal hearing. If agreement looks likely, submitters and the applicant are asked whether they want to negotiate consent conditions. GWRC suggests possible consent conditions, and if everyone agrees to them, submitters may be asked to withdraw their wish to be heard (not their submission) so that the consent application does not need to go to a hearing. Any conditions agreed to must be approved by GWRC before they are attached to the consent (if it is granted).
To read more about pre-hearing meetings download our Pre-hearing and hearing meetings brochure. (PDF 341 KB)
A hearing is a formal meeting where a hearing panel considers and decides on a resource consent application. A hearing takes place if one or more of the submitters (or the applicant) asks to be heard, or if GWRC thinks it is necessary. The hearing panel is usually made up of two GWRC councillors, or independent commissioners, and an iwi appointee.
GWRC gives all submitters and the applicant, at least 10 working days' notice of the hearing with information about the date, time and place the hearing will be held. A GWRC report is prepared, recommending whether the application should be granted or declined. If it recommends granting the application, it also suggests any conditions that should be attached to the consent. This report is sent to the applicant and to all submitters at least five working days before the hearing.
GWRC may also direct the applicant and/or submitters to circulate their evidence prior to the hearing. This process can reduce the time required to hold a hearing.
All hearings are open to the public, including the media (unless it is necessary to protect sensitive information. However, the only people who can speak to the application are the applicant, any submitters (who requested to be heard), GWRC staff and the hearing panel. Applicants and submitters can bring expert witnesses to help them present their views.
After the hearing, GWRC sends out a written decision with consent conditions (if the consent was granted). This is completed within 15 working days after the hearing is closed (unless the timeframe has been extended).
If you disagree with any part or all of a decision on a resource consent, you can appeal to the Environment Court within 15 working days of receiving the decision.
To read more, please download our Pre-hearing and hearing meetings brochure. (PDF 341 KB)
An appeal is a written request (made under Section 121 of the Resource Management Act) to the Environment Court to reconsider a GWRC decision on a resource consent application. The Environment Court decides on the matter by re-hearing all the information we used to make our decision. It’s important that you prepare your appeal carefully. We strongly recommend you seek legal or other professional advice before going ahead.
To read more about appeals download our Objections and appeals brochure. (PDF 354 KB)
Current Notified Consent Applications
Publicly notified applications relating to various parts of our region that are currently being processed are listed below:
2020 Update: This application for the Stage 4 extension to Southern Landfill remains on hold while the applicant, Wellington City Council (WCC), confirm how they would like to proceed. WCC have advised that they will be unlikely to recommence consent discussions until mid-2021 while they undertake further consultation with the public and their Councillors.
This application is notified under section 95A of the Resource Management Act 1991.
Greater Wellington Regional Council has received an application for a resource consent from:
Applicant: Wellington City Council
Address for Service:
Wellington City Council
C/- URS New Zealand Limited
PO Box 3367
Attn: Helen Anderson
Location: Southern Landfill, Landfill Road, Happy Valley, Wellington
Map Reference: Between approximate map references NZTM: 1746248.5423877, NZTM: 1745896.5424416, NZTM: 1745272.5424186 and NZTM: 1745830.5424790
Summary of Proposal: The applicant is seeking consent to construct, operate and maintain an extension to the existing landfill (to be known as stage 4). The extension will allow for approximately 10 million cubic meters of additional waste material to be disposed of at the site. The construction of the landfill extension will be developed in stages and will take approximately 80 years to reach capacity. The proposal includes the taking, damming and diversion of water, the placement of structures in the bed of streams, the reclamation of approximately 1.5km of Carey’s Stream (including tributaries) within the Ōwhiro catchment, discharges to land, water and air, bulk earthworks and the removal of approximately 25 hectares of vegetation. Each part of the proposal is outlined in the consents below.
Consent applied for:
: Land use consent to undertake soil disturbance and the removal of approximately 25 hectares of vegetation on erosion prone land associated with the development and operation of a landfill.
: Discharge permit to discharge treated sediment laden storm water from an area of bulk earthworks greater than 0.3 hectares to land where it may enter water and to water associated with the development and operation of a landfill.
: Water permit to undertake damming activities in the bed of tributaries of Carey’s Stream, divert the full flow of Carey’s Stream and its tributaries, and divert groundwater through a subliner drainage system, associated with the development and operation of a landfill.
: Water permit to take groundwater for the purpose of leachate collection associated with the development and operation of a landfill.
: Land use consent to reclaim approximately 1.5km of stream bed and undertake works associated with the placement of structures in the bed of Carey’s Stream and its tributaries including any disturbance, deposition and discharge of bed material during the works associated with the development of a landfill.
: Discharge permit to discharge contaminants to air (namely methane, carbon dioxide, dust and odour)
associated with the development and operation of a landfill.
: Discharge permit to discharge landfill waste material to land where it may enter water, and leachate generated from this material to land where it may enter water, associated with the development and operation of a landfill.
The submission period closed on 17 October 2013. A pre-hearing meeting was held on 11 February 2014.
No details at this point.
No details at this point.
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