What is the council's involvement in consultation before notification

Councils play an important role in advising, facilitating and, in some cases, initiating consultation for resource consent applications.

Before lodgement of an application, councils should:

  • advise applicants if they think consultation may be warranted at the earliest possible stage
  • assist applicants to determine the level of consultation that may be required
  • assist the applicant in identifying potentially affected parties from a proposal or activity, while clearly stating that a formal assessment of who may be adversely affected under s95E will only be undertaken once the application is lodged
  • help applicants facilitate consultation with affected parties where appropriate. For example, where the council has established communication channels with hard-to-reach groups or tangata whenua. Where facilitating, councils need to be clear and agree up-front with the applicant about the respective roles and protocols for engagement as part of the wider consultation process.
  • provide guidance to applicants on consultation, including providing RMA planning brochures, booklets and/or council web based information relevant to consultation

Councils can also direct applicants to An Everyday Guide to the RMA - Consultation for Resource Consent Applicants which provides general information for applicants on how to consult, and the benefits of consultation.