Frequently asked questions about resource consents

We've put together some frequently asked questions we receive about resource consents.

14 Result(s) Found

There are a number of steps to figuring out whether a proposed activity requires resource consent.

  1. Enter the address of the property you're interested in into the Search bar, or zoom in to find its location.
  2. Double click on the property to bring up a pop-up box.
  3. Select 'Planning Info' - this provides the zoning(s) and any other relevant planning information that applies to the property, eg the image below. 

Applying for a resource consent - image showing Planning Info tab for a property on Horowhenua District online maps.

  • Check the Horowhenua District Plan including any proposed plan changes and the National Environmental Standards to see if your proposed activity is listed as a 'permitted activity' and if the activity complies with the permitted activity conditions or it requires resource consent (note there are two types of exemptions from the need for resource consent - boundary activities and deemed marginal non-compliances).

What's a permitted activity?

The rules and standards in the Horowhenua District Plan determine how your proposed activity is classified and how it will be assessed. Under the District Plan, activities are categorised as:

  • Permitted (no resource consent is required providing conditions are met) 
  • Controlled
  • Restricted Discretionary
  • Discretionary
  • Non-Complying (most restrictive)

Note: Other consents or approvals may also be required, such as a building consent from Horowhenua District Council or resource consent from Horizons Regional Council.

If your activity is not listed as permitted, and/or you don't comply with a permitted activity condition(s), you'll need either a resource consent or a deemed permitted boundary activity depending on the circumstances. If you're unsure, contact Council before you proceed with your activity.

You can apply for a resource consent on our Apply for a resource consent page.

If you think neighbours or other parties will be affected by your proposed activity, it's advisable to obtain written approval from them prior to lodging your application. If you're able to get written approval from all affected people, this will result in time and cost savings in processing your application. Find out more on our Written approval of affected persons page.

Need some help?

If you need help with your resource consent application, please phone Council on 06 366 0999 to arrange a pre-application meeting.

For complex applications, you may need assistance from an independent planning consultant to prepare your application.

For non-notified resource consents (applications where there are no affected parties), we have 20 working days to process your application. We can request further information once during this time, which will result in your application being placed on hold.

Applications for a ‘boundary activity’ or a marginal or temporary breach of the District Plan to be treated as a permitted activity must be processed within 10 working days, once all information is received. If your application is missing any information, it will be returned to you. We will then have 10 working days to process your application from the date we receive all necessary information.

Notified applications can take up to six months to process, depending on whether the application was publicly notified (notified to everybody) or limited notified (for example, notified to neighbours only).

Horowhenua District Council has rules regarding the maximum height of fences in the Residential Zone. These are set out below.

Front Road Boundary

  • 1.5 metres where the fence or wall fronts a front road boundary; or
  • 2 metres where the fence or wall fronts a front road boundary and at least the upper 0.5 metres of the fence is at least 50% transparent.

Other boundaries

  • Maximum 2 metres high.

Questions regarding who's responsible for paying for the cost of fencing are set out in the Fencing Act 1978. This is a civil matter that Council can't get involved in. However, we do have a useful brochure which summarises your rights. The websites listed below also provide information regarding the Fencing Act.

Disputes regarding the location of boundaries or whether fences are in the correct place are a civil matter. The only way to determine exactly where the boundary is located is to get a surveyor involved.

The main types of resource consents/planning approval issued by Horowhenua District Council are:

Every council plan is different, so just because you didn't need a consent in one district doesn't mean you won't need a consent in another. There's also likely to be a difference between areas within a district or region.

Horowhenua District Council is required to have a District Plan under the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA). The main purpose of this plan is to ensure that land use and subdivision in the Horowhenua District are sustainably managed.

To help achieve this, the District Plan identifies zones for different land uses in the district. Each zone has different objectives, policies and rules associated with it under the District Plan which are tailored to the land use and activities typical to that particular zone. There are also provisions in the District Plan that apply to all properties in spite of the zoning, such as Hazardous Substances and Utilities and Energy.

Residential Zone

The residential zone covers the urban or suburban areas in Levin, Foxton, Foxton Beach, Shannon, Waitārere Beach, Mangaore, Tokomaru, Hōkio Beach, Waikawa Beach, Ōhau, and Manakau which are primarily used for residential purposes.

Rural Zone

The rural zone covers the areas of the Horowhenua District where farming or horticulture is the predominant activity. The rural zone is very large and varied, ie there are coastal areas, productive plains, hill country etc.

For this reason, the rules applying to the rural zone vary depending on where in the rural zone you are located.

Greenbelt Residential Zone

Greenbelt Residential areas have been identified in the District Plan and zoned specifically for the purpose of rural-residential living. These identified areas are generally located near to town and intended to relieve ongoing pressure for fragmentation of the rural land resource.

Industrial Zone

The industrial zone covers land or premises used for the purpose of manufacturing, fabricating, processing, repair, packaging, storage, collection, or distribution of goods; and includes the wholesale or retail sale of goods manufactured on the site.

Commercial Zone

The commercial zone covers areas providing commercial or administrative services, and includes retail trade premises, offices, and banks, but excludes premises or activities involving industrial manufacture or production, vehicle service stations, and commercial garages/vehicle sales yards.

A daylight setback envelope is an envelope shape, measured at ground level at each site boundary, which buildings must be contained within to protect adjoining properties from shading.

The Horowhenua District Plan provides the following diagram to explain the requirements for side and rear boundaries (it doesn't apply to road boundaries). Any buildings must be within the broken black line. If you don’t comply, you can seek written approval from the affected neighbour to avoid the need for resource consent.


Diagram explaining what a daylight setback envelope is.

More information about a daylight setback envelope can be viewed in the Horowhenua District Plan - Chapter 26 Definitions. 

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