Resource consent process 9-step guide

Follow our 9-step guide to find out if your proposed activity (any proposal to subdivide or develop land, or change the way land is used) requires resource consent and what you need to apply.

Some examples of a proposed activity include:

  • extending a dwelling;
  • subdividing a property; or
  • running a business from home.

Step 1. Understand if you need a Resource Consent

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. 
  • 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 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.

Step 2. Find out what type of resource consent you need to apply for

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.

If your proposed activity is listed as permitted and you meet the requirements to have this activity treated as a 'Deemed Permitted Boundary Activity' you'll need to visit our Deemed Permitted Boundary Activity page.

If your activity is permitted but breaches a public boundary or you're not able to obtain written approval from the affected neighbour, please continue to apply for a resource consent.

If your activity is not listed as permitted and/or you don't comply with a permitted activity condition(s), you'll need to apply for a resource consent.

Step 3. Prepare your Resource Consent application

Prepare your resource consent application, including all required information and documentation.

What you need

You'll need:

  • a description of the activity
  • a description of the site where the activity will take place
  • a record (certificate) of title
  • relevant plans, eg site plan, elevation plans, floor plan (if applicable)
  • a description of the possible environmental effects of the activity, often referred to as an Assessment of Environmental Effects (AEE)
  • a description of the ways in which adverse effects can be avoided, remedied or mitigated
  • a record of any consultation you've undertaken including with affected parties, if any
  • copies of the written approval of any affected persons, if any
  • Part 2 RMA Assessment, if applicable
    This relates to the purpose of the RMA, in most cases the District Plan sufficiently covers this aspect. If your proposal is of a more complex nature or is something out of the ordinary then you'll be expected to provide a comprehensive Part 2 assessment.

If you need help, you can:

  • request a pre-application meeting with a planner - appointments are available on Tuesdays and Wednesdays between 10am and 3pm, and need to be booked a minimum of 48 hours in advance.
  • email us at or phone us on 06 366 0999

Step 4. Possible affected parties

If you think neighbours or other parties will be affected by your proposal, it's advisable to obtain written approval from them prior to lodging the application.

  • Written approval from all affected people can save time and costs in processing your application.
  • Written approval needs to be on the Written Approval Form, available below.

Affected Person's Written Approval Form(PDF, 203KB)
Neighbours Approval Form - Accessory buildings less than 1m from a boundary(PDF, 784KB)

Step 5. Apply for a resource consent

You can apply by completing our online resource consent form.

  • Gather the additional information to support your application
  • Have your credit/debit card or banking details ready to pay the fee associated with your application (no action will be taken on your application until the payment is matched with your application).

Apply for a Resource Consent

Step 6. Your application gets processed

We'll assess the effects and scale of your proposed development over a period of 20 working days.

  • If your application is incomplete in some way, we'll request further information from you - this is called a Section 92 request. Your application will be placed on hold while we wait for your response.
  • If we need more time to assess your application, we'll contact you to discuss what is called a Section 37 time extension. In some cases, we'll be able to extend timeframes without your consent.

If your application needs to be notified (notified consent) we'll advise you prior to notifying the application. This will give you a chance to consult with affected parties or amend/withdraw the application.

If your application is non-notified, the decision will be made whether to grant or refuse consent. As the applicant, you can appeal or object to the decision or conditions.

Step 7. Your application outcome

We'll let you know our decision on your application and send an invoice for any outstanding fees and charges.

  • A resource consent approval will list the conditions and any relevant advice notes you need to adhere to for your consent to remain valid, and to avoid a fine.
  • If your application is refused, there may be an appeal and objection process you can follow.

Step 8. Start work and site monitoring

There are conditions you need to comply with for every resource consent.

  • Notify us of your intention to start work.
  • We will carry out routine monitoring visits once your work has started.

Step 9. Well done & Kia Ora

Some consents have conditions that need to be complied with on an ongoing basis and annual charges may apply for some consents (such as regional consents, like a water permit).