A hearing is a formal forum to consider notified resource consent applications where submissions have been received and those submitters wish to be heard.
The Council can also require a hearing for a non-notified application, or a notified application where there are no submitters wanting to be heard but this is uncommon.
Hearings are run by a Hearings Panel - usually a panel of independent commissioners or by a sole commissioner.
A pre-hearing meeting is an optional informal meeting held prior to the hearing of a notified application. Pre-hearing meetings provide an informal opportunity for all parties to meet and discuss and clarify any points raised in the application or submissions, and clarify resource management issues. If agreement is reached between parties at a pre-hearing meeting a more formal hearing may not be required.
Once the Hearings Panel or Commissioner has heard all the evidence the hearing will be declared closed. A written decision will be sent to the applicant and submitters within 15 working days of the close of the hearing.
Applicants or submitters may appeal the decision to the Environment Court within 15 working days of receipt of the notice of the decision. If you are thinking of lodging an appeal we strongly recommend that you seek legal assistance in the preparation of your appeal to ensure that the correct procedure is followed.
All hearings are open to public and media. If you are about to be involved in a hearing as an applicant or submitter it can be helpful to come to an earlier hearing as an observer.