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What are resource consents?

Photo of a water supply damResource consents are permits that allow you to use or take water, land or coastal resources. They also allow the discharge of water or wastes into air, water or onto land.

Resource consents usually include conditions to protect the environment. Consented activities are monitored by Waikato Regional Council to make sure that the conditions are being met.

There are five types of resource consents:

  1. Land use consents
  2. Water consents
  3. Discharge consents
  4. Coastal consents
  5. Subdivision consents.

Waikato Regional Council can only issue types 1-4. Find out more about these consents.

 District councils issue subdivision consents, however often regional consents are also required for activities associated with new sudivisions, e.g. stormwater, sewage disposal.

Why we have consents

The Resource Management Act (RMA) gives Waikato Regional Council responsibility for promoting sustainable management of our region’s natural resources. This means:

  • allowing people to provide for their social, economic and cultural needs
  • safeguarding resources for future generations
  • safeguarding the life-supporting capacity of air, water, soil and ecosystems while avoiding, mitigating or remedying any adverse effects of activities on the environment.   Mitigation can also include "offsetting" effects (e.g. compensating for adverse effects by enhancing or protecting another area or ecosystem).

The RMA and our regional policies and plans provide rules and guidelines for sustainable resource management.

Waikato Regional Council also takes into account the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi and the special relationship Māori have with the land or natural resources affected, when considering consent applications.  For any applications that are in the Waikato River Catchment below Huka Falls, the Council is also required to consider the Vision and Strategy for the River (established by the Waikato-Tainui Raupatu Claims (Waikato River) Settlement Act 2010).