Stay up-to-date with the lastest COVID-19 information

What is a resource consent

A resource consent is the formal approval Nelson City Council gives for an activity that might affect the environment and isn't allowed in the Nelson Resource Management Plan or the Nelson Air Quality Plan. There are five types of resource consents:

  • land use consent for the use of land
  • subdivision consent for subdividing land
  • water permit for the taking of water
  • discharge permit for the discharge of contaminants in water, soil or air
  • coastal permit for the use or occupation of coastal space

Four key documents

It's crucial to remember that when you are planning an activity that might affect the environment, you must consult the Resource Management Act 1991 and the Building Act 2004 to know if your activity complies with the rules or not. In addition, the regulations that are specific to our own Nelson community are spelled out in the Nelson Resource Management Plan (NRMP) and the Nelson Air Quality Plan. These four key documents will help you determine if you need a resource consent.

How to know if I need a resource consent

The Nelson Resource Management Plan and the Nelson Air Quality Plan set out the activities that require a resource consent and those that are permitted to occur without one. Activities that need a resource consent are classified as controlled, restricted discretionary, discretionary, or non-complying.The Council has to grant resource consents for controlled activities (with a couple of exceptions) but can refuse to grant resource consent for restricted discretionary, discretionary, or non-complying consents.

Prohibited activites are expressly not allowed and you cannot apply for a resource consent for them.

Talk to the staff

Customer service staff

They will handle your initial queries and provide you with guidance and information. They may be supported by qualified  building consent and planning staff - Nelson City Council calls its resource consent staff 'planners' or 'duty planners' - or they may refer detailed queries to such experts.

Resource consent staff

Called planners or duty planners, they will deal with your specific queries about the RMA, the NRMP, and resource consent requirements. They process your application for resource consent, should you need one.

Building staff

Building officials or building consents staff will deal with your specific queries about the Building Act, the Building Code, and building consent requirements. They process your application for a building consent.

Experts

If your project is complex, you will probably need expert help. You might need to employ a planner, designer, architect, engineer, surveyor, or other specialists to help prepare your applications for resource and building consents.