Decision Frequently Asked Questions
If your consent was processed on a ‘fixed fee’ basis, the monitoring charge has been included in the fee you have already paid.
If your consent was processed on a ‘time and cost’ basis, in addition to the fees payable for the processing of the application, you will be invoiced for monitoring at the time the decision is issued. This is a set fee and forms part of the account sent at the time a decision is issued.
In situations where additional site inspections are required, the Council may render an account for the additional monitoring fees. This will be sent at the time monitoring is undertaken.
By complying with the conditions of your consent. If you comply with all consent conditions, extra site visits will not be necessary.
You have a legal obligation to comply with the conditions of your consent, and you should be monitoring your activity regularly to ensure this happens. Consent holders who ensure good compliance at all times benefit from a reduction in the frequency of Council visits.
However, no matter how good your own monitoring is, the community needs to be reassured of the credibility and independence of a monitoring program carried out by or on behalf of Council, particularly in situations of non-compliance, where enforcement action may be required.
Yes, although this doesn’t mean that every property with a resource consent is visited.
For example, some consents can be monitored from the office because they only require the return of certain information, or a confirmation of works completed by a building inspector.
In these cases, phone calls or site visits are only made if the information is not supplied or is not available from Council records.
Monitoring visits may be spaced several years apart or be close together. They may occur regularly throughout the terms of the consent, or be concentrated at the beginning or towards the expiry of the consent.
The consent holder may also request a site inspection if they believe that, for example, all development work has been completed and they wish to have a bond or caveat released.
No. At any site inspection, the Resource Monitoring Officer will observe the area both associated with the consent proposal and the area beyond that.
This is to deal with any adverse effect on the environment which may arise from the exercise of the consent. From this, the Council may need to review the conditions of consent or check the accuracy of assessments carried out at the time the resource consent was applied for.
After every site visit a Notice of Inspection is completed by the Resource Monitoring Officer.
A copy is provided to the consent holder (it may be left on the property or sent later) and a copy placed on the Council’s consent file.
This notice will tell you whether you complied with all the conditions of your consent, together with any other matter relevant to the visit, or to the activity you are carrying out.
If there is an issue of non-compliance, this will either be discussed with you during the inspection, or you will be contacted by telephone or letter.
The Council is required to keep copies of all monitoring visit reports.
These are summarised and if of a serious nature will be reported to the Planning Manager, who may decide to take further action.
Being public records, reports of individual site visits are available to the public if requested. This may be particularly important when you apply for a new resource consent – your history of compliance will be a matter of public record.
If you think that any condition is unreasonable or unnecessary, you can apply to Council to have it changed.
If you don’t comply with your conditions, Council may take enforcement action to require compliance. The exact nature of this action will depend on matters such as the degree of non-compliance, frequency and the effect on the environment. Ultimately the Resource Management Act gives Council both the duty and the tools to enforce compliance.
The maximum penalties set out in the Act are very severe.
Once a consent has been issued, anyone may make a complaint to Council if they believe that the conditions or the intent of the consent is not being met.
All written complaints are replied to, either by telephone or in writing. If requested, the complainant will be kept informed of any outcome or progress.
The complainant may request to remain anonymous, although the consent holder is often aware of who may have complained.
A Resource Monitoring Officer will follow up on all complaints made, often contacting the consent holder to discuss the issue and/or to arrange a site inspection.
Depending on the nature of the concern, an inspection may be made without contacting the consent holder first.
Enforcement action may need to be taken to ensure further compliance. A file note will be made concerning any complaints made, a copy of which will be kept on the consent file.