Assessing environmental effects

Find out about the Assessment of environment affects (AEE) that you have to provide with your resource consent application.

About AEEs

Every resource consent application must include an assessment of environmental effects (AEE) because every activity has some effect on the environment.  We use your AEE to assess the potential impacts of what you want to do.

The effects on the environment can be positive or negative and last for a short time or much longer. For example, the positive effects of redeveloping an old commercial area could be that it creates a more pleasant shopping environment. Alternatively, A new building could cause dust and noise during construction, a loss of privacy for its neighbours, and more traffic in the long term.

If your activity is going to have negative effects, the AEE will show how these effects can be reduced. Depending on your proposed activity it can take a lot of time and effort to conduct your assessment and produce a report.

Note: You must provide an assessment of environmental effects (AEE) with your application for a resource consent. If you don't, you won't get your application approved.

How to complete an assessment

Book a pre-application meeting where we can work through your proposal and what you want to achieve, and provide you with information and advice on how to apply. We'll also give you advice on if you need a building consent.

Book a pre-application meeting

If your proposal involves minor works, like additions and alterations to the home you live in, you can complete the form yourself.

It’s important that you provide a full and accurate AEE with your proposal. If it doesn’t cover everything that we need to make a decision:

  • you might have to make changes to your proposal
  • your application processing costs will increase
  • your application will be put on hold while we seek more information (you must provide the information, or write to us agreeing or refusing to provide the information, within 15 working days of the date of our request)
  • the chance of your application being notified or requiring written approvals from affected parties may increase
  • the chances of our granting the resource consent will reduce.

AEE template (PDF 982 kb)

Hire a professional to do the assessment if you’re not comfortable doing it yourself, or if your proposal could have significant effects on the environment.

Resource management planners, engineers or surveyors can help you with all or some of the AEE preparation. Do a Google search to find a local professional who can help.

The AEE preparation process

Here are the key steps involved in preparing an AEE. If consultation is required, it can happen at any stage of steps 1-6.

  1. Identify the activity or activities for which you’re seeking resource consent.
  2. Conduct a site inspection.
  3. Talk to us (we'll advise whether you need a resource consent from Greater Wellington Regional Council too).
  4. Identify the effects of your proposal.
  5. Rank and address the effects. (You might need expert advice for this step.)
  6. If you have a complex proposal, arrange a pre-application meeting with us to make sure you have everything covered and identify any need for expert advice.
  7. Re-evaluate your proposal. If you identify new activities that require resource consent, start this process again.
  8. Finalise your AEE (including obtaining affected parties approval).

The information that you include in your AEE will depend on the significance of your activity’s environmental effects.


  • whether your activity is likely to affect the site that you'll be using or developing, and the wider environment
  • what those effects will be on the surrounding ecosystems and natural resources (land, air and water). Examples include:
    • changes to the character of the street or the surrounding landscape
    • noise
    • silt run-off
    • dust
    • shading
    • modification and/or destruction of historic or cultural sites
    • vegetation loss
    • effects on water quality
    • loss of privacy
    • smell
    • visual impacts
    • loss of recreational values
  • whether those effects are:
    • positive or negative
    • temporary or permanent
    • past, present or future
    • cumulative (building up over time or in combination with other effects)
    • highly probable, or unlikely but with high impacts
    • the effects’ significance in scale, intensity, duration and frequency – and which effects are the most significant
    • how you’ll mitigate (reduce) the significant effects.

You'll need to be prepared to change your proposal, or find other ways to achieve your goals while delivering a proposal that meets our requirements.

The information you provide in your AEE should reflect the scale and significance of the effects, and provide us with everything we need to evaluate your proposal.

As a general guide, your AEE should include:

  • a full description of your proposal, including the site and locality, a site plan drawn to scale, and other plans such as elevations of new buildings
  • a description of the possible environmental effects, including their nature and significance
  • a description of ways in which the adverse environmental effects can be mitigated
  • an assessment of any potential risks to the environment of hazardous substances and/or the discharge of contaminants
  • the names of the people and organisations affected by your proposal
  • a record of any consultation you’ve undertaken
  • a discussion of any effects that may need to be controlled or monitored, and how and by whom this will be done.

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