How to apply for a resource consent

Find out what you need to do to apply for a resource consent.


Processing delays

We are currently experiencing record numbers of resource consent and building consent applications. Application numbers are substantially higher compared with previous years and have continued to build over recent months. This is causing delays in our processing timeframes, which means most applications are not being processed within the statutory 20 working day timeframe. We sincerely apologise for this interruption to our normal service. As of December 2021, it is taking about six weeks for an application to be allocated to a planner. The planner will then contact you with initial feedback, arrange a site visit and request any further information required. From this point, it will usually take up to 20 working days to complete the process.

  • continuing to recruit additional staff in a very tight market
  • outsourcing work to external consultants where possible
  • exploring and adopting continual improvement processes to manage applications more efficiently and streamline reporting and meetings

  • Please allow more time than usual to receive a decision on your application for resource consent.
  • Ensure that your application is complete and comprehensive, and includes all the necessary plans, approvals, and supporting information. Having a detailed and complete application will minimise the need for us to request further information or commission reports from subject matter experts.
  • Consider engaging a planning consultant or subject matter expert to prepare the application for you; well-prepared information is quicker to process.

Thank you for your patience while we work through this situation and be assured that we will process your application as quickly as we can. If you have any questions or concerns about your application, please contact us via email

1. Why is the resource consent process taking longer than it has in the past?

A range of issues: staff and skills shortages, particularly in relation to planners and engineers, and a rapid rise in nationwide building and construction activity have combined to create a bottleneck in consenting for most councils. We are working to minimise the disruption by:

  • Continuing to recruit staff in a very tight market
  • Outsourcing work to external consultants where possible
  • Exploring and adopting continual improvement processes to manage applications more efficiently and streamline reporting and meetings.

2. Do you conduct pre-application meetings remotely?

To increase the amount of time that our planners and technical experts have available to them in a typical week, we have implemented the following changes to our pre-application consultation process:

  • You can now book pre-application meetings and supply draft plans online 
  • Pre-app meetings now occur online (MS Teams) and are limited to 30 minutes
  • Minor proposals are provided with written feedback without the need for a meeting.

3. What is the average wait time for a completed resource consent decision?

The Resource Management Act 1991 provides Council with 20 working days to release its decision document, for those applications which are not notified to affected persons or the public. The Act also allows councils to “stop the clock” while further information is being requested from the developer, therefore, this time does not count towards the allocated 20 working days. At the moment, due to high workloads, most land use consents are being processed in 40 working days or up to 3 months where they relate to complex proposals. Subdivision consents are taking longer than usual too as we require input from the council engineering team with regard to infrastructure servicing. On that basis, we are currently expecting subdivision applications to require 2-4 months from pre-application to a decision being released.

4. How can I check to ensure my application is complete before I send it to you for processing?

You can:

  • Book a pre-application meeting with one of our planners and receive written feedback. If you are unsure whether your draft application is complete you can ask the planner to provide specific feedback
  • Bring a full copy of the draft application in to speak with our duty planner at 30 Laings Road between the hours of 9 am and 4pm
  • Email a full copy of the draft application to our duty planner at Resource.Consents@huttcity.govt.nz
  • Speak with a planning consultant who will advise you of what information will be required, and whether the full copy of the draft application is complete. A list of consultants can be found on the NZ Planning Institute website
  • Further guidance on applying for resource consents is available here

5. Can I apply for a building consent/resource consent online?

6. During COVID-19 Protection Framework “Orange”:

  • You can continue to apply for resource consent electronically
  • Pre-application meetings can be held remotely via MS Teams, or in some cases, advice can be provided by phone or email.
  • Hearings and subdivision site inspections can occur subject to COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

If you have any questions about your application, you can call us on 04 570 6666 or email us at Resource.Consents@huttcity.govt.nz


To apply for a resource consent, you need to provide:

  • a completed application form (PDF 173 kb)
  • an assessment of environmental effects (PDF 221 kb)
  • a covering letter outlining your proposal
  • plans of your proposal (to a scale of either 1:100 or 1:200)
  • if applicable:
    • the legal description of the site and street address
    • a Certificate of Title for the property (no more than three months old) and copies of any relevant interests on the title, such as consent notices and covenants
    • the type, location and size of your proposed activity
    • details of any consultation you’ve completed
    • written approvals from affected parties (PDF 134 kb) Note: they need to sign the plans as well as the form so we know they've seen them
    • if a building is involved, plans of your proposed activity, including elevations and floor plans
    • features of the site, including levels or contours
    • an indication of car parking layouts and access points
    • details of off-site effects such as traffic generation, shadowing and noise generation
    • details of landscaping, fencing and storage areas.

Apply for a resource consent

Once you have all of the documents mentioned above, you (or your representative) can lodge your application online.

Step 1: Complete and sign the relevant document

Check that you have:

  • completed all the required documents and checklists accurately and in full
  • signed and dated the documents where required
  • gathered together any other required forms, plans, specifications and supporting documents.

Step 2: Sort the documents into four groups

The four groups are:

  • application documents
  • plans
  • specification documents
  • supporting documents.

Application documents

The main application-related documents that you’ll need to provide are:

Plans

The plans you send could include:

  • architectural plans
  • earthworks plans
  • mechanical plans
  • landscaping plans.

Please make sure that all plans are provided in landscape format and are no larger than A1 in size.

Supporting documents

These are documents that support your application and are not covered by the other categories. They include:

Step 3: Convert the documents to PDFs

  1. Scan hard copy documents to PDF format.
  2. Use a resolution of at least 300dpi.
  3. Ensure that the PDF files aren’t locked or password protected.
  4. Sort the files into folders with the four headings: Application, Plans, Specifications and Supporting Documents. Create sub-folders as required.

Please don’t zip your files - our online portal can accept large files.

Note you’ll need to have Java installed to upload the folders and their contents.

Step 4: Lodge the application

  1. Submit your application online. Use Chrome or Firefox internet browsers.
  2. Complete the required fields – your email address, the property address and the subject line (‘Resource consent’).
  3. Attach the documents or folders you’ve prepared.
  4. In the message box, let us know how you’d like to receive your building consent documents. Either:

Once you have completed the above steps send the email by clicking ‘Send’ button.

If you'd rather send in hard copies, you can do this by:

  • delivering to Council's main building on Laings Road,
    between 8am and 5pm, Monday to Friday
  • posting it to us at Private Bag 31-912, Lower Hutt 5040.

You can pay for your resource consent application fees in the following ways:

  • with credit card or EFTPOS online
  • internet banking:
    • Account Name: Hutt City Council
    • Account No: 03-0531-0429500-0
    • Quote the application number (RM ...)
  • in person using cash, credit card or EFTPOS at our main building, 30 Laings Road,

Resource consent fees


Contact details

Email: resource.consents@huttcity.govt.nz