Resource consent time frames

Find out how long it takes to get your resource consent application approved.

Processing delays

We are now meeting timeframes for land use consents, but we are still running a 35 day average for subdivision/subdivision land use consents. After the initial deposit has been paid and the vetting process the application then gets allocated to a planner. The planner will then contact you with initial feedback, arrange a site visit and request any further information required.

  • 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
  • Email a full copy of the draft application to our duty planner at
  • 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

If your application is a limited notification or publicly notified the process may take 3 months or more if we receive submissions and a hearing is required.

If we have to ask you for more information, we’ll put your application on hold (the statutory processing clock will be stopped) until you get us the information we need.

This means the application process is delayed – so try to give us all the detail we need right from the start.

Delays can also happen when:

  • you need other consents for your proposed activity
  • your proposed activity is significant and complex.

If your application is non-notified, legally we have to give you our decision within 20 working days. This depends on whether or not you've given us all the information we need to process your application.

You can request a fast-track which will result in a decision within 10 working days. This comes with a higher cost.

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