There are three "tracks" your consent can follow. The three paths are:
|1. Non-notified||No members of the public are involved and / or you have got the written approval of all the affected persons. Sometimes a non-notified consent is fast-tracked, if it meets several criteria. Most of our consents are non-notified.|
|2. Limited notification||Only persons who we identify as affected can submit on your proposal.|
|3. Publicly notified||Your proposal is advertised and anyone can make a submission.|
We will publicly notify your application if:
We can't publicly notify your application, except for special circumstances, if your proposal is one of the following:
We must notify your application if if you ask us to, or if there are any rules or national environmental standards that tell us we must publicly notify it.
Public notification means that the Council advertises the application on our website and in the newspaper and calls for written statements (submissions) from the general public. The Council also sends copies of your application to all the people it thinks might be affected by the activity.
Anyone can make a submission about a publicly notified application.
In some cases, we may choose limited notification. This happens if the Council decides your application does have adverse effects (whether minor or more than minor) for certain affected persons, but you haven’t got written approval from all of them. If you can get a person's written approval, we no longer consider them an ‘affected person’
We will send notice of your application to all the affected persons, with details of how they can make a submission. As it's limited notification, we don't advertise the application on our website or in the newspaper.
The only people who can submit on a limited notified application are those we identified as affected persons. An applicant’s trade competitors are unable to submit unless they are directly affected by an environmental effect of the proposed activity and their submission relates to those effects. This limit on trade competitors also applies to publicly notified applications.
People making submissions can suggest conditions for the resource consent.
Generally, a hearing is only necessary if:
A hearing needs to take place within 25 working days after the period for submissions ends, unless the Council formally extends the time limit.
A hearing may also take place if the Council thinks it is necessary for some special reason.
If you are a resource consent applicant and your application goes to a hearing, this usually involves big costs. This is as:
The applicant is responsible for these costs.
While sometimes you'll want to avoid a hearing you may also find it is often a good way to resolve a matter and get a decision. You will have extra costs for the processing of your application if you do have a hearing.
An applicant can also seek permission from the Council for the application to be heard by the Environment Court rather than by the Council. This may streamline the resource consent process by avoiding the need for two hearings - one by the Council and one by the Court.
The applicant must make the request to the Council within five working days of the date when the period for submissions on the application ended.
The Council may arrange a pre-hearing meeting so that submitters and the applicant can talk about and clarify issues.
We organise this if:
These meetings are held soon after submissions close. They are informal and the parties are helped by an independent chair.
Most of the evidence for a hearing is prepared and swapped before it starts. We will always let you know the date of the hearing at least 15 working days before it begins, and also the date we need your evidence by so we can share it with everyone.
We share the Council planner’s report and all the evidence electronically. We use our website or email. The timetable everyone must follow for this is:
|Planner’s report||15 working days before the hearing|
|Applicant’s evidence||10 working days before the hearing|
|Submitters’ expert evidence||5 working days before the hearing|
|Submitters’ personal evidence||presented by the submitter at the hearing|
If you are a submitter you only have to provide evidence before the hearing if it is technical evidence.
Technical evidence is usually prepared by an independent resource management professional or technical specialist for a submitter. Your own personal submission usually isn't technical evidence.
The Council planner’s report and recommendation is the first piece of evidence. The planner will talk about:
This report is also called a 'section 42A report' after the section number of the Resource Manegement Act it comes from.
The applicant can then respond to the planner’s report and recommendation in their evidence, and explain if they disagree or have a different assessment. The submitters can also do this in their evidence, for both the planner's report and the applicant evidence.
All hearings are open to the public, including the media - unless it is necessary to protect sensitive information.
The only people who have rights to speak are the applicant, submitters, the Council staff, and the Hearing Committee members. Applicants and submitters can bring expert witnesses to help them present their views.
The Hearing Committee is either made up of three Tasman District councillors, or independent commissioners.
We use commissioners if:
Any requests for us to use commissioners must happen within five days of the closing date for submissions.
If a submitter does ask for a commissioner then they may have to pay some of the extra costs incurred.
The people on the hearing committee have a lot of responsibility. They all have special training and experience so that they can run a fair process and decide on the consent application after they have heard everyone’s evidence.
We will send a written notice of the decision to submitters and the applicant. You should expect this within 15 working days after the hearing is closed. It may take longer if the applicaton was very complicated or there were other matters that cropped up.
We make the full written decision available through our website or another electronic means, such as email.
If an applicant or submitter disagrees with any part or all of a decision on a resource consent - including the conditions - often you can appeal to the Environment Court.
There is lots of advice available on appearing at resource consent hearings. We strongly recommend you read one (or both) of these guides: