Most Read Contributor in New Zealand, September 2016
As of 31 July, Councils face financial penalties for missing key
Resource Management Act deadlines.
This will provide a much-needed discipline and should reduce RMA
New regime good news for developers
In essence, Councils will be required to provide a discount of
at least 1 percent for each day a resource consent process goes
over deadline (up to a maximum of 50 percent).
Announcing the change, Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith
commented that historically, fewer than half of all (typical)
consents had been processed within the statutory period of 20 days
and said he was confident that the new regulations would drive
"a substantial improvement in timeliness".
But stay vigilant
Councils still have a limited power to 'stop the clock'
and require more information from applicants for resource consent.
They may also throw out applications as being
"incomplete" (which in Monopoly terms will send you back
to the start of the process "without passing go").
We suspect that these powers may be used more frequently as a
means to avoid the discounting regime.
It would therefore be wise, particularly for complex
developments, to get involved in pre-application discussions with
the relevant authority. Also, make sure before lodging an
application that it ticks all the regulatory boxes. And keep an eye
on any increases in consent processing charges to ensure that they
haven't been introduced to recoup losses sustained from the new
Our thanks to Caroline Fergusson, law clerk, for writing
this Brief Counsel.
Further information on the discount regulations can be found
here or by contacting the authors on the right.
The information in this article is for informative purposes
only and should not be relied on as legal advice. Please contact
Chapman Tripp for advice tailored to your situation.
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