Duties and Restrictions

Takapuna Beach - Credit: Raewyn Peart

Part 3 of the Resource Management Act sets out duties and restrictions in relation to certain activities. In some cases, a resource consent will be required unless the activity is expressly authorised by a district or regional plan. In other cases, the activity only requires a resource consent if it contravenes a rule in a regional or district plan. 

Activity

Resource Management Act

Restrictions

Land Use

Section 9 

Any use of land is allowed, unless it would contravene a national environmental standard, a regional rule or a district rule. Where restrictions are in place in planning documents an activity may only proceed if expressly allowed by a resource consent or it is allowed as an existing activity.

Subdivision

Section 11

Any use of land is allowed, unless it would contravene a national environmental standard, a regional rule or a district rule. Where restrictions are in place in planning documents an activity may only proceed if expressly allowed by a resource consent or it is allowed as an existing activity.

Note: exceptions apply in respect of Māori land. 557

Coastal Marine Area

Section 12

A resource consent must be obtained to carry out the following activities 558  in the coastal marine area, unless the activity is expressly allowed by a national environmental standard or a regional coastal rule (including a rule in a proposed regional coastal plan if there is one):
-  Reclamation or drainage
-  Erection, alteration, removal of a structure
-  Disturbance in a manner likely to have an adverse effect
-  Deposition of any substance that is likely to have an adverse effect
-  Destruction, damage, or disturbance that is likely to have an adverse effect on plants or animals or their habitat
-  Introduction or planting of any exotic or introduced plants
-  Destruction, damage or disturbance which is likely to have an adverse effect on historic heritage
-  Occupation of the common marine and coastal area
-  Removal of sand, shingle, shell or other natural material from the common marine and coastal area

A resource consent must be obtained to carry out any other activity in the coastal marine area in a manner that contravenes a national environmental standard or a regional rule.

Beds of Rivers and Lakes

Section 13

A resource consent must be obtained to carry out the following activities 574  in the bed of a lake or river, unless the activity is expressly allowed by a national environmental standard or a regional rule (including a rule in a proposed regional plan if there is one):
-  Use, erection, alteration, removal of a structure
-  Excavation, drilling, tunnelling or other disturbance
-  Introduction or planting of any plant (exotic or indigenous)
-  Deposition of any substance
-  Reclamation or drainage

A resource consent must be obtained to carry out the following activities 575  in the bed of a lake or river in a manner that contravenes a national environmental standard or a regional rule:

-  Enter or pass across the bed of a lake or river
-  Damage, destroy, disturb, or remove a plant (exotic or indigenous)
-  Damage, destroy, disturb, or remove the habitats of plants (exotic or indigenous)
-  Damage, destroy, disturb, or remove habitats of animals

Water

Section 14

A resource consent must be obtained to take, use, dam or divert any water (coastal water, fresh water or geothermal water) unless:
-  The activity is expressly allowed by a national environmental standard or a regional rule (including a rule in a proposed regional plan if there is one), or
-  In the case of fresh water, it is taken or used for an individual’s reasonable domestic needs or the reasonable needs of an individual’s animals for drinking water, and the taking or use is not likely to have an adverse effect on the environment, or
-  In the case of geothermal water, it is taken or used in accordance with tikanga Maori for the communal benefit of the tangata whenua of the area and does not have an adverse effect on the environment, or
-  In the case of water in estuaries, fiords, inlets, harbours, and embayment’s, it is required for an individual’s reasonable domestic or recreational needs and the taking, use or diversion is not likely to have an adverse effect on the environment, or
-  The water is required to be taken or used for fire fighting purposes.

Discharges of Contaminants

Section 15

A resource consent must be obtained to discharge a contaminant:
-  Into water,
-  Onto land in circumstances which may result in the contaminant entering water,
-  From any industrial or trade premises into air, or
-  From an industrial or trade premises onto land.

Unless the discharge is expressly allowed by a national environmental standard or a regional rule (including a rule in a proposed regional plan if there is one).

A resource consent must be obtained to discharge a contaminant into the air or onto land in a manner that contravenes a national environmental standards or a regional rule, unless the discharge is expressly allowed by a national environmental standard or other regulations.

The Resource Management Act also contains restrictions on the dumping and incineration of waste or other matter in the coastal marine area (section 15A), the discharge of harmful substances from ships or offshore installations (section 15B), and prohibitions in relation to radioactive waste or other radioactive matter in the coastal marine area (section 15C).

Noise

Section 16

Every occupier of land and every person carrying out an activity in, on, or under a water body or the coastal marine area shall adopt the best practicable option to ensure that the emission of noise from the land or water does not exceed a reasonable level.

A national environmental standard, plan or resource consent may prescribe noise emission standards.

General 

Section 17

Every person has a duty to avoid, remedy or mitigate any adverse effect on the environment arising from an activity, whether or not the activity is carried out in accordance with a national environmental standard, a rule, a resource consents, or an existing activity right.

Last updated at 10:34AM on December 18, 2014