Allocation of Space

New allocation mechanisms enable councils to better manage a “gold rush” situation, should it arise under the 2011 rules. The figure below lists the tools that are now in place.



Addressing the effects of occupation of the coastal marine area

  • A regional coastal plan may include provisions to address the effects of occupation of the coastal marine area and to manage competition for the occupation of space (including for aquaculture activities).
  • This may include rules which
       -  specify that no application can be made before a certain date
       -  state the consent authority may process and hear applications relating to           the same
       -  space or spaces in close proximity together place limits on the character,         intensity, scale or size of activities

Alternative allocation mechanisms

  • The default allocation mechanism under the RMA is “first in, first served”
  • This means that a complete resource consent application lodged with the consent authority must be determined before any resource consent applications lodged later in time for the same or overlapping space
  • Alternative allocation mechanisms may be provided for through a regional coastal plan or through Gazette notice.

Regional coastal plan

  • Alternative allocation mechanisms (public tender of authorisations or any other method of allocating authorisations) can be set out in a regional coastal plan
  • Before setting out an alternative allocation mechanism the council must be satisfied that such a rule is necessary or desirable in the circumstances of the region and the proposed method is the most appropriate for allocation of space in the circumstances of the region, having regard to its efficiency and effectiveness, compared to other methods of allocating space

Gazette Notice

  • As a result of the 2011 reforms, regional councils may also ask the Minister of Conservation to approve an alternative allocation method for activities in the coastal marine area through Gazette notice
  • The regional council will need to provide evidence demonstrating high or competing demands for coastal permits
  • While a Gazette notice is in place, no person can apply for a coastal permit authorising occupation of space unless the person is the holder of an authorisation that relates to that space and activity

Suspension of applications

  • Regional councils may ask the Minister of Aquaculture for a stay on new applications for consents to occupy space for specified aquaculture activities
  • The regional council will need to demonstrate that there is actual or anticipated high or competing demand
  • The suspension must be for no more than 12 months 

Refusal of similar applications

  • A consent authority can refuse to receive an application for a coastal permit to occupy space in the coastal marine area if, within one year before the application is made, the consent authority has refused to grant an application for a permit for a similar or same activity in respect of the same space or space in close proximity

Last updated at 1:31PM on February 25, 2015