How can you apply for a declaration?

In most circumstances, any person may apply to the Environment Court for a declaration. 1069  Only a consent authority or the Minister for the Environment can apply for a declaration to the effect that a consent holder or any other person is contravening a condition of a resource consent, or a rule in a proposed plan, which requires the adoption of the best practicable option. 1070  You should seek advice from a lawyer before initiating proceedings for a declaration.

An application for a declaration must be made according to the prescribed form. You must provide:

  • Your name
  • A description of the declaration sought
  • The grounds for the application
  • An affidavit in support of the application
  • A list of the names and addresses of the persons who you intend to serve with a copy of the application

The original and one copy of the signed application plus the filing fee need to be lodged at the appropriate office of the Environment Court. For proceedings in the South Island, documents are lodged at the Christchurch Office; for proceedings in the lower half of the North Island, documents are lodged in the Wellington Office; and for proceedings in the upper half of the North Island, documents are lodged at the Auckland office. If you are not sure which the appropriate office is, contact the Environment Court to check. Documents can be lodged and served by hand, courier, post, or email. When you lodge a document by email you should also mail an original signed copy to the Court.

The notice of application must be served on every person directly affected by the application within five working days of the application being lodged with the Environment Court. 1071  The term “affected” means “an appreciable effects more than minimal, one that differentiates the person from a generality in order to define the direct effect”. 1072

Within five working days of lodging the application you must also give written notice to the Registrar of the name and address of each person required to be served and the date of service on each person.

  1. Section 311 Resource Management Act 1991

  2. Section 311 Resource Management Act 1991

  3. Section 312 Resource Management Act 1991

  4. Canterbury Regional Council v Department of Conservation (NZEnvC C81/2004, 21 June 2004)

Last updated at 12:21PM on December 15, 2014