When are applications notified?
When are applications notified?
The step-by-step process for determining whether public notification is required is:
Step 1: The first step is for a consent authority to determine if there is a mandatory requirement to publicly notify that applies. An application must be publicly notified if the applicant requests public notification if public notification is required under section 95C (request for further information) or the application is made jointly with an application to exchange recreation reserve land. If none of these matters apply then the consent authority moves on to consider the next steps in the process.
Step 2: The second step is to determine if there is a mandatory requirement not to publicly notify the application. An application cannot be publicly notified if:
- the application if for a resource consent for one or more activities and each activity is subject to a rule or NES precludes notification.
- the application is for a controlled activity,
- Any boundary activity that is a restricted-discretionary, discretionary, or non-complying activity..
If the application falls within one of these scenarios then it cannot be publicly notified unless “special circumstances” apply (Step 4). If the application does not fall within any of these scenarios then the consent authority moves to the next step in the process.
Step 3: If public notification is not required or precluded under the steps above, the consent authority has to look to determine whether public notification is required:
- Because at least 1 of the activities for which consent is sought is subject to a rule or NES standard that requires public notification; or
- Because the effects of the activity will have or is likely to have adverse effects on the environment that are more than minor.
Step 4: Even if notification is precluded under Step 2 and isn't required under Step 3, consideration must be given to whether “special circumstances” exist that warrant public notification of the application. If special circumstances exist, the consent authority must notify the application.
If the application is not publicly notified, the consent authority must determine if limited notification is required under section 95B.
The step-by-step process for determining whether limited notification is required is:
Step 1: The consent authority must determine and notify any:
- “affected protected customary rights groups” 5150
- “affected customary marine title groups 5151 (in the case of any application for a resource consent for an accommodated activity)”
- any person to whom a statutory acknowledgement has been made in respect of land that is subject to, adjacent to, or affected by the activity, and that person is an “affected person” as defined by s 95E of the Resource Management Act.
Step 2: If no affected people or groups set out in step 1 are determined, they the consent authority needs to determine if limited notification is precluded. Limited notification cannot occur if the application is for a resource consent for one or more activities and each activity is subject tto a rule or NES standard that precludes notification. An application also cannot be limited notified if it is for a controlled land use activity under a district plan (except subdivision).
Importantly, the preclusion on limited notification under this step is subject to the exception in step 3.
Step 3:If limited notification is not precluded by Step 2, then the consent authority needs to determine if there are any “affected persons” as defined in s 95E of the Resource Management Act. If it identifies an “affected person” or persons it must notify them of the application. In the case of a boundary adjustment, the consent authority must assess whether the owner of the allotment with an infringed boundary is an affected person.
Step 4: A consent authority is required to determine if there are “special circumstances” warranting limited notification of the application to any other person not already deemed eligible for limited notification under s 95B if:
- Notification is otherwise precluded.
- Notification is not precluded but it has not identified any “affected persons” and so is considering non-notification. In this situation, the consent authority cannot reconsider persons it has already assessed to determine if they are “affected persons” and found this not to be the case. It can only consider other persons.
- It has identified “affected persons” whom it will limited notify.
If the consent authority considers there are “special circumstances” warranting limited notification of specific persons, it must notify those persons.
A council must have sufficient and reliable information before determining not to notify a resource consent application otherwise it runs the risk of committing an error of law that may make the decision on the application vulnerable to judicial review.
Section 95F RMA
Section 95G RMA
Last updated at 4:16PM on August 20, 2021