Reviewing consent conditions

A consent authority may review the conditions of a resource consent: 992

  • At any time specified in the consent:
    • To deal with adverse effects which are better dealt with at a later stage,
    • To require the holder of a discharge or coastal permit to adopt the best practicable option to reduce adverse effects, or
    • For any other purpose specified in the consent
  • In relation to a coastal, water or discharge permit, where:
    •  a regional rule has been made operative; and
    • the rule relates to maximum or minimum flows or flows or rate of use, or minimum standards of water or air quality, or ranges of temperature or pressure of geothermal water; and
    • the regional council considers that it is appropriate to review the consent to enable those levels, flows, rates or standards to be met.
  • In relation to a coastal, water or discharge permit, where relevant national environmental standards or national planning standards have been made;
  • In relation to a land use consent, in relation to a relevant regional rule; and 
  • If the information supplied by the applicant in the consent application contained inaccuracies which materially influenced the decision and the effects of the activity are such that more appropriate conditions are necessary.

A consent authority is able to review a number of resource consents together if all are affected by an operative rule relating to flows, rate of use, water and air quality, or geothermal water as set out above. 

A consent authority cannot change the duration of a consent as part of a review process.

The power to change conditions under section 128 is wide and flexible and there is no limit on how far a consent could be subtracted from or qualified by new conditions 993  except that section 128 does not allow consents to be terminated so amendments to conditions cannot prevent the activity for which consent has been granted. 994

If a consent authority decides to review the conditions of a resource consent, it must serve a notice on the consent holder advising which conditions are the subject of the review and the reasons for the review. If a charge is payable by the consent holder the notice must advise the estimated amount that will be charged. 995  If the consent is being reviewed alongside other consents as part of enabling a rule relating water flows and rates, water and air quality, and geothermal water temperatures to be met, this must also be brought to the consent holder's attention.

The notice of review is processed as if it were an application for resource consent for a discretionary activity and the consent holder were the applicant. 996

When reviewing the conditions of a resource consent the consent authority: 997

  • Must have regard to the matters considered when determining a resource consent application
  • Must have regard to whether the activity will continue to be viable after the change
  • May have regard to the manner in which the consent has been used
  • If the review was ordered by the Court, must have regard to the reasons for the order.
  1. Section 128 Resource Management Act 1991

  2. Feltex Carpets Ltd v Canterbury Regional Council (2000) 6 ELRNZ 275

  3. Minister of Conservation v Tasman District Council (NZHC CIV-2003-485-1072, 9 December 2003)

  4. Section 129 Resource Management Act 1991

  5. Section 130 Resource Management Act 1991

  6. Section 131 Resource Management Act 1991

Last updated at 10:51AM on August 23, 2021