Do I need resource consent?

To find out if you need a resource consent for any particular activity, call one of our consent officers at the Council. Most advice is free of charge unless your request is complicated and takes more than 30 minutes. Alternatively, you can check the rules in the relevant Regional Plan.

What is a resource consent?

A Northland Regional Council resource consent allows a person or organisation to do something which may have an effect on the environment.

The Regional Council processes the following types of resource consents:

Land use consents:

  • construct or alter bores;
  • using or disturbing a river or lake bed;
  • carry out earthworks;
  • carry out vegetation clearance; and
  • install structures - like culverts and bridges.

Discharge permits:

  • discharge a contaminant or water into water; and
  • discharge a contaminant onto or into land, or into air.

Water permits:

  • take, dam or divert water.

Coastal permits:

  • for activities in the Coastal Marine Area.

A consent includes conditions to avoid, fix or reduce effects on the environment resulting from an activity.

For building permits, other land-use consents or a subdivision consent, you will need to contact the Far North, Kaipara or Whangarei District Councils.

The Northland Regional Council’s Plans contain rules that set out whether resource consents are required for certain activities.  View regional plans in our resource library.

Our staff are able to help you find out whether you need resource consent for the work you are planning. 

Activities which do not need a resource consent

Resource consents are not needed for some minor activities which are permitted by rules in our Regional Plans. Council officers can advise you which activities are 'permitted' within our Regional Plans.

Permitted activities may require you to comply with a range of conditions or criteria. If you cannot meet these conditions, then you will need to obtain a resource consent.

Get more information

If you are uncertain about whether you need resource consent, please contact us.

NOTE: Some activities may require resource consents from your local District Council as well as the Regional Council. In such situations, applications to both Councils may be processed at the same time.