The Consumer NZ guide to district plans and resource consents.
Before buying a section you need to find out what is in your district plan and what resource consents you might need.
You will often hear the terms territorial authorities, local authorities, district councils, city councils and regional councils when embarking on a house-building project. You’ll need to approach some of these councils at various stages of the process, including before you buy your section.
In New Zealand our local authorities comprise:
To find out which council you will be dealing with, use the Council Finder.
Each of the regional councils must produce regional plans, and city councils and district councils must have district plans (there could be several). This is a legal requirement under the Resource Management Act 1991 with the aim of protecting the environment from any adverse effects from people using natural and physical resources, including land, air and water.
The district plan covering the area where you are buying your section could affect:
What is in a district plan will vary from council to council. Some of the matters you may be able to research include:
If you want to do anything with your section that could have an adverse impact on the environment, you may have to apply for a resource consent.
If the section you are buying is zoned residential in the district plan, you may not need resource consent before building a house.
For example, if the section you are looking to buy is on the side of a hill and you will be sculpting out a lot of earth, you will probably need to get resource consent. There may be protected trees, protected access or protected rights of your neighbours to consider, or you may want to build closer to the boundary than allowed in the district plan. You will have to apply for resource consent if your plans are going to affect any matters relating to the environment.
Before you buy, it’s a good idea to talk to your local council. Council staff can help you look through the relevant plans, work out whether you’ll need any resource consents and process your consent application. For more information see Resource Management Act.
A place, site or object sacred to Maori in the traditional, spiritual, religious, ritual or mythological sense.