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Resource Consents - Frequently Asked Questions

On this page, you'll find answers to our frequently asked questions including how to arrange a pre-application meeting or affected party approval, how to subdivide your land, how to navigate development contributions, and how to find out what can be done on your site.

Practice notes and guidance

QLDC has developed a number of practice notes and guidance to assist with the interpretation of the District Plan. Most of these apply to the Operative District Plan and may have some relevance for also interpreting the Proposed District Plan. We are working on new practice notes and guidance for the Proposed District Plan as necessary.

Resource consents v. Building consents

  • A resource consent is essentially the planning permission of the Council to undertake an activity that is not specifically permitted by our District Plan.

    Resource consents are administered under the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA), while Building Consents are administered under the Building Act 2004.

    While the Building Act is concerned with the functional requirements of buildings and other structures, the RMA is concerned with sustainable management, such as effects on your neighbours and the surrounding area. It is common to obtain both a resource consent and a building consent for a project. 

  • When the Council receives a building consent application, it is checked by one of our planners against the District Plan rules. If it is determined that a resource consent is needed to undertake the activity, a certificate is issued under section 37 of the Building Act advising that no works can proceed until a resource consent is obtained. If you are unsure why you require a resource consent, please contact us for further information.


Costs and timeframes

  • An initial fee is required at the time of lodging any resource consent application. This is not generally expected to cover the full cost of processing the application. The cost of resource consent processing is on a user pays basis.

    For notified applications, further deposits are payable at the time of notification and prior to a hearing date being set.

  • Your proposal may result in additional demand to Council-owned services (such as roading and reserves) and therefore will require the payment of a development contribution (DCN). The full policy on DCN’s can be found on our website. A basic DCN estimate calculator is available online for urban developments. Application for estimates can also be made online. Please see our Development Contributions section for more information.

  • The Resource Management Act sets out timeframes for councils to process the different types of resource consent applications. For more details see the MfE Guidance on timeframes.

    The time it actually takes to process your resource consent application will vary and can take longer than the timeframes indicated if your application is not complete when you submit it to us, or if we need to ask for further information while we are processing your application.

  • The lapse date will be outlined on your resource consent. If it is not, then it will need to be exercised within five years, or else it will lapse. Prior to the lapse date you can apply for an extension of time under Section 125 of the Resource Management Act.


Affected parties and Submissions

  • There is no mandatory requirement to consult with your neighbours but it can be very helpful.

    If there are neighbours who would likely be affected by your proposal to a minor or more than minor degree than it will assist the processing of your resource consent if you obtain their written approval to your proposal and submit these with your application. Please note they need to have both completed the form, and signed a copy of the plans.

    Alternatively you can submit your application and ask the processing planner to advise you on who they consider to be affected.

  • This means they would like you to approve of their proposal. If you elect to provide your written approval, you essentially agree to any effects that the proposal may result in. The Planner processing your application will need to disregard you from their assessment. Before providing your written approval you should understand the full extent of what is proposed and the likely impact on you.

  • If you support a proposal you can indicate that by signing a copy of the plans and completing an affected party approval form (copy available on the Application forms and fees page).

    Please note:

    • There is no compulsion to sign an affected party approval.

    • You may request more information from the applicant.

    • You may choose to discuss the application with our enquiries planner or

    • You may simply refuse to sign the form.

    Please remember that if you do sign an affected party approval form, we will NOT consider any effects on you or your property when we process the resource consent application.

  • If you initially gave written consent to an application, you can change your mind and lodge a submission once the application is publicly notified.

    First you should write a letter to both the Council and the applicant indicating that you want to withdraw your original written consent. Please make sure you identify the application clearly.

    Your submission should be written separately, to avoid confusion.

  • Any member of the public may make a submission to a resource consent application which has been publicly notified.  The period for making submissions lasts for 20 working days from the day it is publicly notified in the The Mountain Scene or Wanaka Sun.

    Submissions should be on a submission form; but if you don't use the form, your submission must address these six points:  

    • your name, email address and contact numbers

    • details of the application about which you are making a submission, including the location and resource consent number (RM number)

    • whether you support or oppose the application

    • your submission, with reasons

    • the decision you want QLDC to make

    • whether you wish to speak in support of your submission

    Before the period for making a submission closes, you must send a copy to:  

    If you lodge a submission after the closing date, or if it is incomplete, it may be contested by the applicant at the hearing.

    Pre-hearing meetings

    Once submissions have closed, a pre-hearing meeting may be organised. That is when the applicant, submitters and staff meet informally to discuss the concerns of submitters, and try, where possible, to resolve any matters.

    These meetings can be beneficial to all parties, enabling a better understanding of the issues. You do not have to attend. An agreement reached at one of these meetings will be reported at any future hearing, but is not necessarily binding.

  • If your neighbour is undertaking a 'deemed permitted boundary activity' that infringes a boundary, they may contact you to obtain written approval as an owner of the property that shares the boundary where the infringement occurs.

    You have the same situation as detailed for affected party approval. However, you cannot withdraw your written approval once it has been received by us when it is for a 'deemed permitted boundary activity'.



  • The subdivision consent alone does not give you new land titles. There are still a number of steps to be completed before you can apply to Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) to have new certificates of title issued.These steps include the issue of the s223 and s224(c) certificates. These sections are referred to in the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA).


Development contributions

  • The Reserve Land contribution is used by Council to purchase land for reserves. The value is either based on a set land value (see pages 209-210 of the current policy) or can be assessed on a current land valuation of your property. This is obtained by Council at the applicants cost from Council’s registered valuer. A copy of this valuation can be requested from the DCN Officer at Queenstown Lakes District Council.

  • Council’s policy on Development Contributions means that all residential developments which include a second separate self-contained living area on the plans submitted for building or resource consent will be assessed as a residential flat.

  • Any new lots or new dwellings on rural zoned sites larger than 4000m2 and less than 10 hectares are classed as country dwellings under the District Plan. Country dwellings have a higher ‘dwelling equivalent’ standard charge for transportation but a lower charge for reserve land. If such a lot or dwelling is connected to Council services, it will be classed as residential.

  • We may allow a remission or postponement in the following circumstances:

    • The applicant can demonstrate that a development creates a significantly different demand on infrastructure than could usually be expected under the relevant land use category.

      Council may accept a contribution to the equivalent value in the form of land vested in Council as reserve should they meet Council requirements.

    • If appropriate the Council may allow reserve assets to vest in Council in lieu of the relevant Development Contribution. To apply for this option the applicant is required to discuss the proposal with the Councils Parks and Reserves team before Resource Consent is granted.

    All applications for postponement or remission should be sent in writing, either by mail or email, to the attention of the DCN Officer at Council.