Resource Consent in NZ. Here’s what you need to know.

August 3, 2023
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Designing your own house is an exciting journey, but here at Design @ Our House, we know that it can also be a daunting process full of the unexpected.

Our highly-skilled team of architectural designers and technicians are here to help you design smart and build better, and to guide you through the whole process. This includes submitting your plans to your local council and answering any questions they may have about your proposed build.

We are even able, in most cases, to complete and submit a Resource Consent application on your behalf, making it one less thing you need to stress about.

So what is Resource Consent?

Resource Consent is an application seeking permission from your local council for anything in your house plan designs that might impact the surrounding environment.

Typical residential compliance issues can be things like height planes that exceeds allowable site coverage, a part of your structure that may breach sunlight, or not being able to meet required yard setbacks from the boundary.

To save time, we recommend having a chat with neighbours and any obviously affected persons to keep them in the loop so they are on board should you need their approval.

What is required for Resource Consent Applications?

A resource application requires the following:

  • Drawings including existing and proposed site plans, floor plans and elevations showing the relevant breaches.
  • The required application fee and completed application form relevant to your city council.
  • A certificate of title less than 3 months old.
  • An Assessment of Environmental Effects report.

Different types of Resource Consent Applications

There are different types of resource consent applications that differ depending on the scale of the potential adverse effects on the surrounding environment.

Publicly Notified

If the council considers the potential adverse effects on the environment to be more than minor, or if the district/regional plan or a national environmental standard requires it, the council will publish it’s notice of proposal online or in the local newspaper of the affected area so any member of the public can make a submission on the proposal.

They can be for or against or may just want further information. In most cases publicly notified applications can involve a public hearing.

Limited Notified

In cases where applications do not have to be publicly notified, the local council will assess if there are people who will be adversely affected by the plans in a way that is at least considered ‘minor’. These people are known as ‘affected persons’ and must be notified of the application unless prevented by a rule in a district/regional plan or if a national environmental standard prevents it.

The affected persons will be the only people able to make a submission on limited notified applications.


If the council decides that the adverse effects on the environment are no more than minor and there is no one they consider as affected persons, they may decide not to notify the general public.

The majority resource consent applications will fall under the non-notified category meaning there is no need for a submission process.

How we can help

Here at Design @ Our House we have a team of house plan designers, technicians and mentors passion for everything architectural design and we know an extra thing or two about how things work at a structural level and in most cases, we will be able to create house plan designs that will not trigger a Resource Consent. If this cannot be achieved we always aim to minimise the number of breaches wherever we can.

If you have any questions about your design plans, or to get started on your design journey, get in touch and we will help you bring your vision to life!