What the costs are

The development and subdivision of land can be an expensive exercise. The costs you will be responsible for will be spread between Council, your consultants and any experts you may be required to engage to provide information on what you are wanting to do. Click on the headings below to find out the costs that are associated with the resource consent process.

Council Fees and Charges

As an applicant you are responsible for meeting all of Councils actual and reasonable costs incurred in processing your application. Generally you will be required to pay a deposit fee upfront and will either be invoiced for additional fees or provided with a refund where the deposit fees are not consumed. The types of Council costs you may be responsible for meeting include:

  • Council Staff Time
  • Public Notification / Limited Notification
  • Peer Reviews of technical reports
  • Council Hearings
  • Ongoing Monitoring Charges
  • Approval Processes (subdivision)
  • Legal Representation

Council Development Contributions

Most Council’s have development contribution fees that apply when you develop or subdivide land. In most cases you will be required to pay these fees before you can uplift a building consent or get final Council approvals for your subdivision. Development contributions are based on complex formulas which work out how much you will be required to pay relevant to what you are proposing to do. They will vary depending on the nature of your development (residential, industrial or commercial) and where your land is located.

These contributions are tied to the Long Term Council Community Plan that all Councils are required to prepare under the Local Government Act. They are supposed to ensure that new development pays its fair share of the costs required to upgrade or create new public infrastructure (roads, water, stormwater, sewage, reserves etc...) that it will use.

The contributions are generally not negotiable, although some Councils will have provisions set out in their policies that allow you to query the amount you are required to pay to a Council hearing. There are no rights of appeal however to any other body in respect of the final decision that is made by Council. 

Council Financial Contributions

Financial contributions are based on rules set out in the District Plan and are normally fixed fees that are imposed as a condition of land use or subdivision consent. These contributions are meant to set a dollar value for mitigating the effects on the environment of what you are proposing to do. For example you may be required to pay money for every car park you are not able to provide on a site, or a roading contribution for each new dwelling you are wanting to build.

Financial contributions are imposed as conditions on resource consent and are subject to the objection and appeal processes set out in the RMA. Contributions are not able to duplicate any development contribution that you may also be required to pay.

Council Consent Conditions

In granting resource consent Councils are able to impose conditions for the purpose of avoiding, remedying or mitigating any adverse effects on the environment that could arise from your proposed land use development or subdivision. These conditions can require you to undertake works such as entranceway formation, service reticulation, road construction (to name a few). You will be required to be responsible for meeting all costs associated with complying with consent conditions. 

Any condition that is imposed is supposed to fairly and reasonably relate to what it is you are proposing to do. As such any condition imposed is subject to the objection and appeal processes set out in the RMA.

Your Consultants

It is highly recommended that you engage Zone as your planning consultant. The costs for doing this work will vary depending on what it is you are wanting to do, the degree of compliance with Council rules, notification requirements, the degree of opposition encountered and whether or not a hearing will be required. 

Zone will provide expert planning representation and will act as a point of contact with Council and other involved parties to ensure that your interests are protected. As part of our scoping report service we will provide an estimate of costs to prepare and submit an application for resource consent on your behalf subject to our standard terms and conditions.

Independent Experts

Depending on what you are proposing to do you may be required to provide information prepared by a variety of experts to support your proposal. These can involve geotechnical reports, acoustic reports, economic assessments, landscaping plans, ecological reports, traffic impact assessments, soil / land use capability assessments and specific engineering design proposals. We have contacts with a number of experts around New Zealand and are able to source cost estimates for any information that may be required.