Direct Referral

This guidance has been updated to include the changes made to the consenting provisions of the RMA as a result of the Resource Legislation Amendment Act 2017 (RLAA17) which came into effect on 18 October 2017. For more information about the amendments refer to the RLAA17 Fact Sheets available from the Ministry's website.


This note provides guidance on the direct referral process to the Environment Court for notified resource consent applications, notices of requirement for designations, and heritage protection orders. The key provisions of the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) which provide for direct referral are sections 87C to 87I for resource consents and sections 198A to 198M for notices of requirement and heritage protection orders; and section 285 which provides for costs. 


Click on the relevant graphic to learn more or download the entire guidance note.    pdf



Types of applications that can be direct referrals               Requesting a direct referral                   Council decisions on a direct referral              Appeals from the Environment court decision
Introduction and
types of applications
that can be directly referred
direct referral 
    Council decision on
a request for direct
referral and objections
to the council decision
  Liaison with the
Environment Court



      Monitoring and enforcement     Court   Costs and cost recovery 
The council report     Can the applicant
decide not to
proceed to the
Environment Court?
    The Environment
Court process
  Monitoring and
enforcement of the
decision and costs



Discount regulations