Following lodgement of an application, councils should examine the consultation that has been undertaken and described in the assessment of environment effects (AEE). This should include checking:
- who was consulted, how, and over what time-frame
- the issues that were raised, and how the applicant has addressed the issues in the application
- whether the matters relevant to tangata whenua contained in ss6, 7 and 8 of the RMA have been adequately addressed in the AEE.
Where it is considered that consultation is not adequate, council should either encourage the applicant to undertake consultation, or undertake consultation itself. This may involve contacting neighbours or affected parties directly, explaining the proposal and procedural matters. It may also involve contacting the relevant tangata whenua group and asking them to prepare a cultural impact assessment.