The RMA Quality Planning Resource

Section 36A of the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) states that an applicant and a local authority do not have a duty under the RMA to consult any person about resource consent applications. Nevertheless, there are times when it is good practice to consult.

This guidance note:

  • outlines the benefits of consultation for resource consent applicants
  • sets out some established principles of consultation
  • provides guidance on identifying who should be consulted, including specific guidance on why and when consultation with tangata whenua should be carried out
  • provides guidance on how applicants should consult, including specific guidance on consulting with tangata whenua
  • outlines the role of councils in consultation, including how councils should communicate with applicants and any interested, affected, and consulted parties
  • provides guidance on the systems councils should have in place to support the consultation process
  • assists councils in determining whether effective consultation has been undertaken by the applicant.

For more detailed relevant information see also the facilitating consultation with tangata whenua and the consultation for plan development guidance notes.

In this guidance note, the term tangata whenua is used when referring to consultation with Maori groups with mana whenua over particular areas. Unless otherwise specified, this should be read as being inclusive of consultation with any group that represents tangata whenua interests, be they iwi, hapu, whanau, or iwi authorities.

To learn more about resource consent consultation click on the graphics below or download the entire guidance note here pdf


Introduction to consultation         Why should an appicant consult       Who to consult and the role of councils       What should an applicant do

Introduction to
consultation for
resource consents



Why should an applicant


Who to consult and the
role of councils


What should an
applicant do










Consultation before notification     Objections to proposals    Consultation after lodgement   Consulting with tangata whenua 

Consultation before 



Objections to 


Consultation after 


Consulting with 
Tangata whenua










How to consult     Effective forms of communicaton        

How to consult



Effective forms of