RLAA17 introduced a new fast track process for resource consent applications that are district land use activities with a controlled activity status (other than subdivision of land), where electronic address for service has been provided. The council has 10 working days to process the resource consent application, instead of the standard 20 working days, which includes making the notification decision.
Determining whether a fast track consent should be Publicly Notified
It is important to note that RLAA17 amended the notification provisions by introducing a step-by-step process for determining notification. The step-by-step process is described further below. The steps for determining whether to publicly notify are mandatory – so the consent authority must follow the steps set out in s95A, in the order given (s95A(1)).
As described further below in the step-by-step process, unless there is a mandatory requirement for public notification under s95A(3) or there are special circumstances that exist to warrant the public notification of the application (under s95A(9)), an application for a controlled activity is specifically precluded from public notification (s95A(5)(b)(i)).
If it is determined that the application should be publicly notified, the application ceases to be processed as a fast track application (s87AAC(2)(a)), and the standard public notification process and timeframe applies.
Determining whether a fast track consent should be Limited Notified
If it has been determined that the fast track consent application does not need to be publicly notified, the council then needs to determine whether it needs to be limited notified. Again it is a requirement of the Act that the consent authority must follow the steps described in s95B, and must do so in the order given (s95B(1)).
The step-by-step process for limited notification is set out further below, but limited notification under Step 1 is required if there are affected protected customary rights groups, affected customary marine title groups, or affected persons with a statutory acknowledgement (s95B(2)-(4)).
If those circumstances don’t apply, there is a general preclusion on controlled district land use activities (excluding subdivision of land) being limited notified, as set out under Step 2 (s95B(5)(a) and (6)(b)(i)). However, limited notification may still be required under Step 4 if the special circumstances test is met.
If it is determined that there are persons that need to be limited notified (mandatory requirement or because special circumstances exist), the application ceases to be processed as a fast track application, and the standard limited notification process and timeframe applies.