Resource Consent Conditions

This note has been updated for 2017 and 2020 amendments but not updated for best practice. 

Sections 108, 127-133A and 220-221 of the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) deal with the inclusion, change, cancellation or review of resource consent conditions. Good resource consent conditions are fundamental to ensuring actual or potential adverse environmental effects of an activity are appropriately avoided, remedied or mitigated. It is critical that resource consent conditions are drafted carefully to ensure:

  • they are within the law
  • compliance with the conditions will result in any adverse effects being limited to the extent anticipated by the decision-maker
  • the consent holder and other parties understand exactly what the requirements are, and
  • if necessary, enforcement can be undertaken.

As a consequence, the drafting of resource consent conditions is extremely important. This guidance note provides information about the drafting of conditions, their implementation, their review, changes to, or cancellations of them.

RLAA17 has limited the scope of resource consent conditions. Conditions can only be imposed on a resource consent if:

  • the applicant agrees to the condition; or
  • the condition is directly connected to an effect of the activity on the environment; or
  • the condition is directly connected to an applicable rule in a plan, NES, or wastewater environmental performance standard; or
  • the condition relates to administrative matters that are essential for the efficient implementation of the relevant resource consent.