Requirement to Advise Consent Authority – ss330A and 330B of the RMA

The obligations under sections 330A and 330B of the RMA provide the relevant consent authority with both a monitoring function and an opportunity to check on the effects and appropriateness of an emergency work, should the adverse effects of that work continue. Both sections require that the authorised person who undertook the activity, must:

  • advise the appropriate consent authority within seven calendar days of the date of the emergency action

  • apply in writing to the appropriate consent authority for any required resource consents within 20 working days of notifying the consent authority under s330A(1) or s330B(2), if the activity contravenes sections 9, 12, 13, 14 or 15 of the RMA and the adverse effects of the activity continue.

Emergency works are permitted to continue if the application is made on time, until any hearings and appeals are determined on the consent application .This provision envisages that the environmental effects arising from emergency works may be on-going.

In preparing for the possibility that a resource consent may need to be applied for, it is good practice for the authorised person undertaking emergency works under sections 330 or 330B to:

  • keep full records of what has occurred during any emergency works situation or state of emergency, particularly in relation to effects on the environment, to inform any necessary retrospective resource consent. Those records may include:

  • written documentation

  • photographic and digital imagery

  • sound recordings, etc.

  • have in place a means of predicting, or evaluating and monitoring the effects of the work, to establish whether effects will continue (and thereby whether consent will need to be applied for).

In Harris v Bay of Plenty Regional Council [2008] W072/08, the Court noted that the consent authority's role in considering an application for retrospective consent under s 330A was significantly more limited than for a general consent. It is unlikely that consent would be refused, except in the most extreme situation. The consent authority must consider whether or not the design and installation used is one that is appropriate in the circumstances and what conditions of consent might properly be imposed to ensure that the effects of the activity are adequately remedied, avoided or mitigated.