Documenting the notification decision

The decision whether or not to publicly or limited notify an application, and the reasons for doing so, must be well documented. This documentation should show that the step-by-step process set out in ss95A – 95G of the RMA has been undertaken in the correct order, and should include all those matters that were considered as part of the decision.

If the process is not properly documented there is a higher risk of a successful judicial review as judicial reviews focus on process.

On judicial review, the Court will scrutinise the material that was before the council at the time of the notification decision to determine whether there was an adequate basis for the decision.

The consideration and decision on each of the notification steps (where relevant) should be clearly recorded for each application. Notification decisions should be kept separate from the substantive decision, even if they are within the same document. However, common matters may be cross-referenced.