Decisions on Discharge and Coastal Permits - Sections 105 and 107

Section 105 requires councils to have regard to the following matters when considering a discharge or coastal permit application which will contravene s15 or s15B of the RMA:

  • the nature of the discharge and the sensitivity of the receiving environment to adverse effects; and
  • the applicant's reasons for the proposed choice; and
  • any possible alternative methods of discharge, including discharge into any other receiving environment; and
  • if the application is for a resource consent for a reclamation, the council must also consider whether an esplanade reserve or strip is appropriate.

These matters are in addition to the matters listed in s104(1) which a council must take into consideration before making a determination. It is important that the applicant has addressed these matters fully in their application and discussed the matters with Council prior to lodgement.
Section 107 states that councils shall not grant a discharge or coastal permit allowing the discharge of a contaminant or water if it is likely to give rise to all or any of the following effects in the receiving waters:

  • the production of any conspicuous oil or grease films, scums or foams, or floatable or suspended materials
  • any conspicuous change in the colour or visual clarity
  • any emission of objectionable odour
  • the rendering of fresh water unsuitable for consumption by farm animals
  • any significant adverse effects on aquatic life.

Where a proposal results in the above effects, consent may be granted if a council is satisfied that the proposal is consistent with the purposes of the RMA and:

  • exceptional circumstances exist, or
  • the discharge will be temporary, or
  • the discharge is associated with necessary maintenance work

Conditions can be imposed which require the permit holder to undertake work in stages throughout the term of the permit.