Recent RMA Amendments

Earlier this year the Ministry for the Environment made some changes to specific sections of the Resource Management Act (RMA) with the goal to improve time and cost efficiencies. These changes came into effect on 18 October 2017. 

You can view all the changes on the Ministry for the Environment 's website: www.mfe.govt.nz/rmaBelow are some of the biggest changes that will affect Hamilton City Council's customers.

Deemed Permitted Boundary Activities

Prior to 18 October 2017, if you didn't comply with a boundary activity in Council’s District Plan, for example a boundary setback or internal height recession plan (daylight control), you would need to apply for a resource consent.

Now, if you provide Council with written approval from your neighbours confirming they are happy with your non-complying boundary activity, Council can waive the resource consent requirement.

This is called ‘Deemed permitted boundary activities’ and is defined by the Ministry for the Environment as: "boundary activities where the correct information and written approval of the required neighbour(s) is provided".

To qualify to be a Deemed Permitted Boundary Activity, the activity must meet the following criteria outlined under section 87BA of the RMA:

  • the proposal must require resource consent due to the infringement of one or more boundary rules in a district plan
  • the proposal must not infringe any other district plan rules
  • the infringement must not relate to a public boundary (road or reserve boundary)
  • the owners of all properties with an infringed boundary have given their written approval to the proposal, including signing the site plans.  See Written Approval of Affected Persons for Boundary Activities Form.

The neighbours’ letter must include specific details, find out more at www.mfe.govt.nz/rma​.Because Council are still required to review the application and record their decision, there will be a fee for processing (based off our advertised hourly rates).

 PG F25 Permitted Boundary Activity - Application Form

Timeframes

The council has 10 working days to provide this notice. Unlike a resource consent application, the council has no ability to request further information for boundary activity applications under section 92 of the RMA. This means the 10-day ‘statutory clock’ cannot be stopped in this way, although timeframes may be extended under section 37 of the RMA (subject to the criteria set in section 37A).

Deemed Permitted Marginal or Temporary Activities

Before 18 October 2017, any activity that did not comply with a District Plan rule required you to apply for a resource consent. Now, Council can waive the resource consent requirement for ‘marginal or temporary’ rule breaches.

To qualify to be a Deemed permitted marginal or temporary activity, the activity must meet the following criteria outlined under section 87BB of the RMA:

  • the activity would be a permitted activity except for a marginal or temporary non-compliance
  • any adverse environmental effects of the activity are no different in character, intensity or scale than they would be in the absence of the marginal or temporary non-compliance
  • any adverse effects of the activity on a person are less than minor. 

If these criteria are met, Council can provide written notice to the person that their activity is permitted and a resource consent is not required. Because Council are still required to review the application and record their decision, there will be a fee for processing (based off our advertised hourly rates).

 PG F26 Marginal or Temporary Activity - Application Form

Timeframes

Unlike boundary exemptions, there is no time limit for this process. It is intended that this process will be used as a discretionary tool for councils, for example, at the building consent stage when marginal or temporary planning infringements are identified, or when a resource consent application is received and the council determines that the activity meet the requirements of 87BB.

For more information on these and other RMA changes, visit www.mfe.govt.nz/rma
Page reviewed: 26 Oct 2017 8:25am