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
You can view all the changes on the Ministry for the
Environment's website: www.mfe.govt.nz/rma. Below 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
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
- 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
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
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’
To qualify to be a Deemed permitted marginal or temporary activity, the
activity must meet the following criteria outlined under section 87BB of the
- the activity would be a permitted activity except for a marginal or
- 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
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
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