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Appendix 6: 2005/2006 Survey Questionnaire

What's changed in 2005/2006

The wording and structure of some questions has been simplified to clarify meaning. There are also a number of new questions and questions that have now been split.

Changes in the survey are shown by the three indicators below. When you see these in the survey please adjust your RMA survey reports accordingly.

Type of change

Indicator

Wording changes

 

Wording changes.

New question

 

New question.

Previous survey question now split

 

Previous survey question now split.

The review of the 2003/2004 survey highlighted a small number of questions that were either no longer appropriate or the quality of data collected was poor. These questions have been deleted from the 2005/2006 RMA survey questionnaire (please refer to the appendix at the back of the questionnaire for a list of these questions).

General survey approach

When completing the survey please use the following approach:

  • Unless otherwise stated we are only interested in resource consents as defined by section 87 of the RMA.
  • Include resource consents that have been processed to a decision during the 2005/2006 financial year by your local authority.
  • Include resource consent applications lodged before the 2005/2006 financial year if the decisions to grant or decline them were made within the 2005/2006 financial year.
  • If there are multiple resource consents in the one application form, then count the number of resource consents included in that form.
  • Some local authorities may have issued deemed permits between July 2005 and June 2006 for the purposes of this survey please treat these as resource consents.

The survey excludes resource consent applications withdrawn before a decision was made (even if that application involved staff time before it was withdrawn).

Definitions of terms and explanation of the questions are provided at the back to assist with completing the questionnaire.

1. Resource consent processing statistics

Resource consents processed to a decision in 2005/2006

 

Wording changes.

1.1

How many resource consents (as defined in section 87 of the RMA) were processed through to a decision by your local authority in the 2005/2006 financial year?

Changes in resource consent conditions

 

Previous survey question now split.

1.2

How many resource consents processed to a decision by your local authority were changes in resource consent conditions (as defined under section 127 of the RMA) in the 2005/2006 financial year?

 

Previous survey question now split.

1.3

How many resource consents processed to a decision by your local authority were changes in resource consent conditions (as defined under section 128 of the RMA) in the 2005/2006 financial year?

Certificates of compliance

 

Wording changes.

1.4

How many certificates of compliance were processed to a decision by your local authority under section 139 of the RMA in the 2005/2006 financial year?

Resource consents declined

 

1.5

How many resource consents processed to a decision were declined by your local authority in the 2005/2006 financial year?

Type of resource consent

 

1.6

Complete the following table with information about how many of each type of resource consent were processed to a decision by your local authority in the 2005/2006 financial year.

Type of resource consent

Subdivision

Land use

Coastal

Water

Discharge

Total

Number of notified consents processed

         

Automatic calculation

Number of limited notification consents processed

         

Automatic calculation

Number of non-notified consents processed

         

Automatic calculation

Total consents processed

Automatic calculation

Automatic calculation

Automatic calculation

Automatic calculation

Automatic calculation

Automatic calculation

Resource consents by activity status

 

Previous survey question now split.

1.7

Complete the following table with information about the activity status of resource consents that were processed to a decision by your local authority in the 2005/2006 financial year.

Activity status

Controlled

Discretionary

Restricted discretionary

Non-complying

Total

Number of consents processed

       

Calculated automatically

Further information requests

 

Previous survey question now split.

1.8

How many resource consents processed in the 2005/2006 year required written requests for further information under section 92(1) of the RMA?

 

Previous survey question now split.

1.9

How many resource consents processed in the 2005/2006 year required written requests for further information under section 92(2) of the RMA?

Pre-hearing meetings

 

Wording changes.

1.10

How many notified and limited notified resource consents processed in the 2005/2006 financial year was there a pre-hearing meeting held under section 99 of the RMA?

 

1.11

How many pre-hearing meetings resulted in issues being resolved so that a hearing was unnecessary?

Type of resource consent decisions

 

1.12

How many resource consents processed during the 2005/2006 year were decisions made by:

 

1.12.1

Local authority officers (under delegated authority)

 

1.12.2

Independent commissioners (not including councillors or community board members acting as commissioners)

 

1.12.3

Current councillors and/or community boards acting as commissioners

 

1.12.4

Councillor hearings panel/committee

 

1.12.5

Other (e.g. mixed panel of councillors/commissioners)

   

Total (automatically calculated)

Objections and appeals made by the applicant on resource consent decisions

 

Previous survey question now split.

1.13

How many objections under section 357 of the RMA were received by your local authority in relation to a resource consent decision during the 2005/2006 financial year?

 

Previous survey question now split.

1.14

For those objections under section 357 of the RMA in 1.13 above, how many were appealed to the Environment Court under section 358 of the RMA?

Appeals to the Environment Court on resource consent decisions

 

New question.

1.15

How many resource consent decisions made by your local authority in the 2005/2006 financial year were appealed under section 120?

2. Time

Statutory timeframes for notified consents

 

2.1

Complete the following table with the number of notified resource consents (by type) processed to a decision within/outside statutory time limits in the 2005/2006 financial year.

Type

Notified resource consents

Total notified processed

With hearing

Without hearing

Within 70 days

Outside 70 days

Within 50 days

Outside 50 days

Subdivision

       

Automatically calculated

Land use

       

Automatically calculated

Coastal

       

Automatically calculated

Water

       

Automatically calculated

Discharge

       

Automatically calculated

Statutory timeframes for limited notification consents

 

2.2

Complete the following table with the numbers of limited notification resource consents (by type) processed to a decision within/outside statutory time limits in the 2005/2006 financial year.

Type

Limited notification resource consents

Total limited notification processed

With hearing

Without hearing

Within 70 days

Outside 70 days

Within 50 days

Outside 50 days

Subdivision

       

Automatically calculated

Land use

       

Automatically calculated

Coastal

       

Automatically calculated

Water

       

Automatically calculated

Discharge

       

Automatically calculated

Statutory timeframes for non-notified consents

 

2.3

Complete the following table with the numbers of non-notified resource consents (by type) processed to a decision within/outside statutory time limits in the 2005/2006 financial year.

Type

Non-notified resource consents

Total non-notified processed

With hearing

Without hearing

Within 40 days

Outside 40 days

Within 20 days

Outside 20 days

Subdivision

       

Automatically calculated

Land use

       

Automatically calculated

Coastal

       

Automatically calculated

Water

       

Automatically calculated

Discharge

       

Automatically calculated

3. Cost

Notified resource consents

 

3.1

In the 2005/2006 financial year, what was the minimum, median and maximum charges to resource consent applicants for notified resource consents processed in the following resource consent categories?

Consent type

Minimum charge ($)

Median charge ($)

Maximum charge ($)

Subdivision

     

Land use

     

Water

     

Coastal

     

Discharge

     

Limited-notification resource consents

 

3.2

In the 2005/2006 financial year, what was the minimum, median and maximum charges to resource consent applicants for limited-notification resource consents processed in the following resource consent categories?

Consent type

Minimum charge ($)

Median charge ($)

Maximum charge ($)

Subdivision

     

Land use

     

Water

     

Coastal

     

Discharge

     

Non-notified resource consents

 

3.3

In the 2005/2006 financial year, what was the minimum, median and maximum charges to resource consent applicants for non-notified resource consents processed in the following resource consent categories?

Consent type

Minimum charge ($)

Median charge ($)

Maximum charge ($)

Subdivision

     

Land use

     

Water

     

Coastal

     

Discharge

     

4. Monitoring and enforcement

Monitoring and reporting

 

Previous survey question now split.

4.1

Did your local authority monitor or report results of any of the following in 2005/2006?

 

4.1.1

State of the environment (s 35(2)(a)) - Monitor: Yes/No; Report Yes/No

 

4.1.2

Suitability and effectiveness of policies and plans (s 35(2)(b)) - Monitor: Yes/No; Report Yes/No

 

4.1.3

Exercise of delegated or transferred functions and powers (s 35(2)(c)) - Monitor: Yes/No; Report Yes/No

 

4.1.4

Compliance with resource consent conditions (s 35(2)(d)) - Monitor: Yes/No; Report Yes/No

 

4.1.5

Complaints register (s 35(5)(i)) - Monitor: Yes/No; Report Yes/No

Complaints

 

4.2

How many recorded complaints concerning alleged breaches of the RMA (section 35(5)(i)) were received by your local authority during the 2005/2006 financial year for the following:

 

4.2.1

Excessive noise complaints

 

4.2.2

Other complaints

Compliance with consent conditions

 

4.3

How many resource consents required monitoring for compliance with consent conditions in 2005/2006?

 

4.4

How many of the resource consents described in your answer to 4.3 were monitored for consent compliance in 2005/2006?

 

4.5

For those resource consents that were monitored for consent condition compliance in 2005/2006 how many did not comply with their conditions?

 

4.6

How many times were complaints or consent compliance breaches resolved to your local authority's satisfaction through the following formal enforcement and informal actions?

Enforcement action

Complaints

Consent compliance breaches

Total

4.6.1 Enforcement orders

   

Automatically calculated

4.6.2 Abatement notices

   

Automatically calculated

4.6.3 Excessive noise directions

   

Automatically calculated

4.6.4 Prosecutions

   

Automatically calculated

4.6.5 Informal action

   

Automatically calculated

4.6.6 Still in progress

   

Automatically calculated

4.6.7 Infringement notices

   

Automatically calculated

TOTAL

Automatically calculated

Automatically calculated

Grand total automatically calculated

 

4.7

How many of the total number of infringement notices were:

 

4.7.1

Withdrawn

 

4.7.2

Paid

 

4.7.3

Appealed

 

4.7.3

Still in progress

5. Maori participation in Resource Management Act processes

 

New question.

5.1

Does your local authority provide advice or indicate to applicants that their resource consent application may be of interest/concern to iwi/hapu? Yes/No

 

New question.

5.2

If you answered "Yes" to 5.1 above does this generally occur prior or after formal lodgement? Prior/After

 

Wording changes.

5.3

Does your local authority have written criteria or a set policy to determine whether tangata whenua are considered an affected party to resource consent applications? Yes/No

 

New question.

5.4

When a site, species or resource use is of concern to tangata whenua does your council have a policy which requires a cultural impact assessment as part of the resource consent application? Yes/No

 

New question.

5.5

Does your local authority have standard resource consent conditions which cover discovery of significant sites or items to tangata whenua? Yes/No

 

5.6

Did your local authority make a budgetary commitment to tangata whenua participation in resource consent processes during 2005/2006? Yes/No

 

New question.

5.7

If you answered "Yes" to 5.6 above then please indicate what general type of activities this budgetary commitment was spent on.

 

New question.

5.8

Does your local authority involve tangata whenua in resource consent monitoring? Yes/No

 

New question.

5.9

If you answered "Yes" to 5.8 above then please describe tangata whenua involvement in resource consent monitoring.

 

New question.

5.9

Does your local authority have formal or informal Memorandum of Understandings, protocols, joint management agreement or service level agreements with tangata whenua? Formal: Yes/No; Informal: Yes/No

6. Good practice in resource consent processing

Pre-application

 

6.1

For controlled and restricted discretionary activities, do you define for applicants the environmental effects that must be addressed in the resource consent application? Yes/No

Application process

 

6.2

Before commissioning specialist reports do you provide applicants with the opportunity to discuss or dispute the requirements to provide such information/obtain it themselves? Yes/No

Assessments of Environmental Effects (AEEs) and notification

 

6.3

Do staff follow a set structure to check that environmental effects are adequately identified and addressed in AEEs? Yes/No

 

6.4

Are internal guidance notes or checklists available to advise staff when to notify a resource consent application? Yes/No

 

6.5

Are internal guidance notes or checklists available to advise staff how to identify affected parties? Yes/No

Monitoring timeframes

 

6.6

Does your local authority check a resource consent application for completeness (not correctness)within one working day of it arriving at your office? Yes/No

 

6.7

Does your local authority formally receive completed applications for resource consent within one full working day of the application arriving at your office? Yes/No

 

6.8

Does your local authority use s37(1) and/or s37(5A) to extend statutory time limits? Yes/No

 

6.9

If you answered yes to 6.8, how many resource consents processed in the 2005/2006 financial year received extensions using section 37?

 

6.10

Do you monitor whether resource consents are processed within statutory time limits?

  • Not at all
  • Daily
  • Weekly
  • Monthly
  • Other, please specify:
 

6.11

Do you formally monitor and report consent processing performance (e.g. prepare an annual report on consent processing performance that is made available to ratepayers)? Yes/No

Customer satisfaction

 

6.12

Did your local authority run a formal documented consent processing customer satisfaction survey between 1 July 2005 and 30 June 2006? Yes/No

 

6.13

If you answered Yes to question 6.12, indicate the overall level of satisfaction reported by applicants:

  • Very satisfied
  • Satisfied
  • Neutral
  • Dissatisfied
  • Very dissatisfied

7. Plan changes and variations

In relation to First Schedule of the RMA, please answer the following questions.

Plan changes

 

New question.

7.1

How many council initiated changes to operative plans were completed by your local authority in the 2005/2006 financial year?

 

New question.

7.2

How many privately initiated changes to operative plans were completed by your local authority in the 2005/2006 financial year?

 

New question.

7.3

How many council initiated and privately initiated changes to operative plans were declined or withdrawn in the 2005/2006 financial year?

Variations

 

New question.

7.4

How many variations to a proposed plan were completed by your local authority in the 2005/2006 financial year?

 

New question.

7.5

How many variations to a proposed plan were declined or withdrawn in the 2005/2006 financial year?

Definitions and explanations

Section 1: Resource consent processing statistics

1.1A resource consent application is defined as processed to a decision once the local authority has approved or declined an application. It does not include resource consent applications withdrawn before a decision was made (even if that application involved staff time before it was withdrawn). It does include resource consent applications lodged before the 2005/2006 financial year if the decisions to grant or decline them were made within the 2005/2006 financial year.

1.2 This question refers to applications made under section 127.

1.3 This question refers to consent conditions made under section 128.

1.4 When completing this question exclude any objections made under section 92 (requests for further information and under section 139 (certificates of compliance)).

1.5 Use the number of objections from question 1.13 to then work out the number appealed to the environment court for question 1.14.

1.6 Since there is a 15-working day period for filing an appeal, a decision made in 2005/2006 may have been appealed as late as 21 July 2005. Please include in your answer all decisions made in 2005/2006 that were appealed, where the appeal was filed up to 21 July 2006.

1.7 For the purpose of this survey please include any Restricted Coastal Activities under Discretionary Activities.

Section 2: Time

2.1 to 2.3 Resource consent applications are considered to be "within time" if they are processed within:

  • 70 working days for notified and limited-notification consent applications involving a hearing
  • 50 working days for notified and limited-notification consent applications not involving a hearing
  • 40 working days for non-notified consent applications where a hearing was held
  • 20 working days for non-notified consent applications where no hearing was held
  • or within time limits using section 37.

When completing this section exclude resource consent applications withdrawn before a decision was made (even if that application involved staff time before it was withdrawn). When completing this section include:

  • the length of time taken to get to the initial decision - that is, disregard section 357 decisions
  • the processing time clock should be stopped on the date the notice of decision is sent to the applicant and every person that made a submission, NOT the date the decision was made.

Section 3: Cost

3.1 to 3.3 When calculating the charges to the applicant please count the total cost to the applicant as billed by your local authority, including any initial charges and any supplementary charges as a result of hearings, information gathered etc.

Where more than one resource consent has been processed at the same time, and billed together in one invoice, average the total cost over the number of consents issued.

Please ensure your answers are GST exclusive.

We collect information on the median charge to applicants for resource consent processing. The median is the number in the middle of a set of numbers when they are in ascending order. That is, half the numbers have values that are greater than the median, and half have values that are less. If there is an even number of numbers in a set, then the median is the average of the two numbers in the middle.

Note: the median is NOT the same thing as the mean/average.

The easiest way to calculate a median is to use Excel:

  1. Open the Excel spreadsheet where your charges data is stored, or export from the programme where it is stored into a single column in an Excel spreadsheet.
  2. Click on the first empty cell at the bottom of the column containing the charges data.
  3. Click on the = button on the Formula bar. From the drop-down menu, select 'MEDIAN'
  4. Make sure the array (cells containing the data) includes all the cells with the data (e.g. A1:A100)
  5. Click 'OK' to complete the calculation.

Section 4: Monitoring and enforcement

4.1 Monitoring involves capturing a record of what was monitored. A record of the results of monitoring does not by itself constitute a report.

Reporting is defined as making the results of monitoring available in an understandable format for a defined audience. Reporting can range from informal internal council documents through to publicly available published reports.

4.2 Minor issues are often resolved on the spot and not recorded. Complete the questions for recorded issues only. This section refers to complaints about alleged breaches of the RMA (section 35(5)(i)). Do not include information about complaints related to other local authority functions.

4.3 A resource consent is defined as requiring monitoring if it is written in the resource consent conditions that it shall be monitored during the period July 1 2005 to June 30 2006.

Consent compliance breaches are those that were monitored or noted in the first instance through compliance monitoring or by council officers. Enforcement or informal action taken as a result of public complaints that led to unscheduled consent compliance monitoring should be recorded in the complaints column.

Informal action is defined as any action that rectifies the situation without recourse to legal procedures.

Section 5: Maori participation

5.1 and 5.2 Providing advice to applicants can be over the counter or telephone advice or via an email, letter, or pamphlet.

5.2 Please indicate your local authority's standard practice when discussing resource consent applications. If your local authority provides advice both prior and after formal lodgement then please tick both boxes.

5.6This includes the budget for internal staff costs, direct payment to Iwi, and costs of consulting with iwi to facilitate Maori/iwi participation in:

  • Resource consent processes
  • Plan and policy development
  • Consultation
  • Incorporating Maori/iwi/hapu advice into plans and policy statements.

Section 6: Good practice

We are collecting information on the use of what the Ministry for the Environment considers to be key elements of good practice in resource consent processing. Good practice should not be considered prescriptive - rather local authorities should consider the applicability of different elements of good practice to their own unique circumstances. These questions relate to current practice. Please do not restrict your answers to the 2005/2006 financial year. Where your answer to a question is "Most of the time", tick the "yes" box.

6.1 This question refers to more than a photocopy of the Fourth Schedule, for example having checklists.

6.13 The overall level of satisfaction is defined as the overall result of the survey. Surveys will have multiple questions that will be answered by a number of people. An average of the result of the responses to all surveys should be used to determine the overall level of satisfaction.

Good practice note - use of Section 37

The Ministry for the Environment considers it is good practice to use section 37 to extend time limits allowed under the RMA rather than running over time limits without informing the applicant and affected parties. Time limits can be extended for up to twice the time limit stated in the RMA (section 37(5)), or for such period as the Consent Authority thinks fit on the request of, or with the agreement of, the applicant (section 37(5A)). Where section 37 has been used to extend time periods, resource consents should be recorded as having been processed within time, provided the limits set for processing through the use of section 37 have not been exceeded.

Section 7: Plan changes and variations

7.1-7.5 'Completed' means that the plan change or variation was successfully incorporated into the operative or proposed plan, potentially with some modifications. Do not include plan changes or variations under appeal to the Environment Court as these have not been completed yet.

Appendix: Removed questions from previous survey

The questions below are not asked for the 2005/2006 RMA survey of local authorities due to either being no longer appropriate, the quality of data collected was poor due to the complexity of the question or this information is being collected elsewhere.

  1. Provide the median number of working days taken to process resource consents processed during the 2003/04 financial year.
  2. If you have written criteria/set policy to determine whether iwi/hapu are considered an affected party for consent applications? Then do you make such written criteria/set policy available to the public for consent applications?
  3. For how many resource consents processed in 2003/2004 was formal consultation with iwi undertaken?
  4. How many applications affecting statutory acknowledgements did your local authority receive in the 2003/2004 financial year?
  5. Do you use any mechanisms to assist staff to process resource consents within time (e.g. diary reminders)?