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Charges to Resource Consent Applicants

 

This section provides information on minimum, median and maximum charges to resource consent applicants.

Under the Local Government Act 2002 local authorities must adopt funding and financial policies to provide predictability and certainty about sources and levels of funding. Local authority funding of resource consent processing is predominantly derived from fees and charges to the applicant. Some local authorities may subsidise their fees and costs using other income streams (e.g. rates).

Section 36 of the Resource Management Act allows a local authority to charge for resource consent processing (including receiving and granting resource consents). Such charges must be fixed in accordance with the Local Government Act 2002.

Data limitations

The data reported in relation to charges should be treated carefully as there are a number of limitations associated with its use. These limitations are brought about because:

  • some local authorities estimated charges, usually the median
  • some local authorities provided standard charges rather than the actual amounts that were paid by applicants
  • some local authorities only processed one or two consents of some consent types and information on charges may not be generally representative depending on the complexity of those consents
  • not all local authorities could provide information on charges due to limitations with their systems
  • when an application included multiple consents, some local authorities attributed the whole processing charge to the first consent rather than to the individual consents.

Regional council and unitary authority charges to applicants

Due to the small number of unitary authorities, their information has been combined with that of regional councils for analysis. It is recognised that unitary authorities have functions of both district and regional councils which will see their median, maximum and minimum charges differ. Information on subdivision consent charges is not provided as regional councils do not process subdivision consents and there was a small amount of information provided by unitary authorities.

In 2005/2006, the average median charge of regional council and unitary authority notified consents ranged from $4,166-$10,801. This compares to a range of $3,198-$8,841 in 2003/2004. In 2005/2006, the highest average maximum charge was for discharge consents ($30,226) and in 2003/2004 it was for coastal consents ($23,265).

For limited notification consents in 2005/2006, the average median charge ranged from $1,525-$8,487. This compares to a range of $1,414-$2,126 in 2003/2004. In 2005/2006, the highest average maximum charge was for coastal consents ($9,477) and in 2003/2004 it was for discharge consents ($2,553). Note that the 2003/2004 information does not include coastal consents as there was insufficient data on them to analyse and so the top of the 2003/2004 average median range and the average maximum charge are likely to be low.

For non-notified consents in 2005/2006, the average median charge ranged from $425-$632. This compares to a range of $350-$598 in 2003/2004. In 2005/2006, the highest average maximum charge was for discharge consents ($8,073) and in 2003/2004 it was for also for discharge consents ($6,119).

Table 11: Regional council and unitary authority average charges to applicants for resource consent processing

Consent type

Average minimum charge

Average maximum charge

Average median charge

Number of councils

Land-use

Notified

$1,287

$27,155

$4,166

12

Limited notification

$697

$3,653

$1,525

14

Non-notified

$134

$3,983

$442

14

Water

Notified

$4,334

$23,870

$5,417

14

Limited notification

$1,788

$7,574

$4,363

11

Non-notified

$179

$3,857

$594

15

Coastal

Notified

$6,818

$23,111

$10,801

11

Limited notification

$7,989

$9,477

$8,487

7

Non-notified

$232

$2,042

$425

15

Discharge

Notified

$1,588

$30,226

$4,764

12

Limited notification

$1,160

$7,211

$3,370

14

Non-notified

$157

$8,073

$632

15

Source: RMA survey of local authorities 2005/2006, questions 3.1-3.3.

Territorial authority charges to applicants

In 2005/2006, the average median charge of territorial authority notified consents ranged from $5,641-$6,801. This compares to a range of $4,080-$6,047 in 2003/2004. In 2005/2006, the highest average maximum charge was for land-use consents ($21,862) and in 2003/2004 it was also for land-use consents ($15,220).

For limited notification consents in 2005/2006, the average median charge ranged from $2,598-$3,002. This compares to a range of $1,896-$2,326 in 2003/2004. In 2005/2006, the highest average maximum charge was for land-use consents ($5,827) and in 2003/2004 it was also for land-use consents ($3,850).

For non-notified consents in 2005/2006, the average median charge ranged from $875-$2,757. This compares to a range of $407-$681 in 2003/2004. In 2005/2006, the highest average maximum charge was for subdivision consents ($13,645) and in 2003/2004 it was also for subdivision consents ($5,242).

One territorial authority also processed a small number of coastal consents under delegated authority from the regional council. Due to the small numbers involved there was insufficient data to analyse and this information is not included.

Table 12: Territorial authority average charges to applicants for resource consent processing

Consent type

Average minimum charge

Average maximum charge

Average median charge

Number of councils

Subdivision

Notified

$4,216

$13,333

$6,801

42

Limited notification

$2,665

$5,181

$3,002

44

Non-notified

$303

$13,645

$2,757

67

Land-use

Notified

$3,028

$21,862

$5,641

54

Limited notification

$1,183

$5,827

$2,598

59

Non-notified

$192

$6,431

$875

67

Source: RMA survey of local authorities 2005/2006, questions 3.1-3.3.