Fees and timeframes
Getting a building or resource consent often takes longer, costs more, and is more complicated than people expect.
We know from customer feedback that seeking professional help and using our pre-application advice service early in the process can save a lot of time and money in the long run.
If you're planning a project that may require consent, we recommend talking to a planner, surveyor, architect, draughtsperson, engineer, or any other appropriate specialist as early as possible.
Fees and charges
When you apply for a building or resource consent, in most cases you will need to pay at least two types of fees, and in some cases you will need to pay as many as five different types of fees. For example, you may need to pay a deposit, processing fee, inspection fee, final certificate fee, and development contribution.
We charge an initial deposit for all building and resource consent applications. This covers the cost of processing and inspections, and can be estimated based on the figures in our fee schedule. However, some building consent fees are charged as a Fixed fee and are non-refundable.
Building consent, resource consent and LIM fee schedule (PDF 291KB)
Once a decision has been made on your application, if the total cost is more than the deposit, you'll need to pay the balance. If the total cost is less, you'll be given a refund. Fees are payable even if your application is declined or refused, to cover processing charges.
In addition, there are a number of other fees and deposits you may need to pay depending on the nature of your application, including:
- levies, for building projects worth $20,000 or more
- compliance and monitoring charges, for resource consent applications
- development contributions and financial contributions, for infrastructure to support new developments, including subdivisions
- survey and engineering plan fees, for subdivision consents
- interim invoices for larger projects when the processing fees exceed the initial deposit (these occur in stages and are ongoing throughout the duration of the project)
- notification and hearing fees, if your resource consent application needs to be notified and a hearing held
- annual charges, for regional consents (see resource consent annual charges schedule (PDF 1.3MB).
Please note that if you are subdividing, development contribution fees will probably be the most significant part of your costs. You can use our development contribution estimator to calculate a rough estimate of the development contribution fees that will apply to your subdivision.
Keeping costs down
To keep your consent processing costs as low as possible, we recommend:
- talking to us before preparing your application
- seeking professional help where appropriate
- applying for all required consents at the start of the process
- ensuring all forms are completed, including supporting material
- working closely with our inspection and monitoring officers to minimise additional site visits.
For resource consent applications, you can also reduce costs by:
- consulting all affected parties
- obtaining written approvals before lodging your application
- attempting to resolve any objections.
If at any stage you cancel or withdraw your consent application, some fees may still apply.
We aim to process building consent applications and non-notified resource consent applications in 20 working days.
Our free information service or pre-application advice can help you provide us with all the information we need to process your application the first time.
When you initially lodge your building consent, we will check it to ensure you've included the key documentation. If not, it won't be accepted for processing.
Once the application is accepted and processing begins, we may still need to request more information about various aspects of your application. If this happens, the clock stops while we wait for you to supply the information.
For resource consents, we have 10 working days from when you lodge your application to ensure you have supplied the relevant information. If you haven't done so, your application will not be accepted for processing.
After your application is accepted, and the planner has performed a detailed consideration of your application, we may need more information. The clock stops while we wait for you to supply that information. For non-notified consents, we can only do this once.
If we take longer than 20 working days to process a non-notified resource consent, you are entitled to a discount under the RMA. For details, see the information about discount regulations on the Ministry for the Environment website.
For notified resource consents, the process can take a lot longer, particularly if we need to hold a hearing where neighbours or members of the public can have their say. Obtaining written approvals from adversely affected persons can help make sure this part of the process runs smoothly.
For building consents, you have 12 months from the day the consent is granted to begin work. You can apply for an extension of time for a maximum of 12 additional months.
For resource consents, you usually have five years from the day the consent is granted to complete your work. You can apply for an extension of this period if required; applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.