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2. Prepare a consent application to build a retaining wall

Provide a complete consent application

To avoid delays in processing your retaining wall consent application you should:

  • make sure your application is complete (including all plans and technical documents)
  • engage a professional (architect or consultant) to prepare your application.
You plans will need to:
  • indicate sub-soil drain behind the proposed retaining wall
  • show discharge to the drainage outfall via a cesspit.

Building consent applications

  • The project description must be accurate and describe all work involved in the project.
  • Provide evidence of ownership or rights over the property. If you are not the owner, provide authorisation to apply for a consent.
  • All drawings and plans need to have:
    • drawing number and title
    • designer's name
    • address of property
    • date.
  • Drawings need to have an appropriate scale and clarity. Freehand sketches are not accepted. If supported by a producer statement, the plans must also be signed by the design specialist.
  • Design engineers who provided a producer statement – design (PS1) must be registered with council as a producer statement author and must also provide design calculations, specifications and construction details.
  • All producer statement (PS3 and PS4) authors need to be listed in the Producer Statement Agreement form. If you do not know yet who they will be, list the producer statements that will be required. Authors need to supply the producer statements (certificates, etc.) after the work has been completed on site.
  • Construction specifications must be provided in all cases. Where relevant, product certification and manufacturers' specifications must be provided.
  • Where relevant, provide evidence of approval from the asset owner (such as Watercare or Auckland Transport) for water meters, vehicle crossings, work near or under high voltage power lines, and work near or over stormwater and sewer mains. Approval may include documents and / or video evidence.
  • If you apply for an amendment to an existing building consent, the description of building work must accurately summarise changes. Any changes to the plans need to be clearly shown.
  • If the design includes a waiver or modification of the building code, reference the section of the building code in question and why this modification is requested.
  • Use the lodgement checklist to ensure you provided all the relevant information. Incomplete applications will lead to delays. 

Our tip

If your retaining wall is close to a boundary, and you have the written approval from your neighbours, you can apply for a Deemed Permitted Boundary Activity.
This application replaces the need to apply for a resource consent.
You will still need to apply for a building consent, if required.

Resource consent application

  • All plans are drawn at 1:100 or 1:200 scale and show a north point, boundary dimensions and bearings, adjoining legal descriptions, street numbers and metric scale bars, datum point, site contours including spot levels on the relevant boundaries.
  • Provide an assessment of what you want to do against the matters set out in part 2 of the RMA and any relevant provisions of the documents referred to in section 104(1)(b) of the RMA.
  • Complete an assessment of environmental effects (AEE).
  • Provide descriptions of:
    • the activity
    • the site at which the activity will occur
    • any other activities that are part of the proposal to which the application relates
    • any other resource consents required for the proposal to which the application relates.
  • Provide the full name and address of each owner or occupier of the site.
  • Identify who might be interested in or affected by the activity and how they might be affected.