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Contaminated land

Whenua parakino

Land can become contaminated through the use, manufacture, storage, disposal or spillage of hazardous substances.

​Risks associated with contaminated land

Health risks depend on the type of contamination, and the amount of exposure a person has to it.

The presence of contaminants at a site does not necessarily mean the land is unsuitable for use. Measures can usually be taken to manage the land and significantly reduce the risk of exposure for users.

If you are planning to dig or disturb contaminated land, for testing or for any other reason, we recommend you seek advice from a contaminated land consultant to establish what measures you will need to implement to ensure any potential health or environmental risks are appropriately managed.

How to find out if your land is potentially contaminated

You can be certain that land is contaminated only by testing it. However, there are several ways we can provide you with information about whether your site could be contaminated.

LIM reports or property files

Both the LIM report and property file contain information about what activities have previously taken place on a property.

For more information on LIM reports, see What is a Land Information Memorandum (LIM)?

For more information on property files, see What is a property file?

Hazardous Activities and Industries List (HAIL)

The Ministry for the Environment has put together a Hazardous Activities and Industries List to help identify sites where the soil may be contaminated.

If you want to enquire about soil contamination or if we have record of HAIL activity at a site, email

You need to include the full site address, and a map to clarify the site's location.

Site contamination enquiry report

The report contains records of pollution incidents or discharges that may have contributed to contamination at a site.

It will also contain reference to any records we have about:

  • bores for groundwater use or monitoring
  • consents for contaminated sites, air discharge or industrial trade processes
  • consents for closed landfills
  • land disturbance notifications and environmental assessment reports.

We apply a 200m radius buffer to the given site location by default.

Large site enquiries

If there is a distance of more than 500m from the centre of your site to its edge (including the 200m buffer), you will have to make a large contaminated site enquiry.

To do this, you must include:

  • a completed Site Contamination Enquiry request form
  • any corresponding legal descriptions or lot numbers (if available)
  • a .mpk shape file of the site.

Large site enquiries must be emailed to

Order a site contamination enquiry report

A site contamination enquiry report is calculated on a time and materials basis. The minimum charge is for 30 minutes.

We will provide you with a quote after you place your order. If a report requires more than two hours of work, we will contact you before going ahead.

Before you order a site contamination report, make sure that:

  • if your request is on behalf of a company, you apply under the company name
  • you state legal description(s) of the physical site(s) clearly
  • you enter your preferred postal address or PO Box, not the physical address of the company
  • you enter your full name-including your email address under the 'contact person' field.

You should know

Our offices will be closed from 12pm(noon) on Tuesday 24 December 2019 to Sunday 5 January 2020.
We will reopen on Monday 6 January 2020.
From Monday 16 December 2019 to Tuesday 24 December 2019, we will only be processing urgent enquiries, and any standard enquiries that have a response date before 24 December 2019.

​How to order a site contamination report

​Cancel a request for reports

If you have requested ongoing reports, you can cancel this request by emailing the Contaminated Sites Team at

Contact us

If you have further enquiries about contaminated sites, email

You can also call us on 09 301 0101 and ask to speak to a contamination specialist in our Resource Consent Team.

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