Skip to main content

Whenua parakino

Contaminated land

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. They can advise how to do this to ensure any potential health or environmental risks are appropriately managed.

Check if 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.

Hazardous Activities and Industries List (HAIL)

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

The list states activities and industries which typically use or store hazardous substances that could cause contamination if these substances:

  • escaped from safe storage
  • were disposed of on the site
  • were lost to the environment due to their use.

Historical aerial images

Aerial photos may indicate how a property has been used in the past.

You can access aerial imagery through Auckland Council GeoMaps. For help, see features of the GeoMaps toolbar.

You can also find historical aerial photos using the Retrolens website.

Request information about previous land activities

If you identify a potentially contaminating activity on a property, you may want to order one or all of the reports available.

Reports on contaminated land

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?

If you have a query about contamination information on a LIM report or property file you have received, email:  

Site contamination enquiry report

The report contains council-held information on potentially contaminating activities undertaken on or close to the subject site.

This includes any known or potential:

  • Hazardous Activities and Industries List (HAIL) activities that have occurred at the site
  • consents and incidents information, including:
    • pollution incidents, including air discharges, oil or diesel spills
    • bores for groundwater use or monitoring
    • contaminated site, air discharge or industrial trade process consents
    • closed landfills
    • permitted activities (land disturbance notifications).

Unless otherwise requested we provide consents and incidents information for locations up to 200m from the site location.

You should know

Our offices will be closed from noon on 22 December 2023 until 9am on 8 January 2024.
We will begin to process orders received during this period from 8 January 2024.

If you need a report before we close on 22 December 2023, you will need to order it on or before:
  • 7 December 2023 for standard reports
  • 14 December 2023 for urgent reports.

​Order a site contamination enquiry report

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

  • apply under the company name if your request is on behalf of a company
  • state legal descriptions of the physical sites clearly
  • enter your preferred postal address or PO Box, not the physical address of the company
  • enter your full name including your email address under the 'contact person' field.

Cost of the site contamination enquiry report

​Standard processing (10 working days)​$128
​Urgent processing (three working days)​$228

​We will send you an invoice once we've supplied the report.

You should know

There is a limit of five adjacent sites per query. If you require information on more than five adjacent sites, or if the sites in question are in different locations, you will need to lodge these as separate requests.

​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.

 Related topics



Consider stormwater when building stormwater when buildingIf you are doing any sort of development, one of the factors you need to consider is stormwater. Find out what you need to know about stormwater before you begin.aspxStormwater
Subdivision of property of propertyFind out if you can subdivide your property, the types of subdivision and how to check if you can subdivide your property. aspx
Regional resource consents resource consents​Read about the types of activities that require a regional resource consent.​aspxResource consents
Apply for a land use (earthworks) resource consent for a land use (earthworks) resource consentFind out how to apply for a land use resource consent to carry out earthworks, and what you need to supply with your application.aspxBuilding and consents
About earthworks earthworksRead about stability and safety when carrying out earthworks.aspxResource consents
Notify us of earthworks on contaminated land us of earthworks on contaminated landFind out how to let us know if you are planning to dig or disturb contaminated land for any reason.aspxLand-use resource consent