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Consent requirements for a rainwater tank

You may not need a resource or building consent depending on a variety of factors.

​Consents you need for a rainwater tank

Where your tank will be placed and whether it will be connected to your internal plumbing or not are key factors to determine if you need building and/or resource consent.

Check now


Building consent

Building consent checks for health and safety, including structural stability and safety of drinking water.

​Rainwater tank use and set-up​Do I need a consent?
​Tank for outdoor use only and sits on ground​No
​Tank is on a supporting structure instead of on the ground​Maybe — building consent requirements depend on tank size in relation to height of support structure
​Rainwater is for indoor use and/or connected to internal plumbing​Yes — you will also need to ensure the installation is carried out by a qualified, registered plumber

Find out more about building consents to add an outdoor water tank.

Resource consent

A resource consent is written approval to carry out a project that has an impact on the environment or could affect other people.

If you plan carefully where your rainwater tank is sited on your property, and you don’t live in a Special Character Overlay area or Historic Heritage Overlay, then you may not need a resource consent.

A resource consent may not be necessary if you:

  • place your tank at least 1m away from the side boundary and 1m away from the rear boundary (6m for Large Lot Zones)
  • place your tank at least 10m away from a stream, 30m away from a lake or 10m away from the coastline
  • avoid placing your tank between the house (building frontage) and the street
  • avoid placing your tank above a retaining wall or on unstable ground or in an area prone to flooding
  • can see the tank from the street, consider screening it with landscaping or fencing
  • ensure your rainwater tank overflow drains to the existing onsite stormwater discharge point.

Properties within the Special Character Overlay area or Historic Heritage Overlay require a resource consent. If you are within either of these overlays, email for advice.

If you do need a resource consent, we have temporarily waived the application fee for most situations and will help you with your application. To have your resource consent fee waived, your application must only be for a rainwater tank and not part of a broader consent package.

The consent fee waiver does not apply to any notified resource consents.

For more information

To learn what consent you need tailored to your situation, complete this pre-assessment form.

​We'll get back to you within 5 working days to let you know whether you need consent.

Rainwater tanks as part of new developments

If you are replacing natural ground with sealed surfaces, in either a new build or the development of an existing property, you may be required to manage the additional stormwater runoff generated.

A rainwater tank is one way to do this.

See the Auckland Design Manual website for more information on stormwater management devices.

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