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Consent requirements for a rainwater tank

In many cases, you can install a simple rainwater tank on your property without having to apply for a building or resource consent.

​Factors that affect consent

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.

Use our consent checker tool to find out if you need a consent for your rainwater tank.

The tool does not apply to:

  • commercial or business use
  • stormwater detention tanks
  • underground tanks.


This consent tool is currently unavailable due to maintenance work. It will be available again in mid-2023, or in the meantime you can view our rainwater tank standards document (PDF 596KB).

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 a rainwater 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.

Recent changes to the Auckland Unitary Plan and Hauraki Gulf Islands District Plan made it simpler to install a rainwater tank in residential areas.

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

In most residential zones, you may not need a resource consent if:

  • your tank is placed at least 10m away from a stream, 30m away from a lake or 10m away from the coastline
  • the tank is not placed between the front of the building and the street
  • your tank is not higher than 3m if placed in a side or rear yard
  • your tank is installed completely below ground level when sited in a designated ‘outdoor living space’ area
  • your tank is no higher than 1m when sited in a required ‘outlook’ area
  • your tank overflow drains to the existing onsite stormwater discharge point (where the stormwater ran before your rainwater tank was connected)
  • your tank overflow does not flow across an effluent dispersal area.

Properties within the Historic Heritage Overlay require a resource consent for a rainwater tank. Email the Heritage team at for more information.

Planning requirements for your zone or overlay

The zone or overlay you are in will determine where you can position a rainwater tank without needing a resource consent.

Find out more about requirements for the zone or overlay you live in.

For more information

We can advise you whether you need consent(s) tailored to your particular situation.

Email the Streamline Resource Consent team at  for any queries.

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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