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Have your say

Making it easier for Aucklanders to collect rainwater

Closed for feedback

About the change to make it easier to collect rainwater

This consultation closed on 23 September 2020. Thank you for having your say.

We received 399 pieces of feedback. These came via our online feedback form and email.

We also held an online information session on 7 September 2020 where members of the public could hear from key industry experts and ask questions before providing feedback.

Key feedback themes

  • The majority of people (99 per cent) supported the idea of making it easier to collect rainwater without a resource consent.
  • People wanted to reduce pressure on the mains water network due to drought, climate change and water restrictions.
  • Some said it was important to consider their neighbours when deciding on the size and placement of a water tank, in areas where properties were closer together.
  • Due to the varying designs and property layouts, people thought fewer rules and restrictions would make it easier and more flexible to install a rainwater tank.
  • Many people felt water tanks were more important than the overall look of a street, whereas others preferred tanks to be placed in less visible areas.

What happens next

The first round of engagement has been completed.

This feedback has been incorporated into the Section 32 report to accompany the proposed Plan Change(s) (Auckland Unitary Plan and Hauraki Gulf Islands District Plan). The proposed plan change will be publicly notified on 9 October 2020.

Following this, there will be 20 working days to make a formal submission.

These submissions will then be summarised and notified to enable further submissions (that support or oppose original submissions).

A hearing report will be prepared and a hearing will be held to enable submitters to speak in person to their submissions.

Finally, a decision notice will be released setting out the final form of the plan changes. Provided no appeals are made to the courts, the Auckland Unitary Plan and the Hauraki Gulf Islands District Plan will then be updated to reflect this final decision.

Depending on the outcome of the public notification, and any subsequent appeals, the proposed Plan Changes will take effect in the first half of 2021.

View a copy of the plans

Auckland Unitary Plan Change PC 54 – Enable Rainwater Tanks in Residential and Rural Zones:

Hauraki Gulf Islands District Plan PM 13 – Enable Rainwater Tanks in Residential and Rural Zones


​Change to the Auckland Unitary Plan

We are currently working to propose a change to the Auckland Unitary Plan that will make it easier for Aucklanders to install a rainwater tank without a resource consent.

Due to changing weather patterns, increasing dry periods and additional stress being put on the water network, we’re looking for ways to encourage Aucklanders to store water and create more water-resilient communities.

Rainwater tanks can be used to collect water from the rooftop to use around the property for external uses (watering garden, washing cars), and with the correct plumbing and filters for indoor use (toilet flushing, laundry, drinking water).

What the changes mean for you

Under the current guidelines, the rules for having a rainwater tank are very restrictive. Any tank which is over one-metre high is defined as a “building” and must follow “development standard” rules, which if infringed, require a resource consent.

The proposed change will reclassify rainwater tanks so they are no longer defined as a “building” and in most cases will no longer require a resource consent.

You should know

This plan change will not affect the requirements for a building consent which may still be required if the property owner plans to connect their tank directly to the household plumbing.

We’re investigating improvements for building consent applications but they are not part of this consultation.

​What we want your feedback on

You can have your say on this proposal and we would also like you to help us set the guidelines for tanks in relation to height and their placement on residential properties.

When you can have your say

You can have your say from Thursday 27 August 2020 to Wednesday 23 September 2020.

Have your say now