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The Planning Phase

Once you have decided what you want to do and where you want to do it you may want to consider employing a Project Manager to ensure smooth running of your project. Their knowledge and skills can help you liaise with contractors, Council and other agencies saving you precious time and potential problems.

Being your own Project Manager

If you have decided that you want to manage the project yourself you will still need help from professionals to meet Council requirements. These often include:

Architect/Designer: They will prepare and develop options for your business that meet council planning, building and infrastructure requirements that are involved with the building consent process

Engineer: Will check your building/s is structurally sound and able to accommodate any planned alterations or intended uses. This can be vital for older brick and masonry buildings. Engineers can also deal with potential water supply, wastewater, storm water and roading issues.

Planner: If you need a resource consent, a planner has the knowledge to provide advice, prepare the application and undertake consultation.

Renovating or Change of Use

Your building may just need upgrades to plumbing or drainage, or you may decide it requires renovating to completely suit your needs or meet standards. Before you start knocking down walls make sure you check with Council that you have all necessary permissions and you may want to seek advice from design and building professionals to ensure a smooth process. If you want to alter a heritage building (as listed in the Rangitikei District Plan) or a modify a property known to have had pre-1990 activity, then you must consult Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Toanga

Planning requirements

Many activities can be done without a resource consent. A resource consent is a legal document that gives you permission to undertake activities or building work that is not automatically permitted under the rules of the Rangitikei District Plan. Your Business Support manager will be able to advise you.

All activities must comply with the rules of each zone (residential, commercial, industrial, rural), as well as the general rules and standards, transportation rules, heritage rules and natural hazards. You will receive the relevant information in your Project Information Package.

There are two categories of resource consents

  • A subdivision consent which is required to legally divide land or buildings for separate ownership, such as new lots or sections (fee simple or boundary adjustment), unit title, cross lease, or company lease. Refer to our subdivision guideline for more information relating to subdivision consents.
  • A land use consent, which may be required for particular activities, or if the activity cannot meet the standards set out in the Plan.

A resource consent may be needed if you want to:

  • Build closer to a boundary or road than normally permitted
  • Provide fewer parking spaces than usually required
  • Exceed the maximum building height for your zone
  • Build close to an identified notable site or waahi tapu
  • Alter a protected heritage building
  • Carry out earthworks that exceed the maximum scale normally permitted
  • Undertake an activity in an Outstanding Natural Feature and Landscape area.

Resource Consent Information

Resource Consent Application Guide - PDF 390 KB

Resource Consent (Land Use) Application – Form 9a PDF - 544KB

Resource Consent (Subdivision) Application – Form 9 - PDF 506 KB

We highly recommend that you talk through your proposal with your Business Support Manager before you fill in an application form.

Environmental Effects and Affected Parties

If you need a resource consent you will need to consider what effects your proposal may have and whether there might be any neighbours who could potentially be affected.

Effects could include, but are not limited to; loud noises created, buildings which neighbours may be able to see from their property, increased numbers of vehicles, any odour created, potential dust which could be created, if lighting may spill over to other properties and any positive effects the activity may create.

If your neighbours are likely to be affected by your proposal it is best to gain their approval otherwise they could object, which is likely make the process longer and more expensive. The approval must be lodged on the appropriate form, with the affected party signing the form, the site plan and your application.

Affected Party Approval

The Ministry of the Environment has published a guide to help with the Assessment of Environment Effects

A guide to preparing a basic assessment of environment effects

An example of basic assessment of environmental effects

Your Business Support manager will be able to help you through this process.

National Environmental Standards

Developments are also required to comply with the National Environmental Standards. The standard that is the most relevant is the National Environmental Standard for Assessing and Managing Contaminants in Soil to Protect Human Health (NES Human Health). This standard is applicable if the piece of land has had or is likely to have had a HAIL (Hazardous Activities and Industries List) activity occurring on it.

Further information can be found

National Environmental Standards

Hazardous Activities and Industries List (HAIL)

Your Business Support manager will be able to help you understand these requirements.

Horizons Regional Council

Horizons Regional Council manages the use of water, and discharges of wastes into air, land and water. You also need to comply with the Horizons Regional Council One Plan. Horizons Regional Council staff will be able to help you identify what activities you will need a resource consent for and which activities are permitted under the One Plan.

Your Business Support manager will be able to help you identify what consents you may need to obtain from Horizons Regional Council.

You may require a resource consent if you plan to:

  • Take, use, dam or divert water
  • Discharge contaminants onto or into the land, air or water
  • Erect, use or disturb structures in the coastal marine area
  • Erect, use or disturb structures in, on, under or over the river or lake beds.
  • Install bores or wells to use groundwater

Phone: 06 9522 800

Phone: 0508 800 800



Building Consent Application

A building consent is a Council’s formal approval that confirms the proposed building work, based on your plans and shown in the documentation you provide, complies with the New Zealand Building Code, the Building Act 2004 and Building Regulations. The consent helps make sure that buildings are safe, hygienic and fit for use. A building consent cannot generally be issued for unauthorized work that has already been completed. You should not start any building work or renovations until a building consent and any other relevant permissions have been granted. Your Business Support Manager will be able to guide you in completing this application, however for comprehensive assistance we suggest the employment of a Project Manager or Planner.

There is a lot of information pertaining to Building Consents, further details can be found on Building Consents and Information

A useful website for Building Consents is

Building Warrant of Fitness (BWoF)

Owners of buildings with specified systems, such as lifts and fire safety systems, need to provide Council with an annual BWoF. It is an owner’s responsibility to make sure their building is safe to use. Every year a BWoF needs to be completed with supporting Certificates of Compliance for each system on the compliance schedule. A compliance schedule is a Council document that lists the buildings safety features and essential services such as fire safety systems and lifts. There are numerous systems that need a compliance schedule. For a comprehensive list go to

Earthquake Strengthening

Since the devastating Christchurch earthquakes the Government has set in place legislation that requires buildings over a certain age be inspected by a qualified structural engineer to assess their potential performance in an earthquake. Building owners undertaking a ‘change of use’, such as from from commercial to residential use, will need to ensure the building meets 100% of the earthquake standard under the Building Code. Renovations may require earthquake strengthening as a part of that work. For helpful information see here. The Government’s Earthquake-prone building Act will also help identify what your responsibilities may be.

Health Act, Food Act and Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act related requirements

Businesses that involve the preparation or sale of food, or the sale or supply of alcohol will normally need to meet specific requirements and usually require specific licenses. Your Business Support Manager will be able to advise you of these requirements. Legislation often requires premises of this type to have specific building layout requirements. An alcohol license cannot be granted until all building work is complete and a code of compliance certificate issued. An alcohol license application must be accompanied by a certificate from the Council confirming that the proposed use of the premises meets the requirements of the Resource Management Act and the Building Code.

Permits & Food Licensing