Growing Places e-newsletter

Here’s the latest information about building consents and resource consents from Waikato District Council.

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In this issue:

Changes you need to know about:

Helpful tips and reminders:

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Team update

Building Consents team:

There have been a couple of changes in the team over the last little while. We’ll be losing Building Review Officer Teresa Paul from the Tuakau office as she moves on to pursue other opportunities. 

We’ve been very fortunate to secure Leanne Beal as the Team Leader for the Building Review Officers. Leanne has a good deal of experience in this area and has already taken up her role.  

The Building Review Officers are now processing all building consents electronically and we encourage you to submit your consents to us in an electronic format. For more information on how to do this please click here or email

The team remains focused on providing quality, professional, timely service to our customers.

Resource Consents team:

In March Peter Henderson was appointed as our new Team Leader for our Land Development Engineers.  He comes to the role after a long association with Council in various engineering roles and has a passion for leading people.

This, however, was tempered with some sadness as we said farewell to Karleen Thomson (Consent Team Leader – West) recently. Karleen has been with Council for many years and will be missed.  We wish her well in her new Senior Planner role at the Hamilton office of BTW. We also have a new Planning and Engineering officer on board to review building consents – her name is Zoe Kamal and she’s based in the Tuakau office.

The team continues to be busy in all areas of work. Our policy team is working on the Proposed Waikato District Plan – expected to be notified this year.  There’s quite a bit of work to do to develop the plan, which influences the way resource consents should be prepared and are assessed.  We have our first article on this subject in this edition.   


Staff Profile: Leanne BealLeanne Beal

Meet our new Building Review Team Leader Leanne Beal. Leanne has returned to Waikato District Council to undertake this role having previously worked in our Building team as a Building Review Officer.

Leanne has extensive experience in the Building industry and Building Control having worked for 15 years in local government both in New Zealand and overseas, as well as with private building consultancies.

Leanne relocated to Hamilton two years ago from Manchester, England and is enjoying the warmer weather, spending time with friends and trips to the beach.

Processing statistics: Dwellings still slightly down on last year

Here are the latest numbers for building and resource consents, as well as LIMs and new lots.


What's happening: Ngaruawahia becomes a Fitness hub

Waikato District’s first fitness trail featuring outdoor gym equipment was officially opened in Ngaruawahia on 5 April.

About 40 people, including Ngaruawahia High School students, turned up to mark the occasion and to be the first to try out the new equipment installed along the Waikato Esplanade, next to the Te Awa cycle-way.

Costing nearly $60,000, the fitness trail has won funding support from the WEL Energy Trust, Waikato District Community Wellbeing Trust, Perry Group Ltd, the Ngaruawahia Community Board, and the Ngaruawahia Lions Club.

The trail is nearly a kilometre long and features six fitness stations with outdoor gym equipment including a bench press, cycle strider, leg press, and sit-up bench.  A warm-up and stretching station serves as the start and finish of the trail.

This fitness trail complements Ngaruawahia’s other fitness attractions; the Te Awa River Ride, the new Perry bridge and the famous Hakarimata stairs.

Process focus: Implications of the Proposed District Plan in regards to processing of Resource Consent applications

Council is intending on publicly notifying a new district plan (Proposed District Plan) in the coming months. Once the Proposed District Plan is publicly notified in accordance with the First Schedule process under the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA), this will have implications for resource consent applications lodged on or after the date of notification.

What this means for applicants/agents preparing a resource consent application?

You or your agent who is preparing a resource consent application will be required to provide an assessment under both the operative district plan (ODP) and the proposed district plan (PDP).

Upon notification of the PDP, objectives and policies have immediate legal effect, however most rules do not.  When assessing a resource consent application, only rules with legal effect under RMA section 86B(3) can be taken into account.  All other proposed rules must be ignored at the time of assessment.  The processing planner must however have regard to the objectives and policies of the PDP under section 104(1)(b).  In terms of the PDP assessment, it will not be possible to complete a full assessment if the rules applicable to the application have no legal effect, therefore in most cases, the assessment under the PDP will stop at the objectives and policies. 

The practical effect of this is that the processing planner is unable to make a recommendation whether to grant or decline a resource consent application under the PDP.  Instead, the recommendation to grant or decline consent will be made solely under the ODP (where a full assessment of all provisions is possible).

Once the proposed rules relevant to an application have legal effect (after decisions have been released), the processing planner must separately assess the application against both the ODP and PDP up to the point of making a recommendation whether to grant or decline consent under each plan.  If the same outcome is produced under both plans (e.g. grant/grant or decline/decline), then no weighting between the plans is required. 

However, if a different outcome is produced under each plan (e.g. a decline under one and a grant under the other), it is necessary to go a step further and undertake a weighting exercise between the two plans.

Will the assessment of the PDP result in additional time / costs?

The assessment of the PDP is likely to result in additional time spent by an agent and the processing planner due to assessing the proposal under two district plans and therefore additional cost to applicants.

Assessing applications while provisions in a proposed plan are changing can be complex, so we are preparing information to help you understand this, and hope to have this available to share with our customers in the coming months, ahead of notification of the plan.  

Changes to be aware of

Development Contributions consultation – appendices and levies 

The Appendices to the DC Policy are now out for review and we want your Feedback! Feedback closes 11 May 2018.

View the draft 2018 Development Contributions Policy and proposed appendices;

The appendices are;

  • Appendix 1 The proposed Levies
  • Appendix 2 The proposed DC Catchment Maps
  • Appendix 3 The proposed Capital Works Schedule
  • Appendix 4 The proposed Community Facilities Capital Works Schedule
Information on how to give feedback can be found by following the above link or on Council’s Website.

Reduced road setback

When resource consents are assessed, Council’s Roading team, as the Roading Authority, is sometimes an affected person. This is common when applying to breach road boundary setbacks as they are the owner of the road asset.

Council’s Roading team has a firm preference that road boundary setbacks (as specified in the District Plan) are complied with as a matter of course and that dispensation should only be granted in exceptional circumstances. Such circumstances include when meeting the rule would be regarded as unusually onerous (such as because of physical topographical constraints) or because the alternative proposal provides a significant improved traffic/ public safety outcome. Any alternative proposal should also not trigger negative effects.  

Our advice – if you’re looking to breach a road boundary setback, please make contact with our Roading team on 0800 492 452 to discuss the proposal before lodging your consent application. Ideally, you should be seeking ‘written approval’ from them. If the Roading team isn’t prepared to provide written approval they may be deemed an affected party to the resource consent.


Vesting stormwater reserves

If you’re proposing to vest a stormwater reserve as part of a subdivision, it’s best to talk with our Waters Department before you get too far into your planning. Before council accepts a stormwater reserve we need to be sure it has a specific stormwater function, rather than just consisting of areas that are unsuitable for building upon. To assist with this we’ve created a guideline which can be obtained by contacted our Waters Team on 0800 492 452.

Changes for you to be aware of

Building within 5m of buried council infrastructure, CCTV and requirements

We’ve put a new form and guideline on our website to help customers when proposing to build with 5m of buried council infrastructure. We’d also like to remind you of the CCTV standards in the NZ Pipe Inspection Manual 2006 and what’s needed to waive the requirement for pre-construction CCTV.

Why is CCTV required?

Pre-construction and post-construction CCTV is required when building within 5m of buried council infrastructure. This is regulated in the Waikato District by the Hamilton City Infrastructure Technical Specifications (ITS). Pre-construction CCTV proves there’s no pre-existing damage to the network, and post-construction CCTV proves there’s no new damage created by the build. If there’s pre-existing damage, we might need to replace the pipe before you build. If there’s new damage following construction, you (the consent holder) will be liable for the cost of repair.  For these reasons, it’s important we get the right information and CCTV at the right times. We’ll need pre-construction CCTV prior to issuing a building consent, and post-construction CCTV prior to issuing CCC.

New form

We’ve created a new form to use when proposing to building within 5m of buried infrastructure. The form helps ensure we get the information we need to make a decision to allow building near pipes. Often there’s a lot of to-ing and fro-ing to get the right information – we’re trying to avoid that and this form helps you through what you need to provide and ensures we can make a decision for you quickly. In some cases, we will simply be confirming compliance with the ITS, in other cases we need to seek approval from our Waters Team (particularly for building over pipes or building closer than 2m to man-holes, as examples).

The form can be filled out online here, or downloaded here.

New Guideline

The form has lots of relevant information from the ITS in regard to building within 5m of buried council infrastructure. We’ve also created a flow diagram as a simple way to explain the requirements.  You can check out the flow diagram here. The relevant section of the ITS is section 5.2.10.

CCTV standards

Please find the required CCTV standards on the Water NZ website (and search for the NZ Pipe Inspection Manual 2006). This is the reference document to be followed to ensure best practice.

CCTV is to be undertaken in accordance with the standard, where adherence to cleaning sections (2.1) is crucial to ensure usable footage is collected. Sub-standard cleaning may mean repeat CCTV work is required to enable Council approval. It is therefore in the best interests of everyone to get it right the first time.

Waiving the requirement for pre-construction CCTV

One of the purposes of pre-construction CCTV is to confirm an accurate location and depth of a pipe. Sometime this is already known (e.g. it is a really recent subdivision), so we may be able to waive the requirement for pre-construction CCTV. But, before we do this, we’ll need written confirmation from the applicant that you take all liability for any new damage to the pipes identified on post-construction CCTV.

Natural Hazards Reminder - risk assessments for subdivision

What this means for applicants/agents preparing a subdivision resource consent application?

Transition period while Council develops risk assessment guidelines:

If you are lodging subdivision applications they should include a risk based assessment of all natural hazards as identified in the new section 106 of the RMA.

We are now expecting to see this information come in at the section 88 stage and your application may be returned to you if you do not provide the required risk based assessment in your application. Thank you to those that have already taken the new requirements on board and are including risk based assessment with applications. Moving forward, until Council has natural hazard risk assessment guidelines in place later in the year, our Land Development Engineering Team will work closely with you and your geotechnical engineer through the section 88 and section 92 processes to obtain this information.

Check out the Ministry for the Environment Fact Sheet 10 for those that are not aware of this requirement with subdivision applications.


Small tweaks to earthworks practice notes for the Waikato section of the District Plan

We’ve made some minor tweaks to the following practices notes:

  • Practice note Importing fill relating to building consent works (Waikato section)
  • Practice note Earthworks relating to building consent works (Waikato section)
  • Practice note Filling in a flood risk area relating to building consent works (Waikato section)

These, and other practice notes, can be found here under planning.

We’ve included a cross reference to emphasise that an earthworks activity needs to comply with all relevant rules and performance standards to be permitted.

Another note has been added that emphasises that although the building exemptions can exempt certain earthworks from district plan conditions for volume, area or depth, the earthworks are still required to comply with Appendix B of the district plan. Appendix B includes restrictions relating to safety and stability among other things. Input from a council land Development Engineer may be needed to determine whether earthworks that are proposed to be done under a building exemption do in fact comply with Appendix B. Further information from the applicant may be required to demonstrate compliance with the requirements of Appendix B.
Swimming pool

Helpful tips and reminders

Each quarter we'll include some tips that we hope will be helpful for you when you are compiling an application or when interacting with us.

The general info we expect to see in resource consent applications for earthworks

For general small scale earthworks applications, there is some information that would normally be expected to accompany a resource consent application. It is acknowledged that no consent is the same and it is case by case and some additional information may be required, however, the list below is intended to assist people with lodging their applications.

  • Description of Proposal - i.e. Volume of earthworks (m3), area of earthworks (m2), maximum cut and fill heights (m).
  • Proposed / Expected Duration of Activity (i.e. Number of Days)
  • Proposed Hours of Operation - e.g. Monday – Friday 8am – 5.30pm except for public holidays
  • Erosion and Sediment Controls - e.g. A silt fence could be proposed to retain sediment onsite in accordance with Waikato Regional Council
  • Location of any cut material being taken off site
  • Number of traffic movements associated with the proposed earthworks
    • Staff vehicles
    • Machinery
    • Truck movements if required to transport surplus cut or import fill to the site
    • Any other traffic movements.
  • Proposed Dust Mitigation Measures - Provisions involving water will be utilised to minimise dust movement in dry weather (e.g. sprinklers, water truck, etc)
  • Proposed site rehabilitation at completion of earthworks - Any re-grassing, landscaping, etc
  • Retaining Walls - Details of any proposed retaining walls.
  • Utilities - Details of any potential impact upon public mains (i.e. sewer).

Building Consent - Online Submission

It’s exciting to see we are now receiving around 67% of our Building Consents electronically, but we’d really love to see more of you submitting online. If you need some help or guidance, please contact us or view our information brochure that clearly explains how to submit your building consent.

Building Consent - Online Submission

In order to help us to streamline the process making things much more customer-friendly, here are a few quick friendly reminders.

  • When submitting a building consent electronically it’s important to remember Not to submit documents with hyperlinks in them.
  • When submitting a Building Consent please use the drop box process rather than email attachments.
Where possible, please send all further information replies at the same time. If 10 pieces of information are requested but only two things are supplied at a time, without a letter, it is much more difficult and takes up more time to process.

Reminder about HAIL reports

If using Council’s HAIL reporting service to meet the requirements of Regulation 6(2)(a) of the National Environment Standard for Assessing and Managing Contaminants in Soil to Protect Human Health (NES), please ensure you apply for this (with the required deposit) to Council’s regulatory administration team (  at least 10 working days before you lodge your resource consent or building consent application.

In regards to resource consent applications, to meet the requirements of RMA section 104 (1)(b)(i), please also ensure an adequate assessment is provided of the NES in your AEE making reference to the conclusion of the HAIL report and also attach the HAIL report to the application.

It’s best to get your HAIL report before applying for building or resource consent. It’s not recommended to apply for a HAIL report at the same time as the resource consent or building consent application as this information is required for processing of these applications.

Advertising signs and real-estate signs

If you are placing a sign please check the District Plan and Bylaw rules first. The District Plan contains rules about placing signs in different zones and, as you would expect, there are different rules in the business zone as opposed to the residential zone for example. Please seek advice from our duty planner service about what the sign rules are for the property you wish to place the sign on. If you are unable to comply with a rule in the district plan then a resource consent will be required prior to placing the sign. Some general rules are:

Signs cannot be placed in a public place (e.g. on the road reserve, public park) without Council approval

If the sign is permitted in the zone it can only be placed on the property where the activity is occurring i.e. the business must be happening on the property, the rules mean that you cannot advertise another business or product from a property where it is not occurring. The only exception to this is the business zone. i.e. shops in the business zone can advertise for other businesses or products.

There are limitations on the size of the sign depending on what zone you are in again please check with the duty planner as to what the restrictions are.

Check out the District Plan, the Waikato Public Places Bylaw and the Franklin Control of Signs Bylaw.



Common Further Information Requests (FIRs) on Building Consent Applications

FIR table October 2018

Common reasons CCC are refused

  1. Lack of the required documentation i.e. Records of Works, Electrical Certificates of Compliance, As laid drainage plans and producer statements etc.
  2. Insulation is not fitted correctly around down lights in the ceiling space
  3. Wet areas not completed i.e. surface finishes, flooring etc.
  4. Incorrect installation of smoke alarms or no smoke alarms fitted at the time of the inspection
  5. Completion of terminal vents and gully traps.

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