Catchment and community groups consent applications

Often community and catchment groups are involved in projects that enhance the environment.

These can include wetland restorations, fencing of water ways, riparian planting or creating walkways for their communities. Parts of these projects may require resource consents from us.


Jump to:

Planning your project 
Find out more about the consents process
Consents fees and charges 
Funding support for processing fees 
Further information on the criteria and how to apply 
ECO Fund 


Planning your project

If you have a project that your community or catchment group is interested in starting, it’s a good idea to speak with a member of the Otago Regional Council's consents team. We can give you advice about which, if any, resource consents might be needed for your project.

You can speak to a member of the consents team in the early stages of planning your project to establish whether any resource consents will be required. The consents team can be contacted by emailing or by phoning 0800 474 082.

Pre-application meetings

Our consents team also offers Pre-application meetings. We will work with you to get a better understanding of what you are planning to do, what consents you may need, and we can also offer more comprehensive guidance for projects that need resource consent; these are called pre-application meetings. Pre-application meetings provide an opportunity for us to help you understand what consents might be needed and for you to chat about your proposal with our team before applying for resource consent.

Processing an application is generally simpler, quicker and less costly if the applicant has already sought our advice on the relevant plan provisions and information requirements before making an application.

To request a pre-application meeting complete a Request for Pre-application Advice form and email to


Consents fees and charges

Want us to come and talk to you?

Sometimes it is easier to discuss you project at the location where you are planning to carry out the works. We can arrange site visits where a member of the consents team will meet with you onsite to discuss your plans.

These site visits are generally free of charge if they are for an environmental enhancement project.

We are also able to come and speak at your community or catchment group events about the rules and regulations which are of interest to you. If you would like us to come and speak to your community or catchment group email



Find out more about the consents process, fees and charges


Funding support for processing fees

Before your project can get off the ground you may need funding for things like consents. We have a fund available to help with the consent fees associated with projects where there is an environmental benefit. This fund applies to consent processing fees alongside the compliance and administration costs associated with the granted consent.  We have a total fund of $50,000 annually for this purpose.

Before you apply for processing fees support you must have a pre-application meeting with a member of our consents team to discuss your application. Funding support for fees is not guaranteed.

To organise a time for this meeting call us on 0800 474 082 or email


Further information on the criteria and how to apply

To qualify, the application for a consent must be lodged by a not-for-profit individual or organisation such as:

  • Catchment groups
  • Community groups
  • Iwi/hapu
  • Incorporated societies
  • Community trusts
  • Resident and ratepayer groups
  • Educational institutes
  • Landowners or individuals

Applicants must be able to demonstrate that their activity will provide an environmental benefit or service.  For example, does it:

  • Support improved water quality
  • Protect the environment
  • Enhance the environment
  • Promote the environment (e.g. does it inform or create an awareness in the community or educate people?)

The project must also be consistent with Otago Regional Council’s priorities as set in the Long-term Plan.

The following costs do not qualify for support:

  • Commercial activities or projects that deliver private commercial gain
  • Work required in response to any actual or potential enforcement action
  • Administrative charges and annual consent monitoring fees associated with a granted consent
  • Costs associated with retrospective consents
  • Any costs incurred by the applicant in the preparation of the application
  • Costs associated with the implementation of the activity for which consent is sought.

In addition, fees support will not be provided for a publicly notified application or costs associated with a hearing for a limited notified application.

Click here to view the full Financial Support for Resource Consent Processing Fees - Environmental Enhancement policy.

The maximum amount of support offered for consent processing fees for a project is $10,000. Costs over and above this amount will need to be covered by the applicant in accordance with our fees and charges schedule. Applicants will have the right to object to these additional fees under section 357B of the Resource Management Act.

Before submitting an application, you must have a pre-application meeting with a member of our consents team. To organise a time for this meeting you can call us on 0800 474 082 or email

Once you have met with a member of our consents team to discuss your application you can fill in this form.

If you don’t have Adobe Acrobat installed on your computer, you can still type your responses in the form once you have downloaded it. To do this, right click on the file and choose the “Open with system viewer” or “Open with” option, then click on your preferred web browser. Make sure you save any changes you make to your form before exiting the browser.

Once you have completed the form, email it to

You will hear the outcome of your application within 10 working days of the application being received. The confirmation letter you receive should be included with your consent application material at the time the consent application is lodged.  

Decisions on applications for funding support will be made by the General Manager Regulatory, who may approve or decline the application. No further consideration of the application will be undertaken following issue of the final decision.


ECO Fund

If you are involved in a community project that protects, enhances or promotes Otago’s environment then you may also be eligible for funding under Otago Regional Council’s ECO Fund.

Note that the ECO Fund will not pay for the fees associated with resource consents, however it may be used for other aspects of your project.

Further information on the ECO Fund can be found below.

In addition to the ECO Fund, other sources of funding which you may be eligible to apply for can be found below.


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