Fees and Charges from 1 July 2020

Our resource consent charging system is based on the principle of ‘user pays’. This means that if your activity requires a consent then you pay the costs of assessing and monitoring the consent and maintaining records relating to that activity. Our application fees and deposits are set through the Long Term Plan and Annual Plan process. A copy of these documents and our revenue policy can be found here.

We have pulled together a list of FAQs about consent costs, which can be found below.


What's on this page?

Application costs

What to pay - Initial application fees (deposits)

How and when to pay

What contributes to the cost for processing your consent?

Costs for limited and publicly notified applications

​Reducing application costs​

Schedule of fees and charges

We are here to help

Scale of Charges

Review of Consent Conditions

Compliance Monitoring

Performance Monitoring


Non-Compliance, Incidents, and Complaints


Application costs ^

When you apply for your resource consent, you will need to pay any costs involved in assessing and processing your application. These costs will be charged whether your application is granted or declined. Some types of applications have a standard, fixed fee but most applications are charged on an "actual costs" basis. In those cases, we ask for a deposit before we begin processing your resource consent application.

If you pay a deposit, rather than a fixed fee, the deposit will not usually cover the full cost of processing the application, and further costs will be incurred at the rate shown in the Scale of Charges.

It's very likely that we will issue you an invoice at the end of the process for additional costs. These costs will vary depending on the potential environmental impacts of your activity, the quality and completeness of your application and the amount of staff time required to process and assess your consent.

If your application is returned as incomplete then you will be charged for the time taken to consider the application and return it to you.


What to pay - Initial application fees (deposits) ^

The deposit, or fixed fee you need to pay is shown in the table below.

The deposit will not usually cover the full cost of processing the application, and further costs are incurred at the rate shown in the Scale of Charges.

GST is included in all fees and charges.

Publicly Notified Applications Deposits: 3


 First application 5,000.00

Non-notified applications and Limited Notified Applications Deposits: 3


 First application (except those listed below) 1,750.00
 Multiple applications  2,300.00
Variation to conditions - s127 1,750.00
 Administrative variation - s127 1,750.00
Fixed fees  
 Exemptions from water measuring regulations 400.00
 Bores 600.00


Per note 2 below

Payment for Commissioner request - s100A

Per note 4 below


Payment for Commissioner request – s357AB

Per note 4 below

Transfers and Certificates Deposits:


Transfer of permits and consents 200.00
Priority Table 200.00
Section 417 Certificate 500.00
Certificate of Compliance 1,750.00
All other costs As per scale of charges



  1. For additional permits in respect of the same site, activity, applicant, time of application, and closely related effect as the first application.
  2. The deposit payable shall be 90% of the cost of a hearing as calculated by Council in accordance with information contained in the application file and using the scale of charges. The amount payable will be due at least 10 working days before the commencement of the hearing. If the amount is not paid by the due date, then the Council reserves the right under S36(7) of the Resource Management Act to stop processing the application. This may include cancellation of the hearing.

    Should a hearing be cancelled or postponed due to the non-payment of the charge, the applicant will be invoiced for any costs that arise from that cancellation or postponement.

    Following completion of the hearing process, any shortfall in the recovery of hearing costs will be invoiced, or any over recovery will be refunded to the applicant.

  3. Where actual and reasonable costs are less than the deposit paid, a refund will be given.
  4. Where an applicant requests under s100A (for a consent hearing) or under s357AB (for the hearing of an objection) an independent commissioner(s); the applicant will be required to pay any increase in cost of having the commissioner(s). 

    Where a submitter(s) requests under s100A an independent commissioner(s) any increase in cost that is in addition to what the applicant would have paid shall be paid by the submitter. If there is more than one submitter who has made the request, the costs shall be evenly shared.


How and when to pay ^

You need to pay the initial application fee (deposit) when you submit your application. You can pay at any of our offices or online.


What contributes to the cost for processing your consent? ^

We must follow the steps in the RMA when we are processing a consent and each step has costs associated with it. Information about the process can be found here. For ‘standard’ applications that are not notified and do not need a hearing, your costs will relate to:

  • Entering your application into our database.
  • Our time reading and auditing the application to see if it is complete or not.
  • If needed, an audit of the technical information in your application and your assessment of effects. If a technical audit is needed is decided based on the level of risk associated with your application.
  • Deciding if we need further information about your application or not. If this is the case, you will be charged for the time taken to write this letter.
  • Writing reports on if your application about if it needs to be notified or not and if it can be approved or not. Most applications are not notified and are approved, but we still need to make a decision on notification. We use template reports to try and reduce the time taken to complete this step, but all applications are different and must be assessed individually.
  • Writing consent conditions relating to your activity. We have standard conditions we use, but again each application is different, and we need to ensure we put the right conditions on your consent.
  • Making and reviewing a notification and final decision on your application. This decision is made by a qualified decision maker.
  • Issuing the consent to you and then finalising it in our database.

There are other steps that contribute to the costs of processing the consent, which include: communication with you and any consultants working for you; asking you to provide written approvals and site visits when needed.

Please note: as a general rule the more complete an application is the less time is taken by staff in processing, which leads to lower overall costs.


Costs for limited and publicly notified applications ^

If an application is limited or publicly notified, then the costs for processing it will increase as more work is needed. These additional costs can relate to holding a hearing, preparing a hearing report and evidence and costs for a decision maker. In general, we will not pass any legal costs onto you, however if they are a technical expert involved in a hearing then these costs may be passed onto you.

If your application does go to a hearing, we will provide you with an estimate of costs and seek that you pay a further deposit to cover part of these costs (see notes 2 and 4). You will also be invoiced at the end of the process for any other processing costs.


Reducing application costs ^

One of the best ways to reduce application costs is to talk to us as early on as possible about your application and what you are proposing to do. This is called a pre-application meeting, or pre-application review of your application.

Talking to us about your proposal before you start your application is strongly encouraged for all application types. We find that it can sort out any issues before the application comes in and lets you know what type of information we need. We are also happy to visit your site before the application comes in to help understand the proposal.

You can contact us  with any consent questions or request a pre-application discussion on public.enquiries@orc.govt.nz or 0800 474 082. You can find out more about this here.

Other ways you can help reduce the costs involved in processing your application by doing the following:

  • Talking with any person, group or party who may be affected by your proposal. Record their views, and get written approvals from them if possible.
  • Making sure you apply for all the resource consents that your proposal requires.
  • Fully completing all the consent application forms.
  • Including all the required supporting information.
  • If we ask you for any further information, get all of it back to us as soon as you can.
  • There may be submissions against your application. Do as much as you can to resolve the issues.
  • If your proposed activity looks like it might be large and complex, with the potential to widely affect the environment and/or other people, then you should look at getting professional advice from an environmental consultant.


Schedule of fees and charges ^

We set our fees and charges each year during our annual and long term planning processes. The schedule of fees and charges is taken from this year's annual plan, and details this year's fixed application charges, staff charge rates and resource consent holder charges.


We are here to help ^

Pre-application meetings and reviews

If you get in touch with us before you apply for a resource consent we can check you are applying for the right type of consent and that you include enough information to avoid unnecessary delays. These meetings  are great as they can save you time and money later.

We offer different kinds of pre-application services:

  1. You can email or call us at any time with your consent questions and we will provide a response. This is best if you are certain about what you are applying for, or have a more general set of questions.
  2. A short meeting with one of our public enquiries officers. This is where they will sit down and run through your questions. These meetings are free and will last for up to 30 minutes. They will give you a high-level understanding of:
    • Whether your project will need a resource consent
    • What you need to do to get it
    • Which rules are likely to be triggered by your proposal
  3. An in-depth review of your application by a Consents Officer before it is lodged. This will provide you with advice on what is missing from your application. There are two kinds of in-depth pre-application meeting:
    • Standard pre-application meeting to get detailed feedback and notes on your proposal
    • Comprehensive pre-application meeting which is typically needed for large scale projects. If your proposal is complex, you may need multiple meetings before you're ready to apply.

Our time for the above is charged in line with our Scale of Charges.

To set up a pre-application meeting email or call us.

Site Visits

At any time before you lodge your application, if you want to know what rules apply you can ask us to come out and visit you on site. As part of this we will come out on site and have a look at what you are proposing to do. This is a great option for all applications, but is recommended if you are looking at clearing a stream; want advice on what is a waterway or not; are looking to discharge dairy shed effluent to land or are undertaking winter grazing.



Scale of Charges ^

Below is our Scale of Charges which are applied if the consent application requires staff time, travel, consultants, hearing commissioners and/or other administrative costs.

Staff time per hour:


Management 190.00
Team Leader/Principle 170.00
Senior Technical 135.00
Technical 115.00
Field Staff 115.00
Administration 85.00
Disbursements Actual
Additional site notice Actual
Advertisements Actual
Vehicle use per kilometre 0.70
Travel and accommodation Actual
Testing charges Actual 
Consultants Actual 
Commissioners Actual 
Photocopying and printing Actual 

Councillor Hearing fees per hour:

Chairperson 100.00
Member 80.00
Expenses Actual


Review of Consent Conditions ^

Following the granting of a consent, a subsequent review of consent conditions may be carried out at either the request of the consent holder, or, as authorised under Section 128, as a requirement of Council. Costs incurred in undertaking reviews requested by the consent holder will be payable by the consent holder at the rates shown in the Scale of Charges above.

Reviews initiated by Council will not be charged to consent holders.

Compliance Monitoring ^

1.  Performance Monitoring ^

Compliance Fees and Charges brochure.

The following charges will apply to the review of performance monitoring reports for all consent holders, except those listed in section 1.6 below. The charges shown are annual fixed fees per performance monitoring report or plan, and are inclusive of GST.

1.1  Discharge to Air Consent


Measurement of contaminants from a stack report 95.00
Ambient air quality measurement of contaminants report 110.00
Management plans and maintenance records 38.00
Annual assessment report 75.00

1.2  Discharge to Water, Land and Coast


Effluent Systems  
  • Environmental Quality Report
  • Return of flow/discharge records (septic tank consent holders)
  • Installation producer statements (septic tanks)
Active Landfills  
  • Environmental quality report
  • Management plans
Industrial Discharges  
  • Environmental quality report
  • Environmental report
  • Return of flow/discharge records
Annual assessment report 55.00
Management Plans - minor environmental effects 140.00
Management Plans - major environmental effects 280.00
Maintenance records 33.00

1.3  Water Takes


Verification reports 66.00
Annual assessment report 56.00
Manual return of data per take 87.00
Data logger return of data per take sent to ORC 55.00
Telemetry data per take 38.00
Administration fee - water regulations 100.00
Low flow monitoring charge*  
  • Kakanui at McCones
  • Unnamed stream at Gemmells

1.4  Structures


Structural integrity reports 85.00
Inspection reports for small dams 135.00
Inspection reports for large dams 270.00

1.5  General


Provision of photos 65.00


* Charge for monitoring sites established by the ORC specifically to monitor consented activities in relation to river flows.

1.6  Set Fees for Specific Consent Holders ^

Performance monitoring fees will be charged as 75% of actual costs for the following consent holders:

  • Dunedin City Council
  • Central Otago District Council
  • Clutha District Council
  • Queenstown Lakes District Council
  • Waitaki District Council
  • Ravensdown
  • Contact Energy
  • Trustpower
  • Pioneer Generation

Additional charges may be incurred for new consents granted during the year.

2.  Audit ^

Audit work will be charged at the actual cost incurred, with the actual costs being calculated using the Scale of Charges.

3.  Non-Compliance, Incidents, and Complaints ^

Enforcement work on consent conditions, and remedying negative effects – Scale of Charges.

Gravel Inspection and Management

Gravel extraction fee - $0.66 per cubic metre (incl. GST). Where more than 10,000 cubic metres of gravel is extracted within a prior notified continuous two month period, the actual inspection and management costs will be charged, as approved by the Director Corporate Services.

Resource Monitoring

Water or air monitoring work undertaken for external parties - Scale of Charges.

Private Plan Changes

Work undertaken on privately initiated plan changes - Scale of Charges.

Contaminated Site Management

Clean up and remediation works - Scale of Charges.

Back to top
Online Maps & Data: