The Appeal Process

If an applicant, consent holder or submitter to a resource consent is not satisfied with the decision reach, they may be able to lodge an appeal.

An appeal is a rehearing of the case by the Environment Court. The Environment Court will have regard to the reasons for the Council's decision but will not be bound by them.

How to lodge an appeal

Your notice of appeal should be made on the prescribed form and state:

  • the reasons for the appeal
  • any matters specified by regulations. 

A $55.00 filing fee must accompany your notice of appeal. It is wise to contact a solicitor to act on your behalf when lodging an appeal to the Environment Court.

Within 15 working days of receiving notice of the Council's decision you must:

  • lodge your notice of appeal with the Environment Court
  • serve your notice of appeal on the Otago Regional Council. 

Within five working days of the notice being lodged you must:

  • serve a copy of the notice on the applicant or consent holder and all submitters
  • advise the Registrar of the date each person is served with the notice of appeal (except the Otago Regional Council). 

Within 15 working days of the notice being lodged you must:

  • advise the Registrar of the date you served the notice on the Otago Regional Council. 

The Environment Court will notify you of the time and place for the appeal hearing.


A panel hearing an application for a restricted coastal activity will make a recommendation to the Minister of Conservation, rather than a decision on the application.

This recommendation may be reviewed by the Environment Court. This review is called an inquiry.

If you are the applicant or a submitter and you are unhappy with the panel's recommendation, you may request an inquiry.

The procedure for requesting an inquiry is the same as for lodging an appeal.

The Environment Court will report to the Minister of Conservation who will make the final decision. The Minister may grant or decline an application for a restricted coastal activity.


Who may object?

If you are an applicant you may object to the Otago Regional Council against the Council's or the Council officer's decision on your application, provided your application relates to any of the following sections of the Act:

  • existing uses of land (section 10[2])
  • the exercise of a resource consent while applying for a new consent (section 124[b])
  • the lapse of a consent due to non-exercise for two years or more (section 125)
  • the cancellation of consents (section 126)
  • certificates of compliance (section 139)
  • application for a resource consent (section 88)*
  • application for a change or cancellation of a con-dition (section 127)*
  • review of consent conditions (sections 128 to 132)*. 

* special conditions apply.

You may not object if the Otago Regional Council refuses your application, unless your application was refused by a Council officer exercising delegated authority. You may, however, appeal.

How to lodge an objection

You must give notice in writing to the Otago Regional Council within 15 working days of being notified of the decision. This notice must set out the reasons for the objection.

The Council will consider the objection as soon as practicable. If there is to be a hearing, you will be given at least five working days' notice of the commencement date, time and place.

The objection may bedismissed or upheld in whole or in part. You and every person considered appropriate will be given notice in writing of the decision on the objection and the reasons for it.

You may appeal to the Environment Court against the decision on your objection.

After the decision has been made

If you are dissatisfied with a decision made by or on behalf of the Regional Council, you may be entitled to:

  • lodge an objection with the Otago Regional Council (applicants only)
  • lodge an appeal/inquiry with the Planning Tribunal (submitters and applicants). 

Before doing either of these, make sure that you have legal standing under the Resource Management Act 1991 and that you understand the procedures to be followed.

Failure to follow the correct procedures may result in your appeal being dismissed without giving you the opportunity to present your case.

If you are in doubt about the correct procedures it is recommended that you consult a lawyer.

Contact the Environment Court

P O Box 5027
Telephone: (04) 472-1709

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