Resource Consents

If you would like to speak with a QLDC planning or building control officer in person, please visit the QLDC offices at 74 Shotover Street Queenstown, or 33-35 Reece Crescent Wanaka. Offices are open between 8:30am and 5pm weekdays.



Resource Legislation Amendment Act 2017


As a result of the Resource Legislation Amendment Act 2017 (RLAA 2017), changes to some of the resource consent processes take effect from 18 October 2017.


The main changes are:

  • Introduction of deemed permitted activities for boundary activities or marginal or temporary activities
  • Introduction of fast track 10 day processing for controlled activity land use consents
  • Changes to the notification processes

Guidance documents on the changes provided by the Ministry for the Environment are available here:

If you have any questions with these changes and how they might affect your resource consent application we encourage you to contact our Duty Planner between Monday to Friday on 03 441 0499 Queenstown / 03 443 0024 Wanaka or email


What is a resource consent?

A resource consent is a written approval from the Council to undertake an activity that is not permitted as of right in the District Plan (a permitted activity) or that contravenes a rule, a site standard or a zone standard in the District Plan. The process for granting a resource consent is governed by the Resource Management Act and the district plan.

The following video provides a basic overview of the Resource Consent process.



There are five different types of resource consent:

  • Land use consents - this term applies to most resource consents and includes things like constructing a building, undertaking an activity, running an event, carrying out earthworks, clearance of large areas of vegetation etc. Please note that some land use consents can be dealt with as fast track land use consent. This term applies to applications where they are a controlled activity land use and no other activity. A 10 day processing time applies to a fast track consent.
  • Subdivision consents – subdividing land to create one or more additional lots or Unit Titles or altering a boundary.
  • Water permits - jetty construction and commercial activities like jet boat operating, fishing guiding, kayak hire/guiding.
  • Discharge permits - for discharges into air, water or onto land. (Discharge consents are processed by the Otago Regional Council).
  • Coastal permits (not applicable in the Lakes District).

In addition, as a result of RLAA 2017 there are two types of written notice for deemed permitted activities:

  1. Boundary Activities
    This is where an otherwise permitted building or structure breaches a standard for the bulk and location of the building in relation to boundary. Where the owners of the infringed boundary have provided their written approval no further assessment is required and Council must issue a written notice confirming the boundary activity as deemed permitted.
  2. Temporary or Marginal Activities
    This is where an otherwise permitted activity has a temporary or marginal breach to a standard or rule. The effects must be the same scale, character or intensity as a permitted activity and any adverse effects on persons must be less than minor. Council has discretion to use this process and will consider doing so where the set requirements are clearly met.

When do you need a resource consent?

A resource consent may be required for any proposed activity that relates to the use of land, subdivision, water, soil resources, the coast, air, pollution and noise control.   For example, you may need a resource consent if you plan to:

  • Construct a new building
  • Change the use of a residential or commercial building
  • Undertake earthworks
  • Build a wharf or jetty, or place a mooring
  • Erect a sign
  • Run a large event
  • Take water other than for domestic use
  • Clear significant areas of vegetation
  • Build a bridge over a waterway
  • Discharge waste into water, into the air, or on to land.

If you are unsure, please contact a duty planner on 03 441 0499 or email 

How do I get one?

Please complete the correct application form in full and provide all of the necessary associated information.

View Application Forms Page

Completed applications can now be submitted online. Or send your completed application to QLDC, Private Bag 50072, Queenstown.