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Dunedin City Council – Kaunihera-a-rohe o Otepoti
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Have your say in the consent process

There are two types of notified resource consent applications - those that are publicly notified which allows anyone to lodge a submission in support or opposition to an application, and those that are served on affected parties only allowing only those parties served notice to lodge a submission.

There are two types of notified resource consent applications - those that are publicly notified which allows anyone to lodge a submission in support or opposition to an application, and those that are served on affected parties only allowing only those parties served notice to lodge a submission.

After submissions are received, the Handling Officer writes a report, making a recommendation to the Hearings Committee. The report is sent to the submitters, and then a hearing is held.

Withdrawing your submission

A submission may be withdrawn at any time before a decision has been reached on whether to grant or decline the application. If you stated in your submission that you wish to be heard but later decide against this, you must let the Handling Officer know as soon as possible, by telephoning and following this up in writing or by email as soon as possible afterwards.

  • How to submit

    The Resource Management Act 1991 allows anyone to make a submission on a publicly notified resource consent application. This is the most effective way for you to influence the resource consent process.

    Where to get information

    Before you start writing your submission, you should have as much information as possible about the proposal and how it might affect you.  You can obtain this information from:

    • The consent application and the assessment of environmental effects accompanying it.  This will tell you a lot about the positive and negative effects of the application, and how the applicant plans to reduce the negative effects
    • The applicant, who may be able to tell you what they want to do, how it will affect you, and how they will reduce adverse effects on the environment
    • The relevant sections of the Dunedin City District Plan.  It might help you understand what issues are likely to be relevant and which are not.
    • Your own professional advisers

    How long do you have to submit?

    You have 20 working days after the public notification of the application to prepare your submission and lodge it with us. You are then known as a "submitter" and will be kept informed at each subsequent step of the process.

    If any parts of the application are unclear, contact the Handing Officer, who can explain it to you.  Their name and contact details will appear on the information accompanying the application or on the public notice.

    If the Handling Officer has requested further information about the proposal from the applicant after the application has been publicly notified, this information will be available for public inspection at least 15 days before the hearing.

    We will acknowledge your submission when we receive it.  Submissions can be sent by mail, fax, through the submission form on the website, or delivered by hand.

    To ensure that your submission can be accepted for consideration, make sure you send it before the closing date of the submission period. You must send a copy of your submission to the applicant as soon as you can after sending your submission to us.

    Writing your submission

    All submissions must be in writing, and if you prefer, they may be in Maori. and they must follow the prescribed format:

    • The name of the person applying for resource consent, the proposed activity and location of the resource consent - this is filled out for you on DCC-produced submission forms.
    • Your full name, and your postal address, called "Address for Service"
    • Your phone number, your email address and fax number (if you have them)
    • Whether you support or oppose the application, or are neutral
    • The specific parts of the application you support, are neutral towards, or oppose
    • The reasons for your submission
    • The decision you wish the Dunedin City Council to make, including the general nature of any conditions sought
    • Whether you wish to speak at any hearing.  While speaking at a hearing can help reinforce and expand upon what you said in your submission, your submission is just as valid if you choose not to speak.
    • Whether you would consider presenting a joint case with others who have made similar submissions at a hearing.
    • You must sign and date your submission.

    Tips for writing a good submission

    A clear and well-written submission is far more effective than an unstructured and emotional one.  Facts supported by evidence and relating to resource management matters will be considered by the Hearings Committee (or a Commissioner) when making decisions.

    • Think carefully about the effect the activity needing resource consent has on you.  Do you think the AEE's description of the effects is full and accurate? Do you believe that the scale of the likely effects is acceptable? Consider whether the benefits of the proposal outweigh your concerns about adverse effects.
    • Focus on the environmental effects - the RMA 1991 is concerned with managing and protecting the environment.
    • Stick to the current application - don't get distracted by personal issues or past disputes.
    • Be specific about your concerns and how you want them addressed
    • Tell us what you want - don't leave us to guess
    • Write in clear, simple, everyday language

    What happens next?

    After the period for submissions has closed, all submissions will be carefully considered by the Handling Officer, who will make a recommendation to the Consent Hearings Committee or Independent Commissioner. The recommendation is included in a report, which is sent out to everyone who made a submission. The Council doesn't have to accept the recommendations made by the Handling Officer, but it does use them as a framework for their decision.

    You may speak in support of your submission in Maori.  If you intend to do so, please give advance notice to the Handling Officer so that the necessary arrangements can be made.

  • Hearing process

    A hearing is a public meeting where you and any people affected by your proposal have an opportunity to state their case to a neutral Committee.

    The Committee will make a decision after considering all the relevant issues raised at the hearing. The decision is legally binding and can be legally challenged. A challenge may come from you or a submitter.

    The Committee has a duty to ensure that hearings are conducted fairly so that all parties are heard, regardless of the final decision.

    Why are hearings held?

    Most resource consent applications are processed on a non-notified basis. That means we make the decision under delegated authority without participation from the general public.

    However, when the adverse effects on the environment might be significant or affected parties have chosen not to give written approval, your application will be publicly notified. A hearing will be held to allow a Council Committee or Council-appointed independent commissioner to decide whether or not resource consent should be granted.

    Who will be involved in the hearing?

    The Consent Hearings Committee is made up of five City Councillors, who will form a panel of three to hear an application, one of whom is the Chairperson or Deputy Chairperson of the Committee. If your application involves a site within a Community Board area, a representative of that Board will be included on the panel.

    The panel is supported by the following council staff:

    • A senior member of the City Planning staff providing advice about planning and procedure
    • The planner who assessed the application and prepared the recommending report
    • A Governance Support Officer who will provide administrative support and take minutes.

    You may decide to present your own evidence to the Committee. However, for complex or contentious applications, it may be best to involve a resource consent management professional such as a planner, surveyor or lawyer, and if necessary, an expert in any specific field.

    When will the hearing happen?

    Once your application is notified, submissions can be lodged for 20 working days. If a hearing is required, it is generally held within 25 working days of the close of submissions.

    You and any submitters will get at least 10 days notice of the date, time and location of the hearing. You and the submitters can attend the hearing whether or not you wish to speak to the Committee. Hearings can be expensive, so it is essential that those wishing to speak are well prepared and focused on the issues.

    The planner handling your application prepares a report to the Committee that will include a recommendation on whether your application should be granted or declined, and, if it is to be granted, what conditions might be attached. You and the submitters will receive a copy of the report at least 5 working days before the hearing.

    Anyone who wants to be heard will have the chance to comment on the report at the hearing.

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