Notifications and hearings


  1. Consu​lting with affected parties
  2. Notified applicat​ions

​ 2.1 Limited notification
 2.2 Public notification
 2.3 Submis​​sions
 2.4 Hearings
 2.5 Before the hearing
 2.6 At the hearing
 2.7 After the hearing

When we make a decision on a resource consent, we consider:

  • the effects on the environment
  • how the activity will affect other people's use and enjoyment of the environment.  

Most resource consent applications can be processed without the need to notify members of the public. 

​However, sometimes we decide that a proposal is likely to have a broader effect. We then consider whether to:

  • notify those people who may be directly affected (limited notification), or 
  • notify the public generally (public notification).  

On this page you'll find information on: 

  • Consulting with affected parties
  • Notified applications
  • Hearings

Consu​lting with affected parties

​Consulting with people who might be affected by your proposal can help you to:

  • find out whether they will support or oppose your proposal 
  • find out whether you can address any issues they might have 
  • obtain their written approval for your proposal. 

If all the people who are likely to be affected by your proposal give their written approval, we may be able to process your application without public notification. 

Remember, 'consultation' does not mean 'agreement'. Even after consulting, there may still be unresolved issues.

Keep an open mind, be flexible and allow a reasonable timeframe. 

You may be able to change your proposal to meet an affected person's concerns and still achieve your own objectives. 

For large proposals, you may wish to consult more than once as your proposal develops. 

​We recommend consulting with:

  • adjacent landowners/occupiers 
  • tangata whenua (local iwi/hapū authorities) 
  • anyone else affected by your proposal.

 Notified applicat​ions

​If your application is notified, then people are able to make a submission on your application and become involved in the hearing of your application.

For applications that are currently open for submission, see the page ‘current publicly notified consents’.

​Limited notification

If the effects of your proposal are "minor" or "more than minor" and you have not obtained written approval from everyone who is likely to be affected, we may notify those people, unless our district or plan prevent us from doing so, or give us discretion to do so.

​Affected people can make a submission supporting or opposing your application within 20 working days.

Public notification

If we determine that the effects of your proposal are "more than minor", we may decide to publicly notify your application.  A public notice will appear in newspapers.

We will also directly notify adversely affected people and people we are required to notify under the Resource Management Act 1991. 

​Anyone can make a submission supporting or opposing your application within 20 working days.


We encourage applicants and submitters to communicate directly to discuss, identify and address any concerns. If this is not successful, we will hold a public hearing to decide on your application.


Hearings are formal meetings where Councillors or independent hearing commissioners:

  • consider your application
  • listen to any evidence for and against your application
  • listen to any submissions made
  • make a decision on your application. 

Before the hearing

All parties will receive notice of the date, time and venue for the hearing at least 10 working days in advance.

Our planner's report and recommendations will be sent to you and to all submitters who indicated that they wished to speak about their submissions. The report will be circulated fifteen working days before the hearing for notified consents, or five working days before the hearing for non-notified consents.

At the hearing

If your application is the subject of a hearing, you or your representatives present your application and call any experts to provide evidence in support of your application. 

Submitters who indicated they wished to be heard at the hearing have an opportunity to present their submission. They can also call experts or representatives to provide evidence in relation to their submission.

​You then have a right of reply to any issues raised by the submitters. After your reply, the chairperson closes the public part of the hearing.

Any member of the public can attend a hearing; however, the only people who can speak at the hearing are:

  • the hearings commissioners 
  • you and your witnesses 
  • Waitomo District Council staff 
  • submitters and supporting witnesses. 

Speakers cannot raise issues beyond the scope of your application or any submission.

After the hearing

Following the public part of the hearing, the Councillors / hearing commissioners consider all information supplied by you, any submitters, and council staff. This includes all written submissions, even if they were not presented at the hearing. 

The Councillors / hearings commissioners decide whether or not to grant a consent and consider any conditions that may be applied. They generally will close the hearing and deliberate in a closed session.

​Unless the timeframe is extended, we will notify you and everyone involved of the Councillors / hearing commissioners' decision, in writing within 15 working days. The letter will state the reasons for their decision.