Submissions on Consent Applications

What is a submission?

The Resource Management Act 1991 is designed to ensure that there is opportunity for the public to participate  in the management of the environment. 

This means that when someone wants to do something which has an effect on the environment, or directly affects you, there is an opportunity for you to have your say. 

You can do this by making a  submission on a resource consent application. 

A submission is a written statement of support or opposition to an advertised consent application


So why should I make one?

The most effective way for you to influence the Resource Consent process is to make a submission on an application. The Resource Management Act allows any person or organisation to make a submission on any notified application.

If you are considering making a submission then you should find out as much as possible about the proposal and its effects.

It is important that you talk to the applicant about their proposal. Discussing the proposal with the applicant may allay your concerns. Also, talk to organisations or individuals who can provide technical information on the causes and consequences of effects, and possible ways of reducing or avoiding undesirable effects.

West Coast Regional Council staff can provide background information about the proposal and explain the legal context and the resource consent procedures.


Your submission should be concise and clearly state:

  • Your reason for making a submission. 
  • Whether you support or oppose the application.
  • The decision you wish the West Coast Regional Council to reach.
  • Whether you wish to speak at any hearing.
  • The conditions you feel should be imposed if the consent is granted.

The closing date for submissions is always set out in the public notice which advertises the consent application.

After you have sent your submission to the Council you must send a copy to the applicant.

Remember to get your submission in by the due date. Do not leave it to the last minute.

Click here to download the Consent Submission Form (PDF, 9KB)


What should I write in it?

Your submission will be more effective if it is well organised and to the point. Your views should be supported with adequate information and provide a clear, thorough analysis of the issues.

When writing a submission keep these points in mind:
  • Decide which are the most important points you want the Council to consider and concentrate on these.
  • Make your comments as specific as possible.
  • Clearly explain how the proposal will affect you and/or the environment and how effects could be dealt with (please note that only environmental effects will be considered - it is not the role of the Council to consider effects on trade or business activity).
  • If making a request, provide an adequate explanation of why it is needed.
  • Make it clear which part of the proposal your comments refer to - where possible refer to page or paragraph numbers.
  • Make sure your submission relates to the activity applied for, not peripheral activities.
  • Having made your initial submission, if a hearing is required you may need to circulate any detailed evidence you may have to all parties. 

To download a submission form to print and mail to us, refer to the Download Forms page in the Consents section.

Mail to:

West Coast Regional Council
P O Box 66


Then what happens to it?

All submissions are received and carefully considered by the hearing commissioner.

The Council may invite you to attend a pre-hearing meeting or meetings with some or all of the people interested in the application. These meetings can be used to clarify or resolve issues and concerns.

You will be notified if a hearing is required. At the hearing you will again have the opportunity to speak.

At the hearing the Hearing Commissioner(s) will consider the application, all submissions and reports by Council staff. They will then decide whether or not to grant a resource consent and any conditions which may apply to the resource consent.

If you make a submission you will receive a copy of the decision even if you choose not to attend the meeting or speak in support of your submission.


Can I change a decision that has already been made?

If you disagree with the West Coast Regional Council's decision you may make an appeal. This will mean that the application will be reconsidered by the Environment Court. Details on lodging an appeal are sent out to all parties with the letter notifying the Council's decision.

Appeals may be expensive and time consuming with no guarantee of a favourable outcome. If you are considering such an appeal you are strongly advised to seek specialist or legal advice.

Page reviewed: 15 Jul 2014 2:42pm