Resource consent hearings

This page is about the resource consent hearings which take place following a submission.

What is a resource consent hearing?

A resource consent hearing is a public meeting held by the Waimakariri District Council at which applicants and submitters can present evidence in relation to a proposal. The hearing follows certain procedures designed to give all parties a fair opportunity to present facts and to make their views known.

If you make a submission but are unable or do not wish to be present at a hearing, your submission will still be considered by the Hearings Committee.

The Waimakariri District Council's Hearings Committee normally comprises three or more Councillors. In unusual circumstances one specially appointed commissioner may hear the case.

Hearings are conducted with as little formality as possible. You may present your submission personally, through a solicitor or another agent.

Procedures followed in the hearing 

  1. Before the hearing begins the Committee Secretary checks who is attending the hearing
  2. The Chair introduces the Committee Members and welcomes everybody to the hearing
  3. The application, as lodged, is read out and the applicant asked to confirm that it is correctly stated
  4. The Chair confirms that all statutory requirements have been met
  5. Applicants, those presenting submissions, and their respective witnesses are asked to identify themselves
  6. A planning report is presented by a Council planner or consultant planner, followed by any other Council Officers' reports. Committee Members may ask questions
  7. The applicant's case is presented either personally, through a solicitor or agent. Witnesses may be called in support. Committee Members may ask questions
  8. If the applicant wishes to present their case first, before the Planning Officers' reports, they may request that the hearing proceed in this order
  9. People who have made submissions present their cases to the Committee either personally, through a solicitor or agent. Witnesses may be called in support. Committee Members may ask questions
  10. The Chair asks Council officers whether any matters requiring clarification have arisen out of the hearing
  11. The applicant has the right of reply on any matters arising in the hearing, but may not introduce new matters
  12. The Chair may call for any comments or clarification on points raised during the hearing
  13. The Chair closes the hearing of evidence. Wherever possible the Committee will proceed to make its decision
  14. In some cases the Chair may wish to adjourn the hearing to enable the Committee to visit the application site, or to provide more time for deliberation on the application and the evidence. You are usually advised of when the Committee will meet to make its decision and you will be able to attend if you wish.

Decisions

The Hearings Committee has the authority to make a decision on the application. It has up to 15 working days to make its decision. The decision is notified in writing and posted to all parties. Any party has the right to appeal to the Planning Tribunal against the decision within 15 working days of the decision being notified.

Points to note

  • Hearings are normally open to the public including the news media
  • You may present your own submission or statement or be represented by a solicitor or other agent
  • You will not be required to give evidence under oath
  • You should have at least ten copies of a written statement of the points you wish to make. This statement can be read or elaborated on. You may further explain any points raised
  • You may be asked questions by the Hearings Committee. Questioning by any other person will generally not be permitted. Questions may be addressed through the Chair at his or her discretion
  • In presenting your statement you must not introduce subject matter beyond the scope of the application or your submission. You should make reference to the relevant policies in the District Plan and the relevant sections of the Resource Management Act 1991
  • You may need to discuss these issues with Council Planning Staff or an independent planner, before preparing your statement.

Appeals

The applicant and any submitter may appeal the Council's decision to the Planning Tribunal. Any appeals must be lodged, with the appropriate fee, within 15 days of the receipt of the Council's decision to Planning Tribunal, PO Box 5027, Lambton Quay, Wellington.