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Is saving money actually costing you money?

Land development and building can be expensive, and resource consents are just one part of that. Sometimes it can be tempting to use a non- specialists or a different consultant who may be cheaper, to try and keep costs down. But does this approach actually save you money in the long run? Cheap does not necessarily mean good. Resource consent application are much much more than a tick box exercise. Poor advice can lead to a poor outcome, longer consenting timeframes, higher council costs and higher risk.

The importance of the resource consent document

Your resource consent sets the entire tone for your development- how many buildings, where they will be, what they’ll look like, what the floor plan is, how many new sites, where the access and parking is etc. Its important to get the framework right from the start- balancing the expectations of the planning documents (primarily the Unitary Plan in Auckland) and what you want and need to achieve on the site. Getting input from the right professionals at the right time can also increase your yield, improve the development and create a better outcome. It’s not just a matter of “getting a consent” but you need to have a resource consent that works for you and your site. A resource consent specialists will help you get the documentation right for you.

Resource consent specialists

You wouldn’t ask a plumber to build you a house: while they may get their eventually it will likely take longer, there will be more mistakes while the plumber sorts out what’s needed and how things work, gets the right tools and the right training and learns through mistakes. It will take longer and is likely to cost you more. This is the same situation with a planner and a resource consent application- a planner is your resource consent specialist.

Architects and designers are creative and often artistic, bringing your desires and goals to life. They will draw these in plan format, detailing the site and proposal. They are not however resource consent specialists. Engineers can provide detailed assessments on servicing, earthworks, natural hazards etc. Engineers do not however have detailed knowledge of the planning frameworks.

Planners are resource consent specialists; it is our role to thoroughly understand the planning framework from national documents including National Policy Statements and Environmental Standards, to regional and district plans and how these apply to your site and your development. Planners can outline expectations of the relevant planning documents for your site, development potential and maximisation, provide feedback on site limitations, design improvements, risks and provide expertise on the resource consent process.

Cost savings

Having a detailed understanding of the planning framework provides opportunities for maximising yields, identifying and addressing risks at the outset and minimising Council fees. Knowing what you can really do on your site minimises the potential for costly redesigns later and allows specialists reporting to be focused.

Planners are fluent in the planning “jargon” of the Resource Management Act. This is crucial in providing a through resource consent application and further information responses, including the information Council will be looking for in a way that they require. This reduces backwards and forwards communications with the Council, providing unnecessary information, plans and assessments.

Making thorough resource consnet applications and responses reduces your resource consent processing timeframes which can have a big impact on your holding costs, organising works on site and overall project timeframes.

Council’s also charge for actual time and costs; the better your application is and the more thorough and accurate your further information responses are the faster resource consent processing is and the less your costs will be. To do this, its important to work with a skilled and experienced planner.

Need a specialist?

If you want to improve your development and keep your costs down, get in contact with our resource consent specialists. You can contact us on (09) 427 9966 or


As with all our blogs this information is preliminary in nature only and correct at the time of writing. It is not intended to substitute for your own investigations or obtaining specific advice on your proposal from professionals. Planning Plus LtdTM is not liable in any way for any errors or omissions.

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