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Planners- what do they do?

When you hear the term Planner, what do you think? Hopefully it doesn’t conjure up images of Jennifer Lopez and Matthew McConaughey in the really cheesy Wedding Planner movie!

At Planning Plus, we’re a team of environmental planners. We’ve studied planning, spent many years being planners and love planning. But… what is a planner? What do we do? And why does someone need a planner?

What is a Planner?

We are Environmental or Resource Management Planners. That means we work on projects that shape the physical, environmental and economic development of urban, rural and coastal areas in New Zealand.

The Resource Management Act (RMA) sets out the framework for how we should manage our environment. The legislative framework of the RMA and its associated rules can be overwhelming. That is where we come in - the specialised help of a planner is increasingly important for projects to achieve win-win outcomes, minimise risk, delays and costs.

What do we do?

Legislation: as planners, we understand the RMA and related legislation including District and Regional Plans. We also have an in depth understanding of local government processes and the requirements for resource consent applications.

At Planning Plus we can help navigate you through all the legislative requirements. At the beginning of the resource consent process, we will assess the suitability of a site for development. We would review the specific plan provisions and rules that would apply to your proposal, give you advice on how to develop the land, reduce your risk and engage any relevant experts required on your behalf.

It is important to do as much research as possible at the beginning of the process to fully understand the suitability of

the project on that specific site. Our knowledge and expertise can help you make an informed decision on the project before issues arise and before you’ve committed a lot of money and time to it.

Resource Consent: if a resource consent is required, we can prepare the application for you, lodge it with Council, and represent you throughout the process. In effect a planner will manage the process for you, making sure a high quality resource consent application is lodged, and professional communications with the Council are undertaken. This saves you time and money, and makes the whole process more stress-free for you!

A resource consent application will need an Assessment of Environmental Effects (AEE). In order to complete an AEE, a comprehensive understanding of the environmental effects of the development is required, as is an assessment against all the relevant legislation. As planners, we can prepare a comprehensive AEE for you in the required format.

Why do you need a Planner?

You need a planner to guide you through the complicated processes involved with development. Whether it’s a new build, creating a business premise or subdivision you need expert advice on how the process works.

Our understanding of the legislation and how the system works, enables the process to run smoothly and positively. We can also advise you if your project is worth pursuing, saving you time and money potentially barking up the wrong tree.

More information?

Do you have a project in mind, but you aren’t sure where to start? Feel free to contact us for some friendly advice on the first steps. You can also check out more blogs on our website or download our free e- guide on the resource consent process.

Disclaimer As with all our blogs, the information detailed here is general in nature and meant as a preliminary guide only. This should not be substituted for your own investigations or use of your own professional’s. Planning Plus is not liable for any errors or omissions.

Hannah Thomson is Director of Planning Plus and has over 17 years of resource management experience working in both local government and the private sector. Hannah has a wide range of experience including commercial, rural, residential and coastal development and subdivision on small to large scales and appearances at both Council and Environment Court as an expert witness for mediation and hearings. Hannah has assisted Councils with policy development and has also assisted private individuals with submissions to Council.

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