Fees and Charges Policy changes

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Update 14 September 2020

Thanks to all those who made a submission on the proposed changes to the Fees and Charges Policy. At the deliberation and decision-making meeting on 21 August 2020, the Hearing Panel decided to increase the charge-out rates for resource consent applications as soon as practical. The increase will be implemented from 21 September 2020, see the revised Fees and Charges Policy 2020.

Considering these submissions, the Hearing Panel has requested that staff review the effectiveness and efficiency of the resource consent application process, invoicing and transparency, and implement improvements. Both the above review and a review of the Fees and Charges Policy will form part of Council’s Long-Term Plan 2021-2031.

Update 4 August 2020

Submissions have now closed and are under review. For those who indicated they would like to speak to their submission, hearings will be held on 13 August.


Update 14 September 2020

Thanks to all those who made a submission on the proposed changes to the Fees and Charges Policy. At the deliberation and decision-making meeting on 21 August 2020, the Hearing Panel decided to increase the charge-out rates for resource consent applications as soon as practical. The increase will be implemented from 21 September 2020, see the revised Fees and Charges Policy 2020.

Considering these submissions, the Hearing Panel has requested that staff review the effectiveness and efficiency of the resource consent application process, invoicing and transparency, and implement improvements. Both the above review and a review of the Fees and Charges Policy will form part of Council’s Long-Term Plan 2021-2031.

Update 4 August 2020

Submissions have now closed and are under review. For those who indicated they would like to speak to their submission, hearings will be held on 13 August.


  • Submissions on proposed changes

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    Below are all submissions on the proposed changes to the Fees and Charges Policy:

    1. Ross Williamson
    2. Toby Heale
    3. Thomas Gardner
    4. Wayne Thomas
    5. Andrew Mclean
    6. Ad Hendriks
    7. Submitter 7
    8. Jane Demeter
    9. David Richard Shaw
    10. Olivia Graham
    11. Thomas Gardner
    12. Submitter 12
    13. Erin Harvie
    14. Dagmar Fikken
    15. Stephen Grant
    16. G & E Small
    17. Brent Schmack
    18. Des Winter
    19. C & AM Allen
    20. Kim Neal
    21. A & N Chalmers
    22. Mid Canterbury Irrigators
    23. Royal Forest & Bird Protection Society NZ
    24. Ashburton District Council
    25. Federated Farmers of New Zealand
  • Proposed changes

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    Proposed changes to charge-out rates

    We are proposing changes to our Fees and Charges Policy to enable us to recover the full costs for the processing of resource consent applications from applicants.

    The proposed changes will increase hourly charge-out rates for Consents Planners and Senior Consents Planners. This increase will cover the systems, overheads, equipment and staff costs for the time taken to assess and process consent applications.

    Who will be affected?

    The changes will affect any individuals or organisations applying for resource consents to use or take water, land or coastal resources, or allow the discharge of water or wastes into air, water or on to land.

    Why change is needed

    While we have kept costs for resource consent applications to a minimum for several years, we have now reached the point where the charges for processing are not fully covering the costs and the deficit is being supported by ratepayers. Over the last few months the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the economic landscape and our Council have been carefully reviewing rates for 2020/21.

    The changes we propose would ensure the costs for resource consent applications are met by those who initiate or benefit from the activity. This ‘user-pays’ approach is consistent with our Revenue and Financing Policy.

  • Options to recover costs

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    25 Jun 2020

    To address the under-recovery of costs from consent applications we are proposing two options:

    Option 1. Keep charge-out rates for consent applications the same and make up the shortfall from general rates reserve.

    Option 2. Increase charge-out rates for consent applications as soon as practical.

    Option 1 is not consistent with our Revenue and Financing Policy, where the costs for this type of work should be met by the individual or company that benefits. Option 1 would also mean that the shortfall would continue to be met from general rates and this may impact our ability to deliver other work programmes.

    We prefer option 2, to increase charge-out rates as soon as practical, as this is consistent with our Revenue and Financing Policy (that is, the user-pays model) and reduces cost to general ratepayers.


    Why change is needed

    Our hourly charge-out rates have not increased since 2009/10 financial year, and so have not kept pace with increasing costs such as inflation.

    The changes we propose would ensure the full costs for resource consent applications are borne by those who initiate or benefit from the activity i.e, user-pays, and this is consistent with our Revenue and Financing Policy.

  • Example charges for consent applications

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    29 Jun 2020
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    The changes we propose to the Fees and Charges Policy will allow for full recovery of actual and reasonable costs for resource consent applications.

    The changes proposed are an increase in hourly charge-out rates for Consents Planners and Senior Consents Planners, of $31.75 and $29.00 respectively, see Table 1.

    These charge-out rates cover the systems, overheads, equipment and salaries for the planners for the time taken to assess and process the individual consent application.

    Table 2 shows three sample consent applications with current costs and proposed costs.

    Note: examples have been calculated showing the increase for a Consents Planner only and will vary for Senior Consents Planner hourly rates or a combination of officers.

    We recommend that all consent applicants seek pre-application advice to keep application costs to a minimum. The first hour of pre-application advice is free.