Rural Dwellings

If you have a site in the Rural Resource Area and want to build a dwelling on it, you’ll need resource consent. This is separate to the building consent.

To apply for resource consent you need to provide us with information on what you’re planning to do. Things that need to be include:

  • A site plan so we know distances from the site boundaries, any buildings, natural features, roads nearby, location of services - including where your water will be coming from, what effluent disposal system will be used, location of phone and power, and where the entrance to the site will be.
  • What the building will look like, include floor plan, building elevations so we can tell what the exterior of the house will look like (including materials and colours), and clearly indicate the height above natural ground level.

An Assessment of Effects on the Environment (AEE) is required to accompany the application.

The rural dwelling resource consent checklist can assist you to make sure you have all the required information.

We encourage you to come and talk to us about your proposal early on. We are happy to go through your plans with you and help identify any issues. The Rural Resource Area rules can be found in Section 4 of the District Plan.

Things we will check are:

  • Distance from your boundary?
    There are minimum distances for boundaries. The minimum distance in most instances is 25 metres from a road, or 20 metres form a state highway or arterial road.
  • What colour is the exterior of the dwelling going to be?
    A colour palette is provided in the District Plan.  Generally colours should blend into the surrounding area.
  • How prominent will the dwelling be in the landscape?
    Council will check if the dwelling is on a skyline or ridgeline and how prominent the building will be in the landscape. We encourage you to choose a site that allows for the most natural screening of your dwelling. We may ask for profile poles to be erected to assess the height and prominence of the dwelling once resource consent is lodged.
  • What services are available, what design will they be?
    You’ll need access to a potable water supply, and have an effluent disposal system. There are specific standards associated with these services. It is helpful to let us know where power and telephone lines will be. These need to be located underground.
  • Where your entranceway will be?
    We particularly want to know if your access is going to add another entrance onto a road. There are standards associated with the creation of entrances to roadways that need to be met.

Other important things to remember are that there are rules relating to:

  • Distances from water races and irrigation pipelines.
  • Distances from water bodies, riparian margins, transmission lines, road intersections, airport protection zones, and sewage treatment facilities.
  • Tree planting, hazard areas, noise, signs, access and parking, significant areas and landscape.

All the rules are in the District Plan. If you are unsure please contact Council planning staff.

You may need written approval from neighbours or other parties like, Heritage New Zealand for heritage buildings or sites that are more than 100 years old.

Download the Rural Dwellings Guidance Notes & Checklist


All applications for resource consent need to have the appropriate deposit before processing your consent can start. Please refer to the fees and charges.

Resource Consents could also be subject to development contributions.

Page reviewed: 15 Feb 2018 2:31pm