22 May 2018
RMA fees and charges review
The Gore District Council is proposing extensive changes to its resource management fees and charges that will provide consistency and transparency around costs for applicants.
Most of the proposed changes relate to the deposit amount applicants will be required to pay for Resource Management Act activities.
Regulatory and Planning General Manager Ian Davidson-Watts said there would be no changes to the total cost for applicants.
“The revised deposit fees are a truer reflection of the total costs a person can reasonably expect to incur. In the past we have calculated the deposit on the basis of average costs.”
The Council is also proposing new charges that are more explicit. Previously, many of the processes where the Council was able to recover costs were not recognised or provided for in the schedule of fees and charges.
“This provides transparency and follows best practice, in addition applicants can realistically plan or estimate a budget associated with the anticipated processing costs.”
New charges of particular note include bylaw dispensation, hearing deposits and invidious complaints.
“Bylaw dispensations, for example, can take considerable staff time to process, yet we have not been charging specific fees for this work, nor accurately recording time and costs incurred,” Dr Davidson-Watts said.
Principal planner consultant Keith Hovell said the comprehensive review included a comparison of fees and deposits charged by neighbouring local authorities.
“There is no consistency across the councils, however, it’s important to remember these are not fixed charges. They are more a better reflection of the likely cost of a certain consent or part of a process.”
Mr Hovell said changes also mean the Council will recover costs incurred when technical staff in other departments, such as roading and 3 Waters, are required to provide advice, approve plans or undertake site visits.
“Recovering staff costs reflects the Council’s desire for formal RMA processes to be undertaken on a fully cost recovery basis, where practical.”
The proposed changes are open for public consultation until Friday 22 June. For more information go to our RMA fees and charges consultation page.