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Section 36

What about those people who benefit from this compliance monitoring charge but are not charged this fee?

All ratepayers, both rural and residential, fund a total of 30% of the compliance costs through the general rating system.

Section 36

Why are there two consent numbers on my Invoice this year? Am I being billed twice for every consent I hold?

You have two or additional consent numbers showing on your invoice because we have moved to a new database – this required all existing consents to be renumbered.  To avoid confusion we have included both (old and new) numbers this year so that you are aware of the new number. 

You are only billed for the consent/s you have previously had – there is no double billing.

Your consent/s are shown on the Invoice as:  New Consent No  ATH-1993000762.00 (formerly 3381)  

Section 36

How are the charges calculated (from 2015/16 LTP)?

The charges are set out in the 2015-16 Long Term Plan, shown in column 2 of  the table below:

NOTE:  1.  Charges in the Annual Plan are GST excluded;
2. Following the migration of consents data to IRIS and reconciliation/corrections in the system a calculated fee for discharges will be invoiced for 2015/16 - shown in column 3 of the table.  The rates are reduced between 6 to 11% depending on the size of discharge.


Type and Quantity


Annual Fee


Calculated Fee

Benign Discharge



Discharge to Land <25



Discharge to Land>25 to 50



Discharge to Land >50 to 100



Discharge to Land >100 to 200



Discharge to Land >200 to 1,000



Discharge to Land >1,000 to 10,000



Discharge to Land 10,000+



Discharge to Water <25



Discharge to Water>25 to 50



Discharge to Water >50 to 100



Discharge to Water >100 to 200



Discharge to Water >200 to 1,000



Discharge to Water >1,000 to 10,000



Discharge to Water 10,000+



Unspecified Volume Discharge



Land Fill – High impact



Land Fill – Medium impact



Land Fill – Low impact




Some sites require Council to do more monitoring, therefore, the Tables below show Consent Holders from who Council now recovers additional research charges. 


Additional Research Site (in addition to standard charge)


Annual Fee



AFFCO Feilding


DB Breweries


Fonterra - Longburn


Fonterra - Pahiatua


Horowhenua District Council


Manawatu District Council


NZ Defence Force


Palmerston North City Council


Rangitikei District Council


Riverlands Manawatu


Ruapehu District Council




Winstone Pulp



Additional Monitoring at Site


Annual Fee

Tararua District Council

As per contract

Section 36

How can I have my say regarding these charges?

All Section 36 charges are determined by Horizons Regional Council’s elected Councillors following a public consultation process.

You can make submissions on Council’s Draft Annual Plan during the consultation process generally in the first third of each year, and during the three-yearly Long-Term Council Community Plan consultation process.  For further information on how to get involved, please contact our Customer Services team on freephone  0508 800 800.  

Section 36

How much have my charges changed since last year?

The fixed fee ($30) and the charge per cubic metre taken (38 cents) remain the same as last year.  The charges for hydro schemes have risen slightly.

Section 36

How much of the research am I funding?

The total annual science and research cost to Horizons, including charges for fixed equipment, computer software, laboratory costs, staffing and research agency fees is $4.071 million.  Thirty percent of this cost is funded by consent holders through the research charges, with the balance being funded through the General Rate.

Section 36

How often will I get this invoice?

The charge is levied each year unless the consent is cancelled, or expires, or is transferred.  As detailed above, additional costs for inspections of sites will be  invoiced throughout the year.

Please note that if you have recently sold your business (eg. farm or meat processing plant) the resource consents do not automatically get transferred.  Please contact Horizons  Consents Team and they will arrange this for you.  You will continue to receive the compliance monitoring fee for the resource consents until the transfer is carried out.

Section 36

I never use my water take so why are you charging me?

The terms of your current consent ensure that your right for the full water take amount is reserved.  All such charges are based on the maximum authorised daily allowance regardless of the actual volume that the consent holder may choose to take.  You may wish to consider varying your consent to a lower consented volume in order to reduce these research charges in the future.  This would require a variation to your consent.

Section 36

What are the Section 36 invoices for?

These charges relate to resource consents for both research and compliance monitoring.  There is a covering letter, containing two sections:

  1. Compliance monitoring charges (on consents for discharges, water takes and land use); and
  2. Research charges (see FAQs on water quality and quantity).

 Depending on the nature of the consented activity, one or both parts of the letter may apply.  You may have both compliance and research charges.

Section 36

What are these additional charges for non-compliance?

If the consent conditions are not complied with, there are additional charges which are invoiced at the time of the non-compliance.
*These charges are typically recovered on a staff time per hour rate.

Section 36

What do I get for my Section 36 money?

Water quantity, Surface and Groundwater resources are managed to ensure there is an adequate supply for consent holders, the wider community and for aquatic wildlife.
By researching the effects of all current resource consents, including your own, the Council is able to ensure that such consents can be effectively maintained, whilst sustainably managing the environment both now and for the future. 

Extensive monitoring is undertaken by the Compliance Team and other Horizons staff of activities associated with:

  • District Council, farm and industry water discharges
  • District Council, farm and industry water abstractions
  • Monitoring land use activities (vegetation clearance and gravel extractions)
  • Inspecting and assessing data and reporting on the results

Monitoring of your consent to determine compliance may include:

  • Site inspections (these may be tri- or bi-annual, annual or more frequently if required)
  • Assessing daily or monthly water and gravel abstraction data
  • Assessment of formal reports sent in by consent holders (quarterly or annually)
  • Assessing resource consent activities in response to public complaints.

This monitoring ensures that resource consent conditions are being complied with and:

  • Supports fair distribution of the water resources throughout our Region
  • Ensures land use activities are being undertaken in a sustainable manner
  • The potential for environmental impacts from discharges is minimised.

Section 36

What time period does this invoice cover and how often are they issued?

Your Section 36 invoice refers to the 12 month period 1 July  - 30 June each year.
These invoices are issued annually, midway through the invoiced period (mid to late January each year).

Section 36

Who can I contact for more information about Section 36?

General queries about the charge itself 
e.g. "Why has this charge been introduced?"

Customer Services team call 0508 800 800 and ask for the Scientist Duty phone regarding Section36

Questions about the invoice
e.g. “I need more time to pay”.

Customer Services team call 0508 800 800 and ask to speak to Accounts Receivables

Questions related to the actual consent
e.g. “I no longer own this property/consent.” or “I surrendered by consent last year”.

Customer Services team call 0508 800 800 and ask to speak to Consents Monitoring Team Leader regarding Section 36.
Please note that depending on how detailed your enquiry is, our Customer Services team may want to take the details in order for our Consents team to have time to research your particular consent and contact you back in a timely fashion.

Section 36

Why isn’t Section 36 also being charged to my neighbour?

If you believe that your neighbour should also be liable for this charge, please provide full details to our Customer Services team on 0508 800 800 and we will investigate this matter.