Section 36 Compliance Fees FAQ

Section 36 notices are being sent out in the week starting 3 February 2014.  Approximately 2,600 invoices are sent out for charges relating to compliance and research.

1.      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.

2.      Why do I have to pay for Compliance Monitoring?

Horizons Regional Council’s Councillors have determined through the Annual Plan process, that consent holders pay 70% of the cost of monitoring consent holders’ individual resource consents.  The remaining 30% is funded from the General Rate.

The fee is $264 + GST for each consent.  If there is more than one consent for the same activity on the same property, the fee is $266 + GST for the first consent and $66 + GST for every consent thereafter.

The s36 costs are to recover staff time in monitoring of resource consents.  In the majority of cases consent holders who comply with their consent conditions will not receive any extra monitoring charges beyond this s36 Annual Charge.  For Industrial and Territorial sites where multiple inspections are required costs are recovered on an ongoing basis.

3.      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.

Administrative non-compliance (e.g. failure to provide records or increase in discharge volumes) is $800 + GST.  Significant non-compliance (e.g. unauthorised discharge to water, breaching chemical parameters in discharges, or over abstraction of water) is $1600 + GST.

4.      How often will I get this invoice?

The s36 charges are levied each year unless the consent is cancelled or archived.  As detailed above, additional costs for monitoring of sites is 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 our 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.

5.           How can I have my say regarding these charges? 

Compliance Monitoring charges are determined by Horizons Regional Council’s elected Councillors following a public consultation process.

You can make submissions on Horizons' Draft Annual Plan during the consultation process in April each year, and during the three-yearly Long-Term Plan consultation process.  For further information on how to get involved, please contact Ed Duggan (Horizons’ Strategic Financial Planner) on 0508 800 800.   

6.      What do I get for my money?

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 limited 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.

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

All ratepayers, both rural and residential, contribute a total of 30% to these charges through the general rating system.

8.      Why isn’t this fee also being charged to my neighbour?

If you believe that your neighbour should also be liable for this charge, please provide full details and we will investigate this matter.

9.        Who can I contact for more information?

For any further enquiries relating to your Section 36 invoice please give our customer services team a call on toll free 0508 800 800 during normal business hours or email help@horizons.govt.nz