Section 36 Compliance Fees FAQ

Section 36 notices are being sent out in the week starting 18 January 2016.  Approximately 2600 invoices are sent out for charges relating to compliance and research. Click here for factsheet.

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 of large sites [i.e. Category 1,2 and 3 (WWTP only)] are to fund 80% of the cost of monitoring resource consents and minor consent holders (category 3 and 4) fund 65% of the cost of monitoring resource consents.  The remaining 20% or 35% is funded from the General Rate.

The Inspection / Monitoring fee is $334 + GST for each consent.  If there is more than one consent for the same activity on the same property, the fee is $334+ GST for the first consent and $84 + 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.
*These charges are typically recovered on a per hour rate at staff time.


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 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.

 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 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 Customer Services at Horizons on Phone  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 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, fund a total of 30% of the compliance costs 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?

  • General queries about the Compliance Monitoring charge itself

e.g. "Why do I have to pay for Compliance Monitoring full stop?"

Reception/call centre (freephone 0508 800 800) then transferred to Pita Kinaston of the Compliance Team.


  • Questions about the invoice

e.g. “I need more time to pay”.

Reception/call centre (freephone 0508 800 800) then transferred to Ebonee McDavitt in Accounts.


  • Questions related to the actual consent

e.g. “I no longer own this property/consent.” or “I surrendered by consent last year”.

Reception/call centre (freephone 0508 800 800) then transferred to Pita Kinaston on 5841 or 0212277448.