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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 free phone 0508 800 800 and we will investigate this matter.

Section 36

Why do I have to pay Section36 research charges?

Council has determined that consent holders receive some private benefit from the research that is carried out.

The individual compliance fee (separately charged) covers the costs of monitoring a holder’s individual consent.

The research charges contribute towards the costs incurred by Horizons in researching and identifying the cumulative impact on our environment of all such activities across our region.  Information gained from this research can also be used by applicants during the resource consent application process.

This research is essential for our many regional organisations, farms and other industries, all of which are dependent on this information.  Further, the findings enable us to continue to provide communities and users with ongoing services, including water for recreational use, clean drinking water and a healthy habitat for native fish. 

By maintaining and further developing knowledge of our region’s natural resources, the interests of the consent holder, the needs of the wider regional community and the resource itself are all protected.

Section 36

Why do I have to pay for Section 36 consent monitoring?

Horizons Regional Councillors have determined through the Annual Plan process that consent holders will be charged a Fixed Annual Preliminary Compliance Charge (FAPC) for consent monitoring based on the type of activity carried out on site.  For sites with more than one consented activity the FAPC will be for the main activity and charged at the time the consents monitoring is carried out by Horizons.
For telemetered water takes the FAPC is charged at the same time as environmental monitoring and research charges as consent monitoring for these sites is ongoing.
The fixed annual preliminary charge accounts for costs associated with the first compliance assessment, with any further time to undertake the total annual monitoring activity recovered through additional charges based on actual and reasonable costs. Additional charges (over and above the annual preliminary charge) will also account for extra compliance monitoring (including site visits, sampling, assessment, reporting and follow up processes), which is required as a result of non-compliance with consent conditions.
The resource consent annual administration charge fee of $36 excluding GST per consent contributes to the costs Council incurs in undertaking its consenting, monitoring and administrative functions required under the Resource Management Act 1991. This includes maintaining consent and compliance information, reviewing annual charges and ensuring information on our databases and files is accurate and current.

This charge is the same for all categories of resource consent and will apply to all those consents that are to be, or are likely to be, monitored as part of Council’s compliance programme. This charge applies to those consents that are subject to a Section 36 monitoring charge. Consent holders that do not receive a Section 36 monitoring charge will not receive the administration charge. The administration charge will be invoiced alongside the Section 36 monitoring charge process.

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 because we moved to a new consents 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

Why are my Section 36 charges based on my maximum authorised daily water take when I do not take my maximum allowance of water?

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

Who can I contact for more information about Section 36?

General queries about the consent monitoring charge itself 
e.g. "Why do I have to pay for consent monitoring?"

Call 0508 800 800 and ask for the team leader of consents monitoring team.

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

Call 0508 800 800 and ask for the science team.

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

Call 0508 800 800 and ask to speak to Accounts Receivables

Section 36

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

Your invoice refers to the 12 month period 1 July 2019 - 30 June 2020. These invoices are issued annually, midway through the invoiced period (historically mid to late January).

Section 36

What do I get for my money when I pay Section 36 charges?

Cleaner, safer water both now and for the future. 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, while sustainably managing the environment now and for the future. 

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.

Extensive monitoring is undertaken by the consents monitoring 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 (intensive farming, vegetation clearance and gravel extractions)
•    Inspecting and assessing data and reporting on the results

Monitoring of your resource 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 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

I never use my water take so why are you charging me Section 36 charges?

As the holder of a current resource consent, you have established the right to take your specified volume of water.  Council policy stipulates that all such charges are based on the maximum authorised daily allowance, regardless of the actual volume that the consent holder chooses to take. If you wish to give up your right to take water, you have the option of surrendering your resource consent, in which case future research charges would not apply.  However, if you then choose to resume taking water in the future, you would have to go through the consent application process again.

Section 36

How much have my charges changed since last year?

The fixed fee ($30.63) is a marginal increase from last year and the charge per cubic metre taken (50 cents) is 2 cents higher than last year.  The charges for hydro schemes have also risen slightly.

Section 36

How can I have my say regarding these Section 36 research and monitoring charges?

Research and monitoring charges are determined by Horizons' 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 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 are the Section 36 research charges calculated for water takes?

The charges are set out in the Annual  Plan 2019-20.  All holders of permits for surface and groundwater takes are charged a $30.63 fixed fee, plus a rate of $0.50 (50 cents) per cubic metre of the authorised maximum daily (not annual) water take volume (as documented in the resource consent).

NOTE: 1. Charges in the Annual Plan are GST excluded.

Section 36

How much of the research are my Section 36 research and monitoring charges 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 $6,028 million.  Thirty (30%) percent of the cost of water quantity monitoring and research ($2.509 million) is funded by consent holders through the research charges, with the balance (70%) being funded through the General Rate.

Section 36

How are the Section 36 research charges calculated for water quality/discharge consents?


The charges are set out in the 2019-20 Annual Plan, shown in column 2 of  the table below:

NOTE:  1.  Charges in the Annual Plan are GST excluded;

Type and Quantity 2019-20

Annual Fee
Benign Discharge Nil
Discharge to Land <25 176
Discharge to Land>25 to 50 235
Discharge to Land >50 to 100 351
Discharge to Land >100 to 200 469
Discharge to Land >200 to 1,000 1,564
Discharge to Land >1,000 to 10,000 1,759
Discharge to Land 10,000+ 1,955
Discharge to Water <25 352
Discharge to Water>25 to 50 469
Discharge to Water >50 to 100 704
Discharge to Water >100 to 200 938
Discharge to Water >200 to 1,000 3,127
Discharge to Water >1,000 to 10,000 3,518
Discharge to Water 10,000+ 3,909
Unspecified Volume Discharge 1,955
Land Fill – High impact 3,909
Land Fill – Medium impact 586
Land Fill – Low impact 195

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) 2019-20

Annual Fee
AFFCO Feilding 4,948
DB Breweries 9,178
Fonterra - Longburn 3,365
Fonterra - Pahiatua 1,692
Horowhenua District Council 7,990
Manawatū District Council 24,995
NZ Defence Force 7,072
Palmerston North City Council 9,159
Rangitīkei District Council 26,705
Riverlands Manawatu 4,157
Ruapehu District Council 28,594
Scanpower 5,093
Winstone Pulp 4,840



Additional Monitoring at Site 2019-20

Annual Fee
Tararua District Council As per contract

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 
  2. Research charges 

 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

How often will I get this Section 36 invoice?

The charge is levied each year unless the consent is cancelled, or expires, or is transferred.  

Please note that if you have recently sold your business (eg. farm or meat processing plant), the resource consents do not automatically get transferred. To arrange this, please contact our consents team on freephone 0508 800 800. You will continue to receive the compliance monitoring fee for the resource consents until the transfer is carried out. 

Section 36

What about those people who benefit from this research and monitoring charge but are not charged the Section 36 fee?

All ratepayers, both rural and residential, fund a total of 70 per cent of the costs through the general rating system.