Where the Regional Council grants a resource consent, it may impose a condition requiring that a financial contribution be made. The term “financial contribution” is defined in s108(9) of the RMA to mean a contribution of:
  1. Money;
  2. land, including an esplanade reserve or esplanade strip (other than in relation to a subdivision consent), but excluding Māori land within the meaning of the Maori Land Act 1993 unless that Act provides otherwise; or
  3. a combination of money and land.
Under s108(10) of the RMA a consent authority must not include a condition in a resource consent requiring a financial contribution unless:
  1. the condition is imposed in accordance with the purposes specified in the plan or proposed plan (including the purpose of ensuring positive effects on the environment to offset any adverse effect), and
  2. the level of contribution is determined in the manner described in the plan or proposed plan
Prior to this Plan, the Regional Council had provisions in former regional plans enabling the imposition of financial contributions on activities in the coastal marine area (CMA) and on activities in the beds of rivers and lakes. At the time of writing this Plan, however, the Regional Council had never imposed a financial contribution on any consent.

To date, financial contributions have largely been used by Territorial Authorities as a mechanism for funding the infrastructure required as a consequence of land development (for example, roads, drainage, public water supply* and parking). By contrast, financial contributions have only been used to a very limited extent by Regional Councils. This is not surprising as Regional Councils are usually able to impose other types of consent conditions to adequately avoid, remedy or mitigate adverse effects of those activities that they control. The need for a separate financial contribution does not usually arise.

The Regional Council envisages making only limited use of financial contributions in the future. The policies that follow provide the Regional Council with the option of imposing financial contributions, should this be appropriate, on some resource consents. The policies below satisfy the requirements of the RMA regarding financial contributions, setting out:
  1. situations when financial contributions may be required and the purpose of financial contributions,
  2. the manner in which the level of contribution will be determined, and
  3. matters to be considered by the Regional Council when deciding whether to impose a financial contribution, and how to use any financial contributions that are collected.