What is a submission?
A submission is a way you can have input into the decision making for an application you're interested in. When you write a submission, you set out your point of view for consideration by the decision-making committee.
You can find out more about how to write a submission to the EPA in the link below:
Who can make a submission?
- Any organisation or member of the public can make a submission.
- If you know others who have the same view as you, you can make a joint submission.
What applications can I make a submission on?
Important applications and proposals are publicly notified by the EPA. This means that submissions from the public and interested parties are sought before a final decision is made.
Some types of application are required by law to be publicly notified. For others, the EPA's Chief Executive may invite submissions if he believes they are of significant public interest.
When can I make a submission?
There are fixed time limits within which submissions can be made. This timeframe may vary, depending on the type of application.
The closing date for submissions is included in the information about the application that’s put on this website, the letter that’s sent to affected parties, and the newspaper advertisement (if the application is notified in the media).
It's important to get your submission to us on time: submissions can’t be accepted after the closing date.
Using a submission form
We provide specific submission forms for most applications, in PDF and Word format. While it isn't compulsory to use these, it's helpful to us if you use them because they include fields for all the information we need to get from you.
For applications and proposals where we expect to get a large number of submissions, we also provide an online version of the submission form.
When an application is publicly notified (ie, open for submissions), we provide downloads and links for the submission forms from the information about the application on this website.
You can find submission forms on pages relating to each application in the consultations section:
Sending in your submission
If you complete a PDF or Word submissions form, you can lodge it with us in person, by post or by email.
215 Lambton Quay
Private Bag 63 002
An email address will be provided with the information on this website about the application.
A copy of your submission will need to be sent to the applicant for their information. If you are sending a hard copy of your submission you will need to send a copy to the applicant. Some online submission forms available through the EPA website will automatically send a copy to the applicant.
- The EPA will confirm that your submission has been received.
- We'll notify you if we require further information before accepting your submission.
Once your submission has been accepted, it becomes a public document. This means it may be made available on our website and to anyone who requests it. Personal information (address, contact numbers, emails) will be removed before this is made public.
Speaking to your submission at a hearing
Sometimes a public hearing is held for an application. You may choose to attend the hearing and present information relating to your submission to the board of inquiry or decision-making committee.
- You should indicate in your submission whether you wish to attend a hearing.
- You should also indicate in your submission whether you intend to call an expert witness to provide technical advice and support
The EPA values the knowledge of tangata whenua alongside that of contemporary science.
When making decisions about environmental management, we proactively take into account Māori interests and the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi. We’re required to do this under legislation.
The Te Hautū section has information and resources for iwi about the application process, how to have input into decision making, and how we can help you.
Friend of submitter
For some applications, you can receive support and guidance from a Friend of Submitter. This is a person who is available to advise people on the process for lodging submissions, how they might capture their views in a submission, and what steps they will be required to take after their submission is lodged.
A Friend of Submitter is paid for by the Environmental Legal Assistance (ELA) Fund, administered by the Ministry for the Environment. You can find out more information about applications to the ELA here:
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