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Frequently asked questions

Resource Management

What is the Nationally Significant Proposals Division in the EPA?

The Nationally Significant Proposals Division manages the decision making process for nationally significant proposals, such as major infrastructure or public works projects.

Who are the key senior staff in the Nationally Significant Proposals Division?

Senior staff include the General and Team Managers who supervise staff, and Project Leaders who manage the nationally significant proposals process. A list of senior staff and their contact details can be found here:

What legislation does the Nationally Significant Proposals Division operate under?

The Environmental Protection Authority was established to centralise and streamline the decision-making process of nationally significant proposals. We have specific statutory functions under the Resource Management Act 1991 in relation to matters of national significance.

What type of applications can be lodged with the Nationally Significant Proposals Division of the EPA?

Matters (applications for resource consents, notices of requirement or requests for regional plans or private plan changes) can be lodged directly with the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA). The point of applying directly to the EPA, instead of to the relevant council, is to obtain a more streamlined decision-making process. The Minister can only refer a matter to a board of inquiry or the Environment Court that is or is part of a proposal of national significance. So you should not lodge a matter with the EPA unless you think it is nationally significant.

How do I find out about current applications?

We always have a number of applications that are being processed by the Nationally Significant Proposals Group of the EPA.

What is a Board of Inquiry?

A Board of Inquiry is an independent body appointed to make a decision on a project of national significance.

What do I do if I want to make a submission on a current application?

Under the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA), submissions must be served on the EPA within 20 working days after the Minister's direction is notified. The closing date for submissions will be stated in the public notice and on this website. Submissions must be made in writing and the EPA will provide submission forms for this purpose.

A sunmission can be:

  • in support;
  • in opposition;
  • support some parts and oppose other parts; or
  • neither support or oppose but are just making a neutral submission with information you would like to be considered.

How do I make an enquiry about a current application?

For information about current applications please contact:

What applications have been lodged with the EPA but have been referred to the Environment Court by the Minister for the Environment?

What applications have the EPA completed?

How does the Nationally Significant Proposals Division work with Councils?

When an applicant lodges a matter (application for resource consent, notice of requirement and requests for regional plans or private plan change) with the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) they must also inform the relevant councils.

Where matters are lodged directly with the EPA, the EPA will work with the relevant council to ensure that the council's views on whether the matter should be referred to a board of inquiry or the Environment Court are presented to the Minister. The EPA expects to also draw on the expert knowledge of the council, particularly in relation to the council's plan and the potential local impacts of a proposal.

What is the process if I want to lodge an application with the EPA on a nationally significant proposal?

If you are considering lodging a matter you should contact the EPA as soon as possible. The EPA can provide guidance about the process and information requirements. In addition, you should inform all relevant local authorities of your intent to lodge a matter directly with the EPA.

Where can I find a copy of an application form?

What is the Nationally Significant Proposal Division's cost recovery policy for processing an application?

We will recover all actual and reasonable costs from the applicant while we are exercising our functions.

How can I contact a member of the Nationally Significant Proposals Division if I have a query?

We are always happy to help out with any query you may have on nationally significant proposals. You can find our contact details here:

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