When the council has received all the submissions, and any further submissions, council officers prepare a report that includes:

  • a summary and analysis of the submissions and further submissions
  • recommendations on which parts of the proposal/application to adopt, remove or modify.

The council will then hold a hearing if submitters have indicated they want to be heard.

If you choose to be heard, the council will notify you of the hearing date and you will have an opportunity to present oral submissions.

Note that the submissions and hearings will form part of the public records. In some cases, councils will provide additional information they receive on their websites and/or offices to ensure transparency in the process.

Let the council know if you want to withdraw your request to speak at the hearing. Your written submission will still be considered if you don’t speak.


For planning proposals…

As a submitter, the council will notify you of its decisions on submissions.

The council bases its decision on the proposed planning proposals, the section 32 and 32AA reports, the written submissions, and the officer’s report.

The council will give reasons for accepting or rejecting submissions. It will also publicly notify its decision.

For resource consents…

The council must make a decision on the resource consent application within a set timeframe.

The council bases its decision on the written submissions and the officer’s report.

If you made a submission on a plan or resource consent, you’ll get a letter from the council telling you about the decision.


Depending on the type of process, you can lodge an appeal with the Environment Court if you:

  • are unhappy with the council’s decision on a proposal, and
  • have made a submission on a proposal, and
  • are not appealing on the basis of trade competition.

You cannot lodge an appeal about an aspect of your submission that was struck out.

Appeals under other planning processes

In some circumstances, a right of appeal may be limited because a streamlined or freshwater planning process has been used. See Getting involved in council plans for more information.

If you’re thinking of appealing a decision, get professional advice first. It can save you time and costs later. A lawyer or planning consultant should be able to tell you if an appeal is likely to be successful.

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