Applying to have a project referred for fast-track consenting under the Covid-19 Recovery (Fast-track Consenting) Act 2020

Individuals and groups can apply to the Minister for the Environment to have public or private projects referred to Expert Consenting Panels. When the Minister approves an application it means it is eligible to use the fast-track process to apply for resource consents and designations. The COVID-19 Recovery (Fast-track Consenting) Act 2020 enables this.

Video 2

Assessment criteria for projects

The Minister will consider a project against criteria that includes:

  • consideration of the economic benefits a project will give to communities or industries affected by COVID-19
  • how it will affect social and cultural wellbeing now and into the future
  • whether the project’s timeline will benefit from the fast-track process
  • the public benefit that would accrue from the project such as:
    • generating employment
    • increasing housing supply
    • improving environmental outcomes for coastal or freshwater quality, air quality or indigenous biodiversity
    • minimising waste
    • contributing to New Zealand’s efforts to mitigate climate change.

How to apply to be referred to the fast-track consenting process

Step 1

Read the Fast-track consenting guidance. (This will be available soon.)

It covers:

  • what information you will need to include in your online application
  • how the decision-making process works.

Step 2

Email the Fast-track Consenting Team at to request a pre-application discussion.

Step 3

Use the Ministry's fast-track consenting online application system to apply for the process.

How to apply:

  • register to set up an account or sign-in to your existing account
  • create either an individual account (for you as an individual or on behalf of one organisation) or a business account (for an organisation that may make applications on behalf of more than one client)
  • click Apply to start your application. Note you can save the draft application and return to complete it
  • click Submit once the Application Form is complete.

A copy of your application will be emailed to you.

We will contact you further should we need more information.

All applications from 3 August 2020 must be made through the online application system. For any questions regarding the process email

What happens next

The Minister for the Environment will decide if an application is referred or not to the fast-track consenting process. If an application relates to the coastal marine area, the decision on referral is made jointly by the Minister for the Environment and the Minister for Conservation.

You will be informed promptly when a decision is made on your application.

All decisions will be published on the Fast-track consenting page

If your application is referred to the fast-track consenting process, you can then apply to the Environmental Protection Authority to have your resource consent or notice of requirement considered by an Expert Consenting Panel.

How to apply to the Environmental Protection Authority [Environmental Protection Authority website]

Find out more

If you have a question: