The Resource Management Act 1991 is a complex piece of legislation which repealed over 20 Acts of Parliament. The Council is required to enforce compliance with the Act through the provisions of the District Plan. Accordingly before commencing any activity relating to the areas Council has functions and powers over, the Plan should be checked for compliance of that activity. Should compliance not be possible then an application for a resource consent may be required (See Section 2.3).
In addition to the requirements of the Plan every person has a duty to avoid, remedy or mitigate any adverse effects on the environment whether or not the activity concerned is in accordance with a rule in the District Plan, a resource consent or relates to a use carried out before the Act came into force. (Section 17 (1) of the Act). Although this duty in itself cannot be enforced, the enforcement provisions contained in the Act do give the Council legal power to act in these situations.
The Building Act 1991 should also be considered by those wishing to carry out an activity on land. The Building Act establishes a framework for the control, construction and maintenance of buildings to safeguard public health, safety and amenity. While a consent may not be required under the Building Act, the District Plan may require that a consent be obtained under the Resource Management Act.