skip to main content

Discharging Contaminants to Air, Land or Water

Information for resource consent applications for discharging contaminants to air, land or water in Hawke’s Bay, such as contaminated soil, gas emissions, or a stream bed disturbance (eg for building a culvert, bridge etc).

Before you apply you will need to read


Please note that different rules apply to consents within the coastal environment governed by the Hawke’s Bay Regional Coastal Environment Plan.

Where the discharge is of drainage water from a pumped system only (under Rule 33 of the RRMP) use this form B:

Discharge pumped subsurface drainage water application form B

Technical Information on Discharges to air, land or water

These technical notes will assist you in applying for a resource consent to discharge contaminants to


If you are wanting to discharge contaminants to land from an on-site wastewater system, or from a dairy farm, or if you are diverting and discharging stormwater please go to the pages that deal specifically with those activities, see menu at left.

Discharges to Air

Different rules apply to discharges to air within any defined airshed in Hastings or Napier. If your property is located within an airshed, your activity will be subject to ambient air quality standards that you will need to consider.

Go to the Intramaps Consents box (at foot of this page) to search your property to check if it’s located within an airshed.

Application Requirements

If your proposed activity will result in contaminants or particulate matter (dust, smoke) being discharged to air, you will need to consider the following standards and guidelines and refer to these in your application:

If your proposed activity is likely to require offsetting as a result of the National Environmental Standards, please contact a member of the Regional Council’s Consents team who can help you with this process.

Expert Help

Any application that involves discharges of contaminants or odour to air and any relevant modelling will require a suitably qualified expert to assist with the application.  This is likely to be a qualified air quality scientist with relevant experience dealing with the specific issue – contaminants or odour.

Discharges to Land

Discharges to land requiring consents include the application of agrichemicals or any potential contaminants, composting and landfills.

Application Requirements

Applications for discharges to land must consider how the proposed discharge might affect any surrounding or underlying water. Your application will need to specify how the discharge to land will not cause contamination of any surrounding waterways or aquifers (especially over an unconfined aquifer).

Expert Help

If your proposed discharge to land has the potential to cause contamination of soil or water or if the discharge may result in an odour, we advise you to engage a suitably qualified expert to address how the potential effects will be mitigated.  An appropriate expert will have qualifications in the relevant field and preferably have previous experience.

Discharges to Water

Discharges to water that require consent include any discharge of contaminants to water, to land that may enter water and to discharges of drainage water.

Application Requirements

When dealing with any discharge that will or may enter water, your application needs to address how the discharge will affect water quality in surrounding waterways.

It is important to consider the receiving environment for the discharge. The application should state whether the discharge will be within a reasonable distance*(see Note) of any of the following:

  • Obvious signs of aquatic life (e.g. fish, eels, insect life)
  • Areas where food is gathered from the watercourse (e.g. watercress, eels, wildfowl)
  • Significant wetlands (e.g. large swamp areas)
  • Recreational activities (e.g. swimming, canoeing, fishing, boating)
  • Areas of particular cultural, spiritual, aesthetic, scientific or amenity value (e.g. scenic waterfalls, rapids, waahi tapu, archaeological sites).

If the discharge is within an area where any of the above are present, the application will need to discuss how any potential adverse effects on these will be dealt with or mitigated.

*Note: What is considered a ‘reasonable distance’ depends on a number of factors including (but not limited to) the scale of the discharge, what is being discharged, and the receiving environment.

Expert Help

If your proposed discharge is of a considerable scale or has the potential to impact the surrounding environment, it is likely that you will need to engage an expert to assist with your application.

Guidance Notes

Please read the relevant guidance notes to assist you in filling out the application form. 

For activities governed by the Regional Resource Management Plan - 

Rules for activities in the coastal strip governed by the Coastal Environment Plan vary slightly -

How to apply

Applications can be lodged via email to the or physically to any of our offices, please check the front page of your applications Form A for full lodgement instructions.

Administration Form 'A'

Discharging Contaminants to Land, Water or Air

Contact Us

You can contact the Consents Advisor +64 6 835 9200 with any questions about the consenting process.

A resource consent is a legal document. Keep it in a safe place and check it regularly to be sure you are fully aware of conditions.

Consents Telarc


Disclaimers and Copyright
While every endeavour has been taken by the Hawke's Bay Regional Council to ensure that the information on this website is accurate and up to date, Hawke's Bay Regional Council shall not be liable for any loss suffered through the use, directly or indirectly, of information on this website. Information contained has been assembled in good faith. Some of the information available in this site is from the New Zealand Public domain and supplied by relevant government agencies. Hawke's Bay Regional Council cannot accept any liability for its accuracy or content. Portions of the information and material on this site, including data, pages, documents, online graphics and images are protected by copyright, unless specifically notified to the contrary. Externally sourced information or material is copyright to the respective provider.

© Hawke's Bay Regional Council - / +64 6 835 9200 /