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Consents & Environmental Management

Consents and environmental management


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How to find material in this section

On this page: CRL Designation Conditions, Alterations to Designations, CRL Resource Conditions

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Resource Management Act 1991

The Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) is New Zealand’s primary legislation for environmental management. It is based on the principle of sustainable management. This involves considering the effects that development activities have on the environment now and in the future.

As well as managing air, water and soil resources, the RMA regulates land use and the provision of infrastructure such as the CRL.


What is a designation?

A designation is a planning authorisation under the RMA used by organisations such as Auckland Transport and network utility operators, who are approved as requiring authorities. Only requiring authorities can seek designations for land.

A designation authorises large infrastructure projects such as the CRL, and in doing so provides a framework for managing the environmental effects associated with the construction, operation and maintenance of the project.

Notice of Requirement

To establish a designation, a requiring authority must serve a notice of requirement (NoR) on the local council. A NoR is a proposal for a designation.

In August 2012 Auckland Transport (AT) lodged six NoRs with Auckland Council to designate land for the construction, operation and maintenance of the CRL including the protection of subterranean works. In February 2014, following public submissions and a hearing, independent commissioners recommended that the six NoRs be confirmed. The concerns raised by a relatively small number of submitters primarily related to the management of construction impacts in particular locations. Most submitters recognised that once built, the CRL will benefit Auckland and did not dispute the need for the project.

In April 2014 AT gave notice of its decision to accept the commissioners’ recommendation. Six appeals were subsequently lodged with the Environment Court, five of which were settled through mediation and one proceeded to a hearing. This was dismissed and the six designations were confirmed in November 2015.

The conditions attaching to the confirmed CRL designations address issues raised during the Council hearing and subsequent Environment Court appeals.

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CRL designation conditions

Read the CRL designation conditions (PDF 5MB)

Alterations to designations

Some alterations have been required to the six confirmed CRL designations, and also to the existing Britomart Transport Centre designation and the existing KiwiRail North Auckland Railway Line designation at the Mt Eden end of the CRL project.

The alterations are required as a result of design refinements and value engineering opportunities, where value is defined not only as reduction in cost, but also as improvements in operational and construction safety, public amenity and environmental impact.

The Britomart Transport Centre designation was altered in April 2016 to enable construction of the CRL within Britomart Station and under the former Chief Post Office building in lower Queen Street.

An alteration to CRL Designation 1 in relation to the proposed new Aotea Station was confirmed in February 2017, to accommodate design changes such as a revised station entrance, relocated vents, and relocation of the adjoining heritage Bluestone Wall along the eastern side of Albert Street.

An alteration to CRL Designation 4 is proposed in relation to design changes for the Karangahape Station.

An alteration to CRL Designations 3 and 6, and the KiwiRail North Auckland Line (NAL) designation is also required in relation to the tie-in of CRL with the NAL and the upgrading of Mount Eden station.

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Outline Plans

Once a designation is in place, an Outline Plan is required before an infrastructure project such as the CRL can actually be constructed and operated. An Outline Plan includes details of the design and construction methodology for the project, and how any adverse effects on the environment will be managed. An Outline Plan is required because the exact details of the project are generally not available during the NoR process.

Resource Consents 

What is a Resource Consent?

A resource consent is another type of planning authorisation under the RMA and, for large infrastructure projects such as the CRL, is usually associated with activities that affect air, water and soil resources. This is because land that has been designated for an infrastructure project is still subject to any planning restrictions in relation to the use of air, water and soil resources.

A number of resource consents have been granted for the construction of different stages of the CRL, in relation to activities such as earthworks, disturbance of contaminated land, the taking and diversion of groundwater, stormwater management, and discharges to air. Resource consents have also been granted for operation of the CRL, in relation to stormwater management and discharges to air.

The conditions of the various resource consents specify how any adverse environmental effects associated with construction and operation of the CRL are to be managed. This includes the preparation of a number of Management Plans for construction related effects.

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CRL Resource Consents

CRL Resource Consent - Additional Utility Works
(Contract 2) 22 June 2016, PDF 150KB

CRL Resource Consent - Main Works Utility Investigations
21 December 2016, PDF 321KB

CRL Resource Consents - Main Works Regional Consents
Conditions - 17 November 2016, PDF 605KB

CRL Section 127 Consent -
Groundwater Monitoring (Britomart to Wyndham)
- 8 February 2017, PDF 11.5MB

CRL Resource Consent - Britomart to Wyndham -
s133A Version 22 October 2015, PDF 6.4MB

CRL Resource Consents - Main Works Regional Consents
Decision Report (Commissioners) 17 November 2016, PDF 506KB

CRL Section 127 Consent -
Groundwater Ingress Threshold - 16 May 2016, PDF 86KB

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CRL Archaeological Authorities

Environmental Management Plans -  Contract 1 works - Britomart Transport Centre and Lower Queen Street

Contract 2 works - Albert Street (from Customs Street to Wyndham Street)

Environment Court decision - City Rail Link Limited (CRLL) v Auckland Council [2017] NZEnvC 204 (15 December 2017).
Note: This is concerning Porters Avenue.