Find out which City Rail Link (CRL) consents apply in your area
For documentation related to CRL work click on the area of interest below:
Explanation of terms - Consents and Environmental Management
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.
The following explains the different terms used under the RMA:
A designation is a planning authorisation under the RMA used by organisations such as City Rail Link Limited 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.
Responsibility for the CRL designations has now transferred from AT to CRLL.
The conditions attaching to the confirmed CRL designations address issues raised during the Council hearing and subsequent Environment Court appeals.
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.
These alterations are shown in the colour coded version of the CRL designation condition documents.
The Britomart Transport Centre designation was also 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.
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.
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.
Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Act 2014
The Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Act 2014 (HNZPT) makes it unlawful to modify or destroy an archaeological site without first obtaining an Archaeological Authority. An archaeological site is defined in the Act as any place that was associated with pre-1900 human activity, where there is evidence relating to the history of New Zealand that can be investigated using archaeological methods.
The following explains terms used under the HNZPT:
An Archaeological Authority specifies how archaeological remains or artefacts encountered during construction of projects such as the CRL are to be managed. Works carried out under the Authority are required to be monitored by an Archaeologist.
Construction of the CRL will unavoidably destroy some recorded archaeological sites and may affect other unrecorded sites. Archaeological Authorities have therefore been obtained from Heritage New Zealand for the construction of different stages of the CRL.