Resource Management Act: RMA Link: Basic Skills

The RMAlink project aims to make community participation in all Resource Management Act processes more straightforward and less time-consuming. More effective participation from those with a concern for the environment will contribute towards improving environmental outcomes nationwide.

Basic Skills

Hosted by:

Wellington Community Network

Writing a Submission

The 5-Minute Submission

Short, simple submissions can be prepared quickly, with a minimum of effort.

The 5-minute submission is environmental advocacy at its simplest - quick and easy.
It is useful in situations where;

  • You can say what you want concisely, in one or two paragraphs.
  • You know that another person or group has prepared a more detailed, researched submission. In your 5-minute submission, you can state your agreement and support for the points that they have raised.

How to Write the 5-minute Submission
  1. Obtain the appropriate form. Ask for one at your council office if you are submitting on a plan or policy statement review. If you are submitting on another type of RMA process, the relevant RMAlink topic page states which form to use.

    All forms are available to download from the MFE website

    If you are submitting on a resource consent, use Form 13. For a plan or policy statement, use Form 5.

  2. Fill in the form. If your written summary will not fit, write or type the summary of your concerns on a separate sheet (numbered to correspond with the contents of the form) and attach it. Or,

  3. Write or type the entire submission, ensuring that it follows the general format as shown in the appropriate form.

Being Heard
When you reach the statement 'I wish / do not wish to be heard', consider ticking the 'yes' box. This keeps your options open - you can notify council at a later date if you decide not to speak at the hearing. Generally, more notice is taken of submissions when people appear in person, and speak at a hearing.

Councillors deciding on the application may not see all the submissions. They will rely on an officer's report summarising points raised by all submitters. The report may not give due weight to your particular concerns. The Act requires that a copy of this report is sent to you before the hearing. If you do not receive one, contact your council and request it.

If your concerns have not been addressed to your satisfaction, it can be very effective to speak directly to councillors / commissioners at the hearing. This gives you the opportunity to address the point of view taken in the officer's report. If you find the report unsatisfactory, you can present information supporting your own point of view.

Lodging Your Submission
Post, fax or deliver it to your council so it arrives by the due date. Use registered post to provide proof of delivery if it is an important submission. Email submissions are not normally accepted, unless you have a prior arrangement with your council that a hard copy will follow. If submitting on a resource consent, you must also send a copy to the applicant.