Notice of requirement guide Notice of requirement

This information will guide you step-by-step through the notice of requirement (NoR) process, which allows areas of land to be designated for transport needs under the Resource Management Act 1991.

Last updated: 15 July 2015, see all updates.
First published: 2014.

The Resource Management Act 1991

The Resource Management Act (RMA), 1991 allows requiring authorities to designate areas of land for public infrastructure such as roads, rail, telecommunications, schools and hospitals. 

A requiring authority can be:

  • A Minister of the Crown.
  • A local authority.
  • A network utility operator approved under the Resource Management Act.

Auckland Transport (AT) is a requiring authority under the RMA, in relation to the Auckland transport system.

Designation and NoRs

For AT, the process for designating land is through a NoR lodged with Auckland Council. A designation is effectively a form of zoning over a site or route.

The designation provides for:

  • The long-term approval of the work intended to be carried out.
  • Certainty for the community and affected landowners about location and the nature of the works.
  • Protection of the land from activities that may compromise the proposed public work.

Designations are the preferred consenting approach of AT as they provide the ability to identify and secure the land required to undertake construction, operation and maintenance of Auckland’s transport infrastructure.

A NoR process is similar to applying for resource consent. It is a statutory process in the RMA and is how AT notifies Auckland Council that it is seeking to designate land. Until a designation has been confirmed and included in a district plan, a designation is referred to as a notice of requirement.

Before applying for a NoR, in-depth investigations and assessments are carried out. These include:

  • Investigating the strategic need for a project.
  • Consulting with the community and affected landowners.
  • Assessing options and evaluations before selecting a preferred option.
  • Commissioning specialist assessments on project and environmental effects and how they can be avoided, managed or mitigated.


An important part of developing a project is consulting with those potentially affected – the community, Mana whenua, businesses, government and community organisations.

This involvement will help ensure AT considers everyone’s views and potential issues and effects of a project on the community. It is an important part of assessing the optimal way to avoid, remedy or mitigate any issues.

This feedback is used to develop a project and is considered when the NoR is prepared and also when decisions are made regarding the proposed works.

The NoR process

  • The NoR is prepared and lodged with the Auckland Council.
  • The Council decides if the designation should be publicly or limited notified.
  • If is it publicly notified, people and groups are able to lodge submissions with the Council.
  • If the NoR is notified, a public hearing is held where the requiring authority (AT) and all submitters are able to be heard.
  • The Council recommends to the requiring authority whether it thinks the designation should be confirmed in the district plan (with or without modification to the conditions) or be withdrawn.
  • The requiring authority decides whether to confirm or withdraw the notice (in other words, to accept or reject the Council’s recommendation in part or full).
  • The opportunity exists for the Council or any submitter to appeal the decision of the requiring authority (the appeal is lodged with the Environment Court).

For more information, the Ministry for the Envirnonment provides a comprehensive description of the designation process and how you can get involved.

The process

From the time that a need for a project is identified to final approval.

Notice of requirement process diagram


Download the Notice of requirement guide (PDF 3.75MB).


15 July 2015

Notice of requirement guide made available online.