Thinking Ahead – A Guide

The unknowns around New Zealand’s current Alert Level 4, and subsequent moves through the levels, coupled with unknowns as to when a vaccine will be available; when New Zealand’s borders can open, when international tourists will return, and what level of impact all of this will have on New Zealanders spending power will clearly have a large impact on how people should plan for the post isolation era.

The way we do business has changed rapidly, with vast numbers of New Zealanders working from home. Cantabrians, it would seem, have adapted to working from home fairly easily, given many of us had to rapidly arrange working from home abilities post the February 2011 earthquakes, and this is a real bonus for us. Post isolation this will continue to work in our favour, with suburban meetings and numerous small business spread out in suburban areas well set up for social distancing.

What effect though, does this isolation and the post isolation environment have though in terms of resource management planning, and what effect does this have on your development ideas over the next few months to one year? This blog post is designed to provide you with a brief framework of what you could be thinking about in terms of development prospects, and how consenting for new development can work from a practical perspective.

Changes to need

The coronavirus crisis is having, and is going to continue to have some real effects on many sectors of our economy. It’s important to consider how future development need may change in response to this. Will your business need to upsize its factory space and office space in order to cater for increased need, or will your business look at downsizing in response to decreased need? Will you be required to cater for much higher levels of online shopping capability, and can you benefit from providing capacity on a domestic basis, which other countries may no longer be able to provide to your customers? Will your business need more signage on either a virtual or physical basis? Will you need to increase capability for working from home, or will your numbers of staff and therefore carparking and gross floor area increase? It is important to take the time in the current period to consider all these questions, and to start to get in the best position possible to meet these needs. Changes to business requirements often require resource consents, and we are available to discuss your needs, determine whether or not resource consents will be required, and get them underway so that you can rapidly meet your requirements.

In terms of tourism businesses, it will be important to identify any changes that will be necessary to your business to cater for domestic tourists as opposed to international tourists.  Scale will also be important and reductions in some areas will be required. However, its important to recognise that domestic tourism has huge potential  given that Kiwis aren’t likely to be able to travel overseas either, and hence are likely to take advantage of the opportunity to visit local tourist attractions that they might not otherwise have visited.  Being able to quickly take advantage of changing opportunities is critical at this time, and our staff are available for you to discuss opportunities and assist you to pull together the team and resources you will need to take advantage of the situation from a resource management planning perspective.

The isolation and post isolation consenting process

The good news is that consenting can still occur through the isolation period. Council staff are still working remotely, and all the services and information that they provide still occur. In reality, even prior to this coronavirus crisis, it was very infrequently that we needed to visit Council and have in person meetings, and so from a Council perspective our role as planners is virtually unchanged.

From our business perspective, the only difference is that we are unable to hold face to face meetings to discuss your project. We also cannot currently undertake site visits, but these can wait until after lockdown. In terms of data that supports your project and mapping, these can all be found online, and input from other experts such as architects, surveyors and landscape experts continues via email, phone calls and online meetings.

Taking advantage of this time will produce real benefits to businesses and will allow them to exit the lockdown situation in a good position. Being prepared to adapt to the changes happening in the world at the moment is critical, and ensuring that a quick consenting process can occur is vital. Our team is keen to assist your business with this, and understands that this unique situation that we all find ourselves in, requires a rapid response and  a need for quick, coordinated solutions.

Contact us via email at, via our website contact form  at or feel free to call one of our staff to discuss your needs now.