This guidance clarifies the role of consenting and road controlling authorities when enabling the installation and operation of charging stations in New Zealand – so that the placement, layout, and safety of charging protects the interests of the general public.
Our guidance has considered the requirements of the following:
It is recommended that anyone considering installing public charging infrastructure consults with the planning team at the relevant territorial authority to clarify the specific requirements under the district plan and bylaws.
The territorial authority will consider the development of public charging infrastructure under the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA).
The RMA is the principle legislation ensuring the sustainable management of New Zealand’s resources. It provides guidelines for the best practice management of our environment.
Territorial authorities may have different policies under the RMA; these are captured in the district plan, or for Auckland, the Unitary Plan.
The requirements for on-road and off-road charging infrastructure are likely to differ as they are covered in different parts of the local district plan. In some cases the installation may be deemed to be a permitted use under the district plan and no planning consent will be required; although approval from the relevant road controlling authority (RCA) may still be needed.
Some territorial authorities may also have bylaws that require other consents or licences. For example, if a charging station operator charges consumers to use an on-road charging facility, the operator is likely to also require a ‘trading in public places’ licence.
RCAs include the Transport Agency, city and district councils, the Department of Conservation, and port and airport authorities.
The appropriate RCA should be contacted if:
Evaluating a site outlines some of the strengths and weaknesses that need to be considered when placing charging stations on-road.
The relevant RCA will consider development applications for charging stations under the relevant Act. The principle Acts are:
The RCA also administers roading corridor access for electricity operators to provide electricity distribution infrastructure. As this process is well understood by electricity operators, it is not covered further here.
There are different consent process for on-road and off-road charging stations.
If the charging station will be placed on Crown land or private property (off-road), follow the Installing a charging station off-road process.
If the charging station will be placed on-road, including areas within the road reserves such as rest areas or footpaths, follow the Installing a charging station on-road process.
This process applies if a public charging station will be placed on Crown or private property.
|1.1||Request permission to make changes to the access
Consult with the relevant RCA to check whether approval is required; it is likely to be required if the road is a limited access road or if there is a requirement under the district plan.
The RCA will advise of their approval process.
The RCA will consider the application to determine whether the suggested changes can be permitted.
The RCA will grant permission where appropriate, subject to conditions (e.g. acceptable traffic volume).
|1.4||Consult with territorial authority
If a charging station is to be installed on land outside of the roading corridor, the charging station operator must identify if any consent is necessary under the RMA.
The operator will need to talk to the relevant territorial authority’s planning team to understand what is in their district/unitary plan and what bylaws might apply.
Note: If the land is managed by the territorial authority (or other), such as a park reserve, there may be additional land use requirements to be considered.
|1.5||Advise if consent is required
If the charging station is considered a permitted use and there are no bylaws preventing the requested use, the operator will be able to install the charging station without requiring a consent (refer to Installing a Charging Station for installation requirements).
If the charging station is not a permitted use, the planning team will be able to advise how to apply for consent to install and operate a charging station, and its associated facilities.
|1.6||Apply for consent under the Resource Management Act
If consent is required, the operator will need to submit an application.
The planning team will consider, and may approve, the installation of the charging station and associated facilities, subject to any conditions that may be imposed.
This process applies if a public charging station is intended for on-road, including areas within the road reserves such as rest areas or footpaths.
Electricity operators installing charging stations should also follow the process below.
|2.1||Apply for licence/lease under the Local Government Act 1992 for local roads
The operator will need to talk to the relevant RCA to understand how to apply for approval to install and operate a charging station, and its associated facilities.
The territorial authority will consider the application and provide approval/ licences (where appropriate and subject to conditions) to install and operate the charging station if they are satisfied with the proposed charging station (and associated facilities).
|2.3||Apply for licence/lease under Government Roading Powers Act 1989 for state highways
The operator will need to talk to the Transport Agency to discuss the proposed installation. The Transport Agency will work with the operator to evaluate the proposed site and consider alternate options if needed.
The Transport Agency will consider the application and provide the appropriate licence, where appropriate and subject to conditions, to install and operate the charging station and its associated facilities.
Note the licence may be subject to a licence fee.