Various assessments that are relevant to performing an assessment of environmental effects are entered in sections on Rico. This post details the following sections and the information to be included in each:
Please refer to for guidance on using the text boxes that are provided for entering assessments. Specifically, the heading formatting functionality allows you to add headings within a text box. This is useful to add various subheadings and structure assessments to align with your preferred approach. We suggest trying to insert any information not directly provided for below in the most appropriate section. If you can’t find an appropriate section, please contact support.
Note: New users, who are used to entering assessments in their own report templates, may find the Rico layout and headings different to what they’re used to. However, any required information should fit in one of the following sections.
Executive Summary / Introduction
This is an optional section. It allows those who prefer, to provide any overview, executive summary or background information for the application.
Application History (Application Context)
Aims to capture any history or wider context relevant to the proposal’s assessment. This includes information such as existing consents, pre-application meetings, consultation undertaken and written approvals obtained etc.
Site Description (Application Context)
Aims to provide a description of the subject site and the surrounding environment. This includes any characteristics of the site or surrounding area that may be relevant to the assessment of environmental effects.
Description of the Proposal (Application Context)
Aims to describe the proposal and provide an overview of the activities involved. Specific activity rules that are triggered by the proposal are included in the activities overview section so these do not need to be included here.
This is an optional section that aims to detail a permitted baseline as it relates to the proposal’s assessment.
Note: The assessment of activities and standards in the supports this assessment by detailing elements of the proposal that are permitted by rule.
Assessment of Environmental Effects
The assessment of environmental effects is the core assessment in a resource consent application. This includes:
An assessment of the actual or potential effects on the environment of the proposal.
Alternative locations or methods considered and how environmental effects have been avoided, mitigated and or remedied
Any positive effect that offset or compensate for adverse effects
An assessment of effects on any specific persons, the surrounding area, and the wider community and details of any consultation is also required. This can be completed under the assessment of environmental effects or under the notification assessment, as you prefer.
On Rico you can provide this information in on of the following two locations, depending on your personal preference.
Approach 1 - Overall AEE (Recommended default)
Action for this approach: ‘Exclude’ the 'Environmental Effects Assessments' sections that appear under the tabs of all the individual plan document sections (i.e. H4 Residential - Mixed Housing Suburban etc.) and write your assessment of Environmental Effects in the overall 'Assessment of Environmental Effects' section.
Approach 2 - Per document AEE
Action for this approach: ‘Exclude’ the overall 'Assessment of Environmental Effects' section and provide your assessment in the individual 'Environmental Effects Assessment' textbox located under the plan document assessments.
Notification (Section 95)
Aims to address the notification decision under Section 95 of the RMA. This assessment covers effects on any specific persons, the surrounding area, and the wider community and any relevant consultation undertaken. This assessment can alternatively be provided under the section.
Rico organises the notification assessment into 4 parts:
Public Notification Assessment
Limited Notification Assessment
The AUP Rules section accounts for activities that have specific rules with respect to notification. Rules can indicate that Notification is Required, Precluded, ‘TBC’ (To be confirmed), or No rule for each given activity.
The Public and Limited Notification Assessments are organised into steps, as they appear in the RMA. For each step, you must answer, yes or no, whether the proposal meets the relevant criteria. Under each step, you can also add additional assessment or comments in the text box. Notably, an assessment of effects on the wider environment is typically included under Step 3 (Part 2) of the Public Notification section, while an assessment of affected persons is typically included under Step 3 of the Limited Notification section.
The answers to the previous steps are used to determine whether public or limited notification is warranted for the application. These determinations are then displayed in the Notification Conclusion.
Aims to address the substantive decision under Section 104 of the RMA. Assessment with respect to s104(1)(a) and s104(1)(ab) are covered under the Assessment of Environmental Effects. This section covers further areas addressed under Section 104:
Other Relevant Statutory Documents - Aims to assess the proposal with respect to any relevant provisions of a statutory document. The provisions of statutory documents are loaded into Rico and can be assessed under the Matters section of the . It is recommended that such provisions be assessed under the , while the provisions of any other statutory documents are assessed here.
Other Matters - Aims to assess any other matter the consent authority may consider relevant and reasonably necessary to determine the application.
Threshold Test - This applies where a proposal involves non-complying activities. It aims to assess the proposal for consistency with the objectives and policies of any relevant plan.
Section 104 Conclusion - Aims to summarise and assert an overall substantive decision on whether the environmental effects of the proposal are acceptable.
Subdivision (Section 106) (RMA Sections)
Aims to assess the considerations that apply to applications for the subdivision of land under Section 106 of the RMA. This includes the risk from natural hazards and the provision for legal and physical access to the allotments created by the subdivision.
Part 2 (RMA Sections)
Aims to assess the considerations under Part 2 of the RMA. This includes the purpose of the RMA and matters of national importance, other matters, and Treaty of Waitangi matters the RMA considers.
Consent Conditions (Section 108) (RMA Sections)
Aims to provide any commentary with respect to the conditions that are to be placed on the resource consent, should it be granted. This includes any conditions proposed by the applicant.
This is an optional section that aims to provide an overall conclusion to the application and the decision(s) to be made with respect to it.