By Anna Bensemann, Senior Planner, Baseline Group, 03 578 7299, firstname.lastname@example.org
When deciding what fertiliser to put on your pasture paddocks, you may not go for the cheapest available product. Rather your product selection will be based on the quality of results you see in grass growth and stock condition. In the same way, your choice in consultants when embarking on a project that requires expert planning or engineering advice can significantly alter the ultimate quality of the end product and the return on investment.
Resource consents may be required for a wide variety of projects in the modern farming environment. Working through the rules and requirements for everything from subdivision, to earthworks, waterway realignment, or the setup for a dairy farm can be frustrating. If you are not getting the right advice on these projects you may find yourself installing unnecessary infrastructure, or paying unnecessary fees and contributions.
With rules and regulations changing on a regular basis, understanding how to get the best result out of the need to obtain a resource consent from Council can be a minefield. Your focus is more likely to be on your farming business, rather than keeping up with every single change occurring under the Resource Management Act (among other pieces of relevant legislation). A consultant is supposed to guide you through this process and ensure that you are getting the best result for your needs.
Knowing that there is more than one way to skin a cat is an important skill for planning and engineering consultants. Multiple different solutions may give you the same final outcome, but each will come with different time and cost implications. Having a good quality consultant guiding you during the design and resource consenting phase of your project, may reduce the overall total costs, even if the consultant costs slightly more upfront. An example of this is where a consultant’s expert knowledge about appropriate stormwater design solutions saved an applicant from installing pipe work and seeking additional resource consents to discharge stormwater. This reduced the total project cost by thousands of dollars, and avoided additional time delays. Had the applicant not have sought a second opinion, he would never have known that an alternative, more cost efficient, solution existed.
So, when you are next embarking on a project that requires resource consent, consider the level of investment you are planning to make into that project, and consider how much value a good expert planner or engineer will add to that project. Much like when considering the right product to use on the farm, the best results generally come from investing in good quality products.