Find out application completion times and factors that impact processing times.

DOC receives approximately 1900 applications a year. The following is general guide for application processing times, however times may vary.

  • General applications - 4-6 months
  • One-off concessions - 1-2 months
  • Long term concessions - 2 years
  • Event concessions - 8 months. If you are holding an event that requires a concession, lodge your application eight months in advance.

Application process

The application process involves:

  • assessment of the activity against legislation and statutory planning documents
  • assessment of the effects of the activity
  • consultation with iwi/hapū/whānau (minimum of 40 working days, but more time may be required to support informed decision-making on the application)
  • undertaking a statutory public notification process if required (minimum of 20 working days for public notification, but typically more time is required).

More information about the application process

Processing times

DOC is actively working on improving processing times.

Current processing times are shown below. These are based on applications with a decision (approved or declined) made during 2022. 

Data is from January 2022 to January 2023 and rounded to the nearest half-month. These timeframes exclude statutory holidays.

Current processing times

Application type

50% of applications completed within

80% of applications completed within

Concessions (excluding one-off concessions)

4.5 months

10.5 months

Concessions (one-off only)

1 month

1.5 months


2 months

6 months


2.5 months

4.5 months

Mining access arrangements

3 months

5.5 months


3.5 months

6 months


3.5 months

10 months

Wildlife permits

4 months

8 months

Research and Collection

4 months

7 months


4 months

20.5 months


4.5 months

10.5 months


5 months

11 months


5 months

8 months


5 months

21.5 months


6.5 months

12 months


9.5 months

20.5 months

If you carry out your activity before your application has been approved, you are likely to be committing an offence.

Find out about DOC’s compliance and law enforcement function

Why some applications are processed faster

Complex proposals, with long terms and significant impacts take longer to process. Delays will also arise if more information is required to support the application. 

Complete applications prevent delays

You can ensure you avoid preventable delays by checking what information you need to supply to make a complete application. Many applications are missing key information such as specific locations, and these are fundamental.

How to prepare an application

Iwi, hapū and whānau are likely to be consulted

Consultation is required on most applications. There may be more than one group to talk to. Some groups have very specific consultation requirements that are part of their Treaty settlement, which must be followed.

Iwi, hapū and whānau typically need 40 working days to respond to a formal DOC request for comment on an application. 

If you want to consult iwi, hapu or whānau prior to making the application, your local DOC office can advise you on the best people to contact. This is recommended as it means your processing time is less likely to be extended, and you may make links with local groups who might support your proposed activity. 

More information on iwi, hapū and whānau consultation

Effects of your proposal need to be considered

Some applications require input from technical experts within DOC to assess the effects of the activity and ensure adverse effects can be avoided, remedied, or mitigated.

Similarly, if your activity occurs in multiple locations, more time is needed to assess the impacts of the activity. There can also be multiple iwi, hapū and whānau groups to consult, or the activity or location of the activity may include sites of significance or taonga species.

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