Grand skink
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Information for Waka Kotahi and KiwiRail on Applications and Notices of Work under the 2023 Orders in Council.

Two Orders in Council came into force on 6 October 2023:

They allow Waka Kotahi and KiwiRail to undertake road and rail repairs to cyclone-damaged transport networks within an expedited consenting process. This includes permissions commonly required from DOC.

These Orders in Council have been made under the Severe Weather Emergency Recovery Legislation Act 2023 (SWERLA). The purpose of the SWERLA is to assist communities to recover from the severe weather events in January and February 2023 (Cyclones Hale and Gabrielle, and the Auckland floods). 

These web pages provide detailed information to support Waka Kotahi and KiwiRail to comply with the DOC parts of the Orders in Council.

The Orders only apply to common permissions needed for recovery works carried out by the agencies within a specified corridor along certain parts of the state highway and railway network.

Outside these circumstances normal permission application processes continue to apply. We will do our best to prioritise recovery-related applications that aren't covered by the Orders.

Background and related documents

View background information, contacts, documents incorporated by reference into the orders and further information.

Background and related documents for transport Orders in Council

Permissions processes for recovery works

The Orders in Council modify legislation in areas affected by the severe weather events so that road and rail repairs can be undertaken more quickly.

For DOC, the Orders modify the Wildlife Act 1953, Conservation Act 1987, Reserves Act 1977, and the Freshwater Fisheries Regulations 1983.

Waka Kotahi and KiwiRail can apply for the following permissions to support recovery works in areas listed in the Orders in Council.

    Steps required before starting construction works 

    DOC provisions in the Orders in Council require Waka Kotahi and KiwiRail to ensure that our rare and endangered native wildlife and conservation areas are protected when they undertake cyclone recovery works.

    Before starting construction works, agencies must: 

    • establish an Affected Area Recovery Liaison Group 
    • engage with iwi, hapū, and whānau, and identify any taonga species in the works area 
    • develop a stakeholder and communications plan 
    • appoint a project ecologist for the duration of the works 
    • undertake an ecological scoping survey and ecological effects assessment 
    • develop measures to avoid and minimise potential adverse effects identified during the ecological scoping survey and/or the ecological effects assessment  
    • develop an ecological management plan and wildlife management plans, if indicated by the ecological scoping survey and ecological effects assessment
    • undertake a heritage and cultural impact assessment (for concessions on public conservation land).

    Resource Management Act (RMA) conditions will also apply alongside DOC permissions. Various DOC requirements and conditions are the same as those applying under the RMA.

    This is intended to help integrate project management, and reduce the need for similar but different requirements to be met where practicable. Alignment includes: the Liaison Group, Ecology and Minimising Ecological Loss conditions. 

    Summary of conditions requirements

    The conditions include: 

    • managing the risks of spreading of kauri dieback disease and myrtle rust
    • procedures to follow if unexpected wildlife is found during construction works
    • searching felled indigenous woody vegetation for significant wildlife such as lizards and wētā
    • relocating native lizards and frogs, and other native threatened and at-risk animals if they are found within the project site
    • special protections for native bats, frogs, lizards, kiwi and kōkako, and freshwater fish and aquatic life
    • earthworks and construction management plans and site rehabilitation plan to avoid or mitigate adverse effects on public conservation land  
    • ensuring that a copy of the conditions and any plans are kept on site at all times. 

    The conditions are laid out in full in Schedule 4 and Schedule 5 of the Orders in Council.


    The DOC Permissions team can be contacted at

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