The Resource Management Act 1991 was designed to streamline planning processes and make it easier for developers and builders to complete projects. So long as a project meets district plan requirements, a builder is issued with a planning consent to start the project. If it doesn't meet the district plan requirements, the consent has to be publicly notified and affected parties like neighbours can lobby for changes. As this television report from the early 2000s points out, most projects are completed without a notified consent, but the value of the end product can be open to question.
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