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Environment, Planning & Resource Management

We have New Zealand's largest resource management legal team, with significant expertise in all aspects of environmental and planning law. This depth and breadth of expertise has led to our involvement in many of the country's leading resource management cases and most significant projects.

Our team has a strong focus on energy and infrastructure issues. We are key advisers to local government bodies. We assist many city, district, and regional councils with strategic advice and with resolving environmental disputes.

Our specialists also advise on local, regional, and national planning documents. Our environmental disputes experts regularly appear in appeals before councils, the Environment Court, and superior courts. Many of our experts are regarded as New Zealand's leading advocates in this area. They also appear before the courts on a variety of other proceedings, such as judicial review and declaration proceedings. They are often involved in Environment Court mediations.

We assist a wide range of industries to manage their environmental risks and responsibilities, including the mining, property development, transport, water and waste water, forestry, manufacturing, retail, and waste management sectors.

Examples of our work

  • Auckland Council and CCOs - advising on projects central to the ongoing development of Auckland, including:
    • the large-scale development required for Auckland to host the 36th America’s Cup 
    • the consenting of the Downtown projects, which include new and strengthened seawalls, a relocated Ferry Terminal, a new downtown public space and new linear urban spaces which included bus lanes, cycleways and pedestrian walkways
    • the Auckland Unitary Plan, the first ever combined regional and district plan for Auckland
  • Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu (TRoNT) - advising and representing TRoNT on statutory reviews of regional planning documents which address nutrient management and water quality issues
  • Christchurch City Council - advising on its District Plan Review, which aims to deal with circumstances facing post-earthquake Christchurch 
  • Watercare Services - numerous projects including:
    • application for the regional resource consents and a land use consent required to construct a new Water Treatment Plant to replace the aging existing Huia water treatment plant
    • applications for an additional water take from the Waikato River (to secure Auckland's water supply needs until 2050)
    • application for its comprehensive Auckland-wide wastewater network discharge consent
    • its Water Supply and Wastewater Network Bylaw, which replaces eight 'legacy' bylaws
  • Government - advising on Covid recovery initiatives including:
    • Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment - issues and risks that the COVID-19 and the Alert Level 3 and 4 settings posed to RMA consenting and planning processes
    • Ministry for the Environment - the development of the Covid-19 Recovery (Fast-track) Bill. Our work included providing advice on the Bill and helping the Ministry evaluate potential fast-tracked infrastructure projects
  • Transpower North Island Grid Upgrade Project - an $824 million project to obtain approvals for a new 186 km overhead transmission line, underground cables, and substations, following call-in by the Minister for the Environment as a project of national significance
  • Tauranga City Council - obtaining coastal, discharge, and land use consents for the Tauranga Southern Pipeline project, including a pipe crossing the Tauranga Harbour
  • Queenstown Lakes District Council - advising on its district plan review
  • OMV NZ - obtaining marine consents in relation to exploration and development drilling in the South Taranaki Bight