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Special Counsel

Graeme Palmer

BA LLB LLM(Cantab)

Auckland

P+64 9 977 5011

M+64 21 497 464

Graeme Palmer

Graeme is a special counsel in the firm's local government and environment group. His practice encompasses both civil litigation, where he specialises in judicial review and advice work, primarily in the public law/local government field.

He has appeared in numerous High Court and Court of Appeal hearings, the Privy Council and the Supreme Court, mainly acting for local authorities.

Graeme's advice work covers the full range of local government activities, including: rates and other financial aspects of local government, governance, council-controlled organisations, procurement, infrastructure, elections, official information, committees, meetings, privacy, and the drafting of bylaws and statutory bills.

Examples of Work

  • Telecom Auckland Limited v Auckland City Council - landmark Court of Appeal decision establishing the rateability of utility networks
  • Telecom New Zealand v Christchurch City Council (sequel to the previous case) - various proceedings in the Land Valuation Tribunal, High Court, and Court of Appeal relating to the methodology for valuing Telecom's network for rating purposes, including the successful defence of a challenge to the validity of the rates based on those valuations
  • Auckland City Council v Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind - successful Court of Appeal and Supreme Court proceedings upholding the rateability of a charity's land used solely for investment purposes
  • Rodney District Council v Valuer-General - declaration proceedings in the High Court, Court of Appeal, and Privy Council successfully upholding the Councils' position on the apportionment of properties for rating purposes
  • Auckland City Council v Ports of Auckland Limited - Court of Appeal decision establishing the limits of the rating exemption for commercial and recreational wharves
  • Harb Trading Limited v Rodney District Council - proceedings successfully preserving the rights of the general public to access coastal land through a right of way
  • Tamaki Reserve Protection Trust and North Shore City Council v Minister of Conservation - judicial review proceedings successfully challenging a decision by the Minister of Conservation to take prime coastal land out of the ambit of the Reserves Act in order to free it for sale

Other Credentials

  • Brookers Local Government Law in New Zealand - Co-author