Mike is an environmental and local government law specialist, with extensive experience in strategic policy development, administrative decision-making and governance issues, and regulatory litigation.

Mike advises on all aspects of the Local Government Act 1974/2002, Resource Management Act 1991, Public Works Act 1981 and related legislation. He has been involved in a wide range of projects and litigation, for various clients, including:

  • Local government statutory processes and process design (including consultation), decision-making, corporate and local governance and LGOIMA / Ombudsmen issues and advice
  • CCO governance and structural issues, including advice on initial establishment processes
  • Strategic growth planning (including Future Development Strategies), District Plan review processes and other forms of plan changes
  • Law reform, advice and submissions on various legislative proposals, and advice on potential local bills
  • Resource consent and designation applications and appeals
  • Local government policy, rating and bylaw development, including direct involvement in bylaw development and decision-making, and associated legal challenges 
  • Public works related advice and litigation
  • Development contributions policies and challenges
  • Environmental due diligence
  • RMA and LGA enforcement, including declarations
  • Alcohol licensing and policy

He is an experienced litigator, and regularly appears before local authorities and the Environment Court. He also appears in the higher courts for appeal and judicial review proceedings.

Mike is an updating author for the Westlaw Resource Management, Local Government (various chapters), and Health Act chapters, and a member of the Resource Management Law Association.

Work Highlights

Queenstown Lakes District Council 

Advice and representation (ongoing) on its staged district plan review, with a particular focus on urban rezonings, landscape policy, urban growth and spatial planning, and district-wide chapters.  This has involved Council hearings, Environment and High Court appeals and Court of Appeal proceedings.

Auckland Council

Advice and representation in relation to the development of the proposed Auckland Unitary Plan, including strategic advice through the hearings process, representation before the Independent Hearings Panel, and appearances before the Environment and High Court.

Auckland Council, Christchurch City Council, Canterbury Regional Council, Timaru District Council, Porirua City Council and New Plymouth District Council

Advice and representation in relation to various district plan reviews and plan changes and variations.

Various local authorities, LGNZ, Taituara and central government  

Advice on water reform proposals (ongoing), RMA reforms and the Future for Local Government review.

Various local authorities, and sector groups

Process and legal compliance advice in relation to various statutory processes, including review of proposals, consultation documents and final policies and decisions

Nelson City Council / Tasman District Council  

Advice and attendance at Council hearings in relation to spatial planning processes and NPS-UD implementation, and representation for related proceedings.

Various clients  

Advice and representation in relation to a range of RMA matters, including notification, enforcement, substantive decision-making and plan interpretation issues, including declaration applications.

Christchurch City Council 

Representation before the Gambling Commission, in relation to renewal of casino licence.

Various local authorities

Representation before the Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority, and various District Licensing Authorities in relation to the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012.

Taituarā (NZ Society of Local Government Managers)

Review of various legal compliance modules on LTPs, annual plans, alcohol, decision-making and LGOIMA.

Areas of Expertise

Insights & News