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Sarah Scott



P+64 3 968 4018

M+64 27 307 4318

Sarah Scott

Sarah is a partner in the local government and environment group in our Christchurch office, specialising in environmental and planning law.  

She has extensive experience in strategic planning and policy work including through her role acting for Christchurch City Council following the earthquakes, and more recently for Queenstown Lakes District Council on its on-going and litigious plan review. 

Sarah also specialises in infrastructure and property development projects under the RMA and related legal regimes. Sarah takes a pragmatic approach to providing strategic and client focussed advice, and particularly enjoys working in multi-disciplinary project teams.

  • Chambers Asia-Pacific Environment & Resource Management 2020 - Up and Coming Lawyer
  • Asia Pacific Legal 500, Projects & Resource Management including Environment 2019 - Next Generation Lawyer
  • Young Private Practice Lawyer of the Year, New Zealand Law Awards 2016

Examples of Work

  • Proposed Christchurch Replacement District Plan - acting for Christchurch City Council on fast-tracked and bespoke plan review and hearing process under an Order in Council authorised by earthquake recovery legislation, and in subsequent High Court appeals and applications to Court of Appeal
  • Queenstown matters - advising Queenstown Lakes District Council on strategic planning matters including current district plan review, direct referral to the Environment Court for expanding Skydive Queenstown's consents, negotiating settlement of an affordable housing plan change appeal, negotiating settlement of Frankton Flats litigation, and judicial review against sale of Queenstown Airport
  • Land and Water Regional Plans - acting for Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu on resource and nutrient allocation and management issues, and Environment Court appeals
  • Public Works Act - successful acquisition for Christchurch City Council for land required for storm water detention and the Northern Arterial, including related High Court negligence, nuisance and contract claims, and RMA notice of requirement advice
  • Urban growth/development capacity - acting for UDS Partners in implementation of a 35 year plan for managing urban growth, infrastructure, and land use in greater Christchurch, and advising Taupo District Council on its 2050 growth management strategy and commercial and industrial plan changes, and successfully defending resulting district plan appeals
  • Bulk storage terminals - obtaining resource consents for new bulk fuel storage terminals at Lower Hutt for BP Oil New Zealand
  • Wastewater treatment plants - advising Veolia Water on various environmental compliance issues associated with the operation of wastewater treatment plants
  • Transmission lines - successfully acquiring designations for 110kV transmission lines, and advice on seeking concession from the Department of Conservation for Powerco Limited, and member of Transpower North Island Grid Upgrade Project team to successfully obtain approvals for an $824million, 186km overhead transmission line, underground cables, and substations, following call-in by the Minister for the Environment as a project of national significance
  • Property development - consents from district and regional councils for the Overseas Passenger Terminal on the Wellington Waterfront and successfully defending Environment Court appeal for Willis Bond

Other Credentials

  • Resource Management Law Association - Member
  • Women in Property, Property Council New Zealand - Member