Sarah specialises in environmental law and consenting of projects.

She has an in-depth understanding of all environmental regimes, and in particular extensive experience in strategic planning and policy work. This includes acting for Queenstown Lakes District Council on its on-going and litigious plan review, and before that for Christchurch City Council following the earthquakes.

Sarah also specialises in consenting projects under the RMA and related legal regimes, with her experience including infrastructure, water take/discharge, stormwater, property development and hotels. She also acts for local authorities in defending appeals and judicial reviews.

Sarah understands the implications the RMA reform will have on these processes and has been advising on the implications of the draft replacement legislation over recent months.

Her practice covers all RMA matters including enforcement, local government law and due diligence investigations.

Sarah is a member of the Resource Management Law Association.

Chambers Asia-Pacific 2024
Environment & Resource Management

Leading Lawyer

Asia Pacific Legal 500 2024
Projects & Resources Management

Leading Lawyer

New Zealand Law Awards 2016

Young Private Practice Lawyer of the Year

Work Highlights

Planning processes

Acting for Queenstown Lakes District Council through Council hearings on its proposed plan, and then on an extensive number of Environment and High Court appeals, across a wide breadth of topics. 

Acting for Christchurch City Council on fast-tracked and bespoke plan review and hearing process, and in subsequent High Court and Court of Appeal litigation.

Acting for Transpower in implementing the National Policy Statement for Electricity Transmission across a number of South Island policy processes.

Land and Water Regional Plan and Policy Statement processes 

Acting for Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu on resource and nutrient allocation, and freshwater issues, and Otago and West Coast Environment Court appeals on Regional Policy Statements.

Consenting projects

Transmission line and substation designations and related consents for Transpower and Powerco, bulk storage terminals for BP, global discharge consents for Christchurch City Council, a hotel for Pegasus Golf, the Overseas Passenger Terminal on the Wellington Waterfront for Willis Bond, a commercial ‘maze’ and related water takes in Selwyn, and Skydive Queenstown’s direct referral for Queenstown Lakes.

Roading, stormwater, and airport litigation

Public Works Act acquisition for land required for storm water detention and the Northern Arterial, including related High Court negligence, nuisance and contract claims, and issues relating to the growth of both Christchurch and Queenstown airports.

Environmental compliance

Enforcement advice for many local authorities, and advising Veolia Water on various environmental compliance issues associated with the operation of wastewater treatment plants.

Areas of Expertise

Insights & News