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Sarah Scott



P+64 3 968 4018

M+64 27 307 4318

Sarah Scott

Sarah is a partner in our Christchurch office, specialising in environmental and local government law, and project consenting.

She has extensive experience in strategic planning and policy work. This includes 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 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.

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

  • Chambers Asia-Pacific Environment & Resource Management 2023 - Leading Lawyer
  • Asia Pacific Legal 500 Projects & Resources Management (including Environment) 2022 - Leading Lawyer
  • Young Private Practice Lawyer of the Year, New Zealand Law Awards 2016

Examples of Work

  • District planning processes - 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, and currently for Queenstown Lakes District Council on Environment and High Court appeals on plan review
  • 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

Other Credentials

  • Outward Bound Trust – Board Member
  • Resource Management Law Association - Member
  • Women in Property, Property Council New Zealand - Member