Environmental / Resource Management

RMA "Subdivision", GMOs and Road Stopping Notice / Consultation - A Spring Round Up of Decisions You Should Know About

Created: Tuesday, 01 November 2016 13:17

We shine the spotlight briefly on three recent decisions of the Environment and High Courts concerning:

  1. Whether certain property arrangements for leased land fell within the RMA definition of "subdivision" (Re Spark New Zealand Trading Ltd [2016] NZEnvC 115);
  2. Whether the RMA enables regional councils to provide for GMOs in regional policy statements and plans (Federated Farmers of New Zealand Inc v Northland Regional Council CIV 2015-488-64); and
  3. What is considered to be adequate public notice and consultation on road stopping proposals under Schedule 10 of LGA'74 (Morgan v Waikato District Council [2016] NZEnvC 177).

Read more ...

The Unitary Plan and related reports

Created: Tuesday, 30 August 2016 02:46

Auckland Council released its Decisions on the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan on Friday 19 August 2016.  This Plan heralds a new era of planning for the region and its provisions will be of interest to many.  The Plan and related reports  may be viewed here. 

Resource Management Act changes – New approaches to plan-making

Created: Thursday, 28 July 2016 14:10

First published in Inside Tourism, August 2016

Public hearings of submissions on the Government's "Resource Legislation Amendment Bill" (Bill) have now finished, with a select committee report to Parliament due in September 2016.

The Explanatory Note describes the Bill as comprising "over 40 proposals aimed at delivering substantive, system-wide improvements to the resource management system".

This brief update focuses on two important changes proposed in the Bill to the way we make resource management plans in New Zealand – that is, the district plans, regional plans and regional policy statements that govern how we can use and develop land and other natural and physical resources. The two initiatives are:

  • A "national planning template" (NPT).
  • Two new alternative plan-making processes for councils.

Read more ...

Intoxication Offences - Sale and Supply of Alcohol

Created: Thursday, 14 July 2016 04:29

Sections 248, 249 and 252 of Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 (SSAA) deal with the sale and supply of alcohol to intoxicated people, allowing people to become intoxicated and allowing intoxication on licensed premises.

An offence under any of these sections is serious and will most likely lead to an application for a suspension/cancellation of the licence. Offences under ss 248 and 249 also constitute a negative holding under s 281 of the SSAA.

The Act introduced a definition of intoxication that was not part of the Sale of Liquor Act 1989 (SOLA). The introduction seems to clarify or formalise how intoxication is to be assessed. Whether this will be achieved is a matter for debate.

Read more ...

Changes to proposed plans beyond the scope of appeals

Created: Wednesday, 29 June 2016 15:46

In the course of resolving appeals on the provisions of a proposed plan, it is sometimes necessary to seek the Court's approval of changes to the plan that are beyond the scope of appeals – for instance, to facilitate the 'in scope' aspects of settlements reached with the parties.

Section 293 of the Resource Management Act 1991 provides a discretionary power to the Environment Court – to be exercised cautiously and sparingly – to direct that such changes be made, where there is a live plan appeal on a proposed plan.  A recent decision, Kahuranaki Station Ltd and Greenwood v Hastings District Council, provides a good illustration of the Court applying section 293 in a pragmatic way.

Read more ...

Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2)

Created: Friday, 17 June 2016 04:29

In a press release dated 16 March 2016, the Minister of Local Government, Peseta Sam Lotu-liga announced a number of reforms for the local government sector to enable local authorities around the country to deliver better services for ratepayers as part of the "Better Local Services Package".

The Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2) (the Bill) was introduced to Parliament on 9 June 2016 and had its first reading on 15 June 2016.  The Explanatory Note to the Bill states that the "current legislation provides only limited support for shared and integrated services, which is insufficient to enhance the scale and capability for water, transport, economic development and other activities".  

Read more ...


Need Assistance?


Auckland Office: +64 9 379 9350

Wellington Office: +64 4 499 9824


Contact us today

Signup Today!