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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.

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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".  

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Cherry picking points on Appeal

Created: Tuesday, 14 June 2016 15:46

Can the Environment Court appeal process be limited by a Council's reasons for refusal?

Appellants challenging Council decisions refusing resource consent in the Environment Court occasionally argue that the range of matters for consideration by the Court on appeal should be regarded as limited by the Council's reasons for refusal.

The appellants advanced just such a jurisdictional argument (unsuccessfully) in a recent Environment Court case, Engebretsen & Song v Whangarei District Council [2016] NZEnvC 086.

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Proposed NPS on Urban Development Capacity Released – 2 June 2016

Created: Thursday, 02 June 2016 14:17

Minister Nick Smith has announced the release of the Government's proposed National Policy Statement (Proposed NPS) on Urban Development Capacity for public consultation.  Relevant information, including a copy of the consultation document, may be viewed by accessing the Ministry for the Environment's website here.

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Brookfields Emerging Leader Award 2016

Created: Tuesday, 31 May 2016 11:36
 
In April Brookfields partners Andrew Green and Matt Allan attended SOLGMs annual Gala Dinner in Wellington.  Brookfields was the sponsor of the newly created Emerging Leader Award won by Nicola Chrisp of the Waikato Regional Council. Read about Nicola and other award winners.
 
 
Award2016
 
 

Latest Catchcry is “Better Local Services”

Created: Tuesday, 22 March 2016 05:29

Minister of Local Government Sam Lotu-Iiga has just announced the next round in the unflagging campaign to improve the performance of Local Government.

Although short on detail as of yet, the Better Local Services package is intended to enable and equip local government to:

  • remain responsive to local preferences;
  • increase the coordination and cost effectiveness of local services and infrastructure;
  • increase support for regional growth and prosperity.

We can expect to see a legislation package introduced to Parliament in June, with the aim of passing legislation by the end of the year so that newly elected Councils can operate under the new provisions early in their 2016 to 2019 term.  The package is intended to address what the Government sees as significant long term challenges, including:

  • demographic changes;
  • economic shifts;
  • environmental pressures;
  • technological innovations.

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