Environmental / Resource Management

"...NO ONE WAS KILLED IN CHRISTCHURCH FROM A BUILDING THAT MET THIS LEVEL"

Created: Thursday, 14 May 2015 13:11

This comment from Building & Housing Minister, Nick Smith, in a speech announcing the Government's revised earthquakestrengthening policy, referring to the 34% code compliance standard for earthquake prone buildings: Minister's speech.

The Building (Earthquake-prone Buildings) Amendment Bill, which is due to be reported back to the House on 30 July 2015, caused a flurry of concern from insurers and building owners when it was introduced at the end of 2013. The Bill proposed seismic assessments of all buildings within 5 years, and required work resulting from the assessment to be completed within15 years, with an extension of 10 years available for some heritage buildings – see our commentary on Bill here.

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Proposed Environmental Legislation not Limited to RMA

Created: Friday, 10 April 2015 02:07

While the fate of RMA reform hangs in the balance following the Northland by-election, other environmental legislative proposals are worth keeping an eye on.

Environmental Reporting Bill Makes Progress

In March 2014 we discussed the introduction of the Environmental Reporting Bill. As this Bill has now been reported back to the House of Representatives by the Local Government and Environment Select Committee it is a good time to recap on what it seeks to achieve, and what changes the Select Committee have proposed.

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Minor Law Changes Not To Be Overlooked

Created: Wednesday, 01 April 2015 03:14

The Statutes Amendment Bill (No 4) brings with it important changes to a range of legislation affecting local government.

Omnibus Bills such as the above, which was passed on 24 March 2015, are often overlooked but can introduce significant changes to the law. This Bill amends a number of Acts that come within the every day operating sphere of local government. We have identified those of most relevance.

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Easements Over Reserve Land

Created: Tuesday, 24 March 2015 03:14

Schmuck v Director General, Department of Conservation and Ors [2015] NZHC 422

It is always gratifying to have one's advice confirmed by the High Court, but even more so when it involves a matter that has been needlessly frustrating to all parties involved for over a decade.

The recent High Court decision of Heath J in Schmuck v Director General confirms that the granting of easements over reserve land under section 48 of the Reserves Act 1977 (the Act), can be for both specific and general purposes, and is sometimes a necessary adjunct of protecting land without stymying other activities that are in the public interest.

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Easements Over Reserve Land

Created: Monday, 23 March 2015 19:59

Schmuck v Director General, Department of Conservation and Ors [2015] NZHC 422

It is always gratifying to have one's advice confirmed by the High Court, but even more so when it involves a matter that has been needlessly frustrating to all parties involved for over a decade.

The recent High Court decision of Heath J in Schmuck v Director General confirms that the granting of easements over reserve land under section 48 of the Reserves Act 1977 (the Act), can be for both specific and general purposes, and is sometimes a necessary adjunct of protecting land without stymying other activities that are in the public interest.

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An Update on the 2015 RMA Reforms

Created: Wednesday, 11 March 2015 20:17

Rotary meetings seldom grab the national headlines but this all changed in late January. No it wasn't an installation of the hallowed 32 burner BBQ at the local park, but a topic just as hot - the Minister for the Environment's speech on reform of the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA). The attention was justified.

Sure the speech was light on detail, but that is to be expected given policy development and work on a proposed Bill is continuing at pace. What it did provide was a sense of Minister Nick Smith's vision for the reforms and how that differs from the direction taken by the previous Minister. When considered alongside the February 2013 discussion document (Ministry for the Environment, Improving our Resource Management System Discussion Document) released by the previous Minister, the speech allows a map for the reforms to be drawn, albeit by inference.

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