Environmental / Resource Management

Who Owns the Bed of Rivers?

Created: Friday, 20 July 2012 00:53

The question of ownership of river beds between riparian owners and the Crown turns on the issue of navigability. Historically, this was dealt with under section 14 of the Coal-mines Act Amendment Act 1903 (CAAA'03) which was substantially re-enacted in section 261 of the Coal Mines Act 1979 (CMA). The legislation holds that if a river was navigable then it vests in the Crown. In determining, contrary to earlier decisions, that the stretch of river in question was not navigable, the Supreme Court (SC) decision in Paki v Attorney-General is a small victory for Maori.

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'Tag' Report into RMA Sections 6 & 7 and Natural Hazards

Created: Friday, 06 July 2012 00:58

The Resource Management Act 1991 Principles Technical Advisory Group has released its Report on its review of sections 6 and 7 of the RMA and the natural hazards provisions.

The Report makes recommendations including that:

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Section 274 RMA - Who Has Standing?

Created: Wednesday, 27 June 2012 01:08

Treble Tree Holdings Limited v Marlborough District Council

This case involves the interpretation of section 274 of the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) and is important for decision makers and developers to bear in mind as section 274 notices arrive. Interestingly, it states that a person who holds a certain level of scientific knowledge, which relates to the subject matter of the appeal, may come within the terms of section 274(1)(d) as having a greater interest than the general public. The judgment also considers the accepted interpretation of section 274(1)(d) and sets out the principles arising from the previous case law which should be applied.

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The Dangers of Careless Consultation

Created: Thursday, 07 June 2012 01:08

Cressick Valley Residents Association Inc v Wellington City Council

Cressick Valley Resident's Association (CVRA) sought judicial review of decisions made by the Wellington City Council (Council) concerning the re-zoning of a site owned by Terrace Heights Holdings Ltd, the second respondent, which was located near to the homes of members of CVRA. The re-zoning of the site was undertaken at the request of the owner in the context of a wider plan change proposed by the Council.

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Clarification of Climate Change Effects on Consent Applications

Created: Thursday, 24 May 2012 01:12

Buller Coal Limited and Solid Energy New Zealand Limited v West Coast ENT Incorporated

The Environment Court has recently issued a declaration on the applicability of climate change considerations to resource consent applications for coal mining. West Coast ENT have argued that the effects on climate change of the carbon emissions resulting from the burning of the coal, even when that coal is used abroad, are relevant considerations for the decision maker.

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Role of Councils on a Direct Referral

Created: Saturday, 28 April 2012 01:14

Under section 87D of the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA), an applicant can ask a Council to allow the Environment Court to determine its application for resource consent, instead of the consent authority. This is known as a direct referral. Section 87D is an addition from the 2009 amendments to the RMA.

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