Environmental / Resource Management

Tree Trimming Still An Issue

Created: Wednesday, 29 February 2012 02:23

Section 152 of the Resource Management (Simplifying and Streamlining) Amendment Act 2009 revoked district plan rules relating to the felling, damaging or removal of trees in an urban environment from 1 January 2012. This revocation does not, however, include rules relating to "...a tree, or group of trees...specifically identified" in a district plan. The effect of this amendment was discussed in an earlier article.

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One-Way Roadstopping Process

Created: Thursday, 02 February 2012 03:08

A recent success comes with the interesting procedural finding from the Environment Court that once a proposed road stopping has been referred to the Court a determination on the merits of the proposal can not be avoided.

Re Tararua District Council (Decision No. [2010] NZEnvC 425) concerned the proposed stopping of an unformed dead end road in the Tararua Ranges. The road had never been used for access purposes and was most unlikely to be so in the future. One objection to the proposal was received. It was from a 'recidivist' objector and related to matters of principle rather than merit. In accordance with the process prescribed by Schedule 10 of the Local Government Act 1974 (LGA'74) the Council considered the objection, resolved not to allow it, and referred the matter to the Environment Court.

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Exclusive Economic Zone To Become Yet More Exclusive

Created: Thursday, 24 November 2011 02:26

New Zealand's substantial exclusive economic zone (EEZ) is increasingly being used for much more than the traditional activities of fisheries and transport.

EEZ and continental shelf

The EEZ includes the area of sea, seabed, and soil from 12 to 200 nautical miles offshore. The Resource Management Act 1991 regulates natural resource management activities in the territorial sea out to 12 nautical miles. This leaves activities carried out in the EEZ unregulated (with the exception of fisheries and maritime transport), leaving New Zealand's oceans open to abuse. This problem is compounded by the fact that the New Zealand continental shelf extends beyond the existing 200 nautical mile boundary of the EEZ.

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New NES for Contaminated Sites

Created: Wednesday, 26 October 2011 02:29

New Zealand's clean, green image has taken a bit of a beating in recent years. This is largely the legacy of industrial, agricultural and horticultural practices that reflected ignorance of or indifference to the impact on the environment.

One of the more problematic issues we are left to deal with is that of contaminated sites. When land, that has historically been used for some activity that required the use of hazardous substances, becomes available for redevelopment, the issue becomes one of ensuring the new activity is safe for users.

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Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics - The RMA in Numbers

Created: Thursday, 13 October 2011 02:33

Thanks to the Ministry for the Environment there is a report every two years on the manner in which local authorities implement the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA). The report for the period 1 July 2010 to 30 June 2011 is now available - click here.

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Updated Environment Court Practice Note

Created: Saturday, 08 October 2011 02:37

The Environment Court has just released a new version of the Environment Court Practice Note. The updated Practice Note will come into effect on 1 November 2011 and will replace all earlier versions.

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