Latest Articles

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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Guidance Available on Severance Payments

Created: Thursday, 29 March 2012 07:18

All local authorities are required, pursuant to clause 33 of Schedule 10 of the Local Government Act 2002, to include information about severance payments made during the financial year.

The Controller and Auditor General's office has issued a new publication called "Severance Payments: A Guide for the Public Sector".

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When Electricity Lines and Trees Meet: Who is responsible for controlling the trees?

Created: Monday, 19 March 2012 13:00

The obligations on electricity providers and land owners in controlling trees adjacent to electricity works has been clarified by the recent declarations in Marlborough Lines Limited v Alasdair Lorne Cassels. The High Court judgment, released on 24 January 2012, will be of particular interest to both forestry owners and electricity providers.

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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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Overseas Purchasers of New Zealand Land – Test for Approval

Created: Thursday, 16 February 2012 13:00

Ministers directed to reconsider decision to approve sale of Crafar Farms

The High Court has ruled that the decision to approve the sale of 16 North Island farms to an overseas buyer should be set aside and that the relevant Ministers must reconsider their decision.

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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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