Latest Articles

Adequacy of Information for Notification Decisions -Discount Brands, Subsequent Legislative Amendments and Case Law

Created: Monday, 27 May 2019 09:52

The Supreme Court’s decision in Discount Brands Ltd v Westfield (New Zealand) Ltd [2005] NZSC 17 established the standard of information consent authorities require to make notification decisions under the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA). However, subsequent amendments to the notification provisions of the RMA removed the express statutory requirement for consent authorities to have adequate information, and replaced the rebuttable presumption of notification with a discretion to notify, casting doubt on the continued applicability of Discount Brands.

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Welcoming Back the Well-Beings

Created: Thursday, 16 May 2019 12:27

As promised by Hon Nanaia Mahuta at the beginning of her term as Minister for Local Government,  the four well-beings have been restored to the heart of the Local Government Act 2002 (the Act).

The Local Government (Community Well-being) Amendment Bill has now been passed reinstating the four aspects of community well-being – social, economic, environmental and cultural into the Act.  This short Bill, whilst harking back to the inception of the  Act, should not be interpreted as restoring the governance of local authorities to 2002 terms.  Much has changed in the interim, and the waves of ‘reform’ applied to the Act by successive Ministers have changed the manner of governance imposed in countless ways. 

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Brookfields Congratulates New Award Recipient 2019

Created: Monday, 06 May 2019 16:34


At the SOLGM Gala Dinner in May Brookfields had the pleasure of presenting the 2019 Brookfields Emerging Leader of the Year Award to Sandy Lowe, Risk Manager, Tararua District Council. Sandy will travel to the ICMA conference from 20-23 October in Tennessee, USA.

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Relevant Plan Provisions Must Prevail in Determining Whether Adverse Effects Arise

Created: Wednesday, 03 April 2019 15:05

In the recent decision of Liu v Auckland Council [2019] NZEnvC 33 the Environment Court cautioned that personal views as to what constitutes an adverse effect must not outweigh the application of relevant planning provisions. The decision also provides helpful commentary regarding the nature of the abatement notice appeal regime under the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA).

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Financial Contribution Conditions Now Confirmed to be Available for Designations

Created: Thursday, 28 March 2019 08:20

Earlier this month, in the decision Tauranga City Council v Minister of Education [2019] NZEnvC 032, the Environment Court considered as a preliminary question of law whether sections 171 or 174 of the RMA allow a territorial authority to recommend, and the Environment Court to impose, conditions requiring “monetary contributions” on designations (other than conditions that are offered on an Augier basis)

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Court of Appeal Clarifies Requirement to Pay Rates

Created: Thursday, 13 December 2018 09:18

The long-running rates challenge arising from the Kaipara District Council’s major cost overruns associated with the Mangawhai sewage and wastewater treatment scheme may finally have come to an end bringing welcome clarification of the relevant statutory requirements.  The Court of Appeal, in Rogan v Kaipara DC & Northland RC has ruled that the Appellants were not entitled to withhold payment of rates even if a rates assessment or rates invoice did not contain or accurately record all the specified information.

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