Latest Articles

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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Old Argument over Subdivision of Cross Lease Titles Put to Rest

Created: Thursday, 01 November 2018 17:08

In its recent decision in Re McKay the Environment Court has determined that the conversion of a cross lease title to a fee simple (freehold) title constitutes a subdivision in terms of the Resource Management Act 1991. 

This is an unsurprising decision given the terms of the Resource Management Act and having regard to the true nature of a cross lease title. 

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Has the Territorial Authority Special Consultation Process Just Become a Whole Lot More Stringent?

Created: Friday, 12 October 2018 08:32

In Gwynn v Napier City Council [2018] NZHC 1943 Dobson J held that the Napier City Council (Council) made errors in the statutory consultation process in deciding whether to adopt a local Easter Sunday shop trading policy, despite undertaking a relatively thorough process. The Court held two grounds for judicial review were made out:

  • While the minimum statutory requirements for the special consultative process (SCP) were met, the decision did not discharge Council’s other consultation obligations set out in the Local Government Act 2002 (LGA);

  • The Council failed to consider a mandatory relevant factor, namely, consideration of the views of parties affected by the decision. 

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Duty of Care in the Context of Regulatory Action?

Created: Monday, 01 October 2018 16:03


In the recent decision Daisley v Whangarei District Council [2018] NZHC 2211 the High Court dismissed an application for leave to bring a summary judgment application against the Whangarei District Council (Council) and Mr Peters. In the process of reaching this decision the High Court provided some interesting commentary surrounding local authority liability in relation to the duty of care owed to landowners when taking regulatory action. 

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Putting King Salmon into Perspective in Relation to Resource Consents

Created: Wednesday, 22 August 2018 17:14

The Court of Appeal has released its judgment on RJ Davidson Family Trust v Marlborough District Council.  The judgment clarifies the application of Part 2 of the RMA when considering resource consent applications.  It follows a period of jurisdictional uncertainty arising from the High Court’s consideration of the case.

The High Court had extended the Supreme Court’s judgment in King Salmon to apply to resource consent applications. 

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