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RMLA Awards Report 2004

The RMLA Awards were presented at the conference dinner at Taupo on Saturday 2 October 2004.

Documentation Award

The winner of the Documentation Award for excellence in statutory resource management documents was Pyes Pa West Urbanisation Project. This was a joint project by Grasshopper Properties (NZ) Ltd, Beca Carter Hollings and Ferner Ltd, assisted by S & L Consultants, in association with Tauranga City Council, Western Bay of Plenty District Council, and the Bay of Plenty Regional Council.

It involved resource consent applications to all the three Councils and changes to the Western Bay of Plenty District Plan and Tauranga District Plan, with the entire process taking 17 months from the commencement of analysis of environmental effects to the resolution of appeals. The judging panel considered that the innovative approach to this project was carried through into the documents themselves.

The other two entries for this award were:

  1. Waikato Regional Policy Statement Proposed Change No. 1 – Geothermal; together with Proposed Waikato Regional Plan, Proposed Variation No. 2 – Geothermal, and
  2. Rotorua District Council Proposed Variation 12 : Lakes A zone, Rotorua District Plan.

The efforts in lodging the entries for the Documentation Award were acknowledged at the conference dinner. RMLA will be calling for nominations for the award again prior to next year’s conference.

Outstanding Person Of The Year

The 2004 Resource Management Law Association ‘Outstanding Person of the Year’ award was this year presented to Jim Guthrie of Anderson Lloyd, Dunedin. Jim will be well known to members of the Association, not only for his outstanding contribution to the law, but also for his contribution to conservation and also to the community, particularly in the area of medical research. Jim is a former chairperson of the Medical Research Council of New Zealand and of the Health Research Council of New Zealand, as well as of the New Zealand Conservation Authority. He is also a past Chairman of the New Zealand Law Society Resource Management (now Environmental) Law Committee, and has represented the legal profession on the Environment Court Liaison Committee. Jim was also a valued member of the National Committee of the Resource Management Law Association from 1999-2003.

Jim has been Lead Counsel on many environmental law cases. His most recent high profile case was acting as Lead Counsel for Meridian Energy in Project Aqua, which was the largest development, in terms of cost and numbers of consents that has ever been proposed under the Resource Management Act regime. His past cases, too numerous to list, include acting for Government, Non-governmental organisations, individuals and developers. He continues to act as a consultant to Anderson Lloyd, a firm which he joined in 1972, becoming a partner there in 1974. The Association wishes him well in the continuation of his practice, and in his fight against Parkinsons Disease, which has caused his early retirement from partnership.