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RMLA Awards Report 2008

Outstanding Person Award 2008

Derek Nolan was awarded the Outstanding Person Award of 2008 for his leadership and commitment to excellence in resource management practice, his support for the RMLA, and his editorship of Environment and resource management law.

Derek was a foundation member when the RMLA was formed in June 1992 and served on the National Committee until 1998. Derek was President of the RMLA for two years in 1996 and 1997. During that period he lead the Association through a period of rapid growth, oversaw successful conferences in Wellington and Queenstown and was the Editorial consultant for the Resource Management News.

Derek was the Deputy Editor of the second edition of Environmental and Resource Management Law, published in 1997, and then Editor of the third and recently published fourth edition. As Principal Environment Judge Bollard stated, “The development of environmental and resource management law in New Zealand has continued apace,…represent(ing) an immensely challenging task for the select panel of contributing authors”. The Judge went on to state that if the goal of obtaining the broadest understanding of the relevant law and related disciplines may well seem beyond reach, then ‘this thorough treatise must surely obviate the need to look further”.

As a legal practitioner, Derek has led the Russell McVeagh team on many large and complex projects for a wide range of clients. To name a few:

  • Auckland International Airport – second runway designation and district plan provisions.
  • Many projects relating to Auckland’s waterfront redevelopment including acting for a major interest in the redevelopment of Tank Farm and the new reclamation at Axis – Fergusson container terminal.
  • A large number of projects for Westfield shipping centres.

Derek has been a partner at Russell McVeagh since 1984 and mentored many aspiring resource management practitioners.

Derek is also the current convenor of the New Zealand Law Society Environmental Law Committee.

Documentation Award 2008

Queenstown Lakes District Council, Arrow Resource Management, Mount Cardrona Station Ltd, Brown & Pemberton Planning Group and Anderson Lloyd Lawyers, were awarded the documentation award. The award was for the development of the Mount Cardrona Station Plan Change (Plan Change 18) – a joint venture to change the Queenstown Lakes district Plan to enable the community vision for the best practice development of a new alpine village.

Plan Change 18 is a joint venture plan change between Queenstown District Council (the Council) and Mount Cardrona Station Limited (MCSL). Plan Change 18 came about in late 2005 with the idea of instigating a plan change to relocate the existing Rural Visitor Zone (RVZ) away from Cardrona Valley Road onto a nearby terrace to avoid adverse landscape effects from the existing RVZ. The proposed zone relocation stemmed from a Cardrona community workshop held in 2002.

Plan Change 18 is intended to enable the development of an alpine village – located at the base of two existing ski fields. The village will provide for a mix of permanent residential and visitor accommodation, commercial and retail facilities, as well as opportunities for community, educational and recreational facilities.

The documentation was prepared by a group of specialised resource management practitioners contracted to the Council. The practitioners included planners, urban designers, landscape architects, engineers, ecologists, geotechnical experts, economists, and transport planners. A key focus of Plan Change 18 has been urban design, with extensive design and planning input into the village configuration, building layout, parameters for external appearance, public realm aspects such as pedestrian networks and village squares etc. The Structure Plan and plan provisions, along with a detailed set of Design Guidelines aim to ensure a very special alpine village character is created.

Project Award 2008

Transit NZ, Beca, Chapman Tripp and Zomac Planning Solutions Ltd was the project award winner for best practice in the investigation and reporting stage of the Victoria Park Tunnel Project, Auckland.

In particular the project demonstrates how the Resource Management Act (RMA) consenting processes can accommodate the timeframes, and design innovation and flexibility required for a major infrastructure provision in New Zealand. The project went through appropriate consultation with Iwi, the community and effective negotiations with affected parties, and resulted in a decision subject to limited appeals, which were easily resolved (partially through Environment Court mediation).