Environment Court workload levels out
The total number of appeals and applications filed in the Environment Court have stabilised over recent years to a level the Court can manage efficiently, notes Environment Court Registrar Harry Johnson.
The report indicates that the special directions to enable service of appeals arising out of the Auckland Unitary Plan process via electronic lodgement on to the Court’s web pages, has been effective. The Court anticipates that no more than a handful of cases will need hearing time, and plans are being made for that work to proceed promptly as cases are identified.
The report notes that a total of 485 matters were filed in the reporting year, with 453 disposed, with a clearance rate of 93%.
The volume of resource consent appeals is linked to the volume of notified applications processed by local authorities, and plan appeal numbers fluctuate as planning instruments undergo change.
At 30 June 2017, there were 207 plan appeals outstanding and 80 resource consent appeals outstanding.
Cases filed and disposed in Environment Court, year to 30 June
|Misc||Total Filed||Total Disposed|
The report highlights that section 268 of the Resource Management Act 1991 empowers the Environment Court to arrange mediation and other forms of alternate dispute resolution. It says the Court actively encourages this “and consequently the majority of cases will undergo mediation”.
Court-annexed mediation volumes and outcomes, year to 30 June
|Total mediation events||244||232||164|
|Agreement reached in full||103||69||63|
|Agreement reached in part||65||84||49|
|Agreement not reached||48||53||42|