Awards

Awards

The Resource Management Law Association makes annual awards in the field of resource management.

The focus of the awards is to:

  • Award excellence in resource management documents including National Standards, Policy Statements, section 32 analyses , District or Regional plans or other such documents, , prepared by or on behalf of government or local authorities in fulfilment of their duties under the Resource Management Act 1991 or other significant documentary contributions such as books and journals;
  • Recognise outstanding contributions by individuals; and
  • Award projects that have made a significant contribution to the development of best practice and the implementation of the RMA’s purpose and principles.

The Documentation, Publication, Project and Regional award decisions are delegated to an RMLA Awards Sub-Committee of the National Committee.

With respect to the Outstanding Person Award, the Awards Committee shall name recommendations, narrowing the nominations down to a shortlist of two (maximum three), with an accompanying report.  The decision on the Outstanding Person Award shall then be made by the full National Committee, and the decision of the Committee is final.  Any RMLA member (excluding National Committee members) may submit nominations in writing, for an award.

Any nomination for any team award must identify in submitted documentation any current National Committee members that are team members (or are in the same firm, company or related entity as any team member). Once a nomination has been sent in to the committee there shall be no further communication by any persons nominated or member of the team with the Committee related to the award selection process, until after the Awards are announced.

If a National Committee member is a member of any team (or related to any firm, company or related entity nominated for a team award) they shall not participate in or be present at any discussion of or voting on that category of award.

Unsuccessful candidates will have their documentation returned if requested in a covering letter.  Reasons are not required to be given to any unsuccessful nominees.

The winner of each Award (if any) will be announced at the RMLA Conference dinner. Applicable to all awards, the recipient shall be presented with an appropriate award/plaque and a certificate at the RMLA National Conference. Team awards shall be presented with a certificate for each team member upon request.

Successful candidate/s will be advised a minimum of two weeks prior to conference and are expected to be in attendance at the Annual Conference dinner, where the awards are presented.

Nominating is easy: Simply download our nomination form and email it to karol.helmink@rmla.org.nz

Or post a completed copy to:

Karol Helmink
Resource Management Law Association
PO Box 89187
Torbay
AUCKLAND 0742

RMLA will accept nominations from June 01 2018.

The Closing Date for the Awards is Wednesday, 1 August 2018

The RMLA Awards Sub-Committee’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

Select from the following menu to view 2018 award criteria

Awards Criteria: Documentation

 

The Award

The RMLA makes awards for technical, statutory or other resource management planning documents which make a significant contribution to the development of the practice of resource management and/or exhibit innovation and excellence in the planning or technical approach(es) used.

Guideline

This award of the Association shall be made at the discretion of the National Committee. The nominees for awards should be appropriately qualified or recognised professionals within their field. The majority of the team is expected to be RMLA members.

Any RMLA member (excluding National Committee members) may submit nominations in writing, for an award.

Any nomination for any team award must identify in submitted documentation any current National Committee members that are team members (or are in the same firm, company or related entity as any team member).

If a National Committee member is a member of any team (or related to any firm, company or related entity nominated for a team award) they shall not participate in or be present at any discussion of or voting on that category of award.

Criteria

The overall criteria shall be that the document has made a significant contribution to the advancement of the law, theory and practice of resource management.

If a Policy Statement, National Standard, Plan or document is submitted for evaluation in accordance with the criteria for this award, the following are examples of the considerations taken into account:

  1. Has the plan or document complied with the requirements of the Act for its class of document (eg sections 59 to 76 of Act)?
  2. Has the plan covered all matters required in Second Schedule Parts I or II?
  3. Evidence of section 32 analysis.
  4. Does the plan have a flow through issues, objectives, policies, methods and reasons to results?
  5. Is the Document or Plan appropriately interlinked in a transparent way?
  6. Have the issues, objectives, standards and/or policies been expressed clearly and stated appropriately?
  7. Does the plan or individual parts of it have an overall justification in terms of section 32 and the RMA?
  8. Is there consistency with other RMA documents?
  9. Does the plan demonstrate fairness between activities (i.e. effects – based)?
  10. Is there clarity in activity status (e.g., permitted activities do not have any reserved discretion; controlled activities have standards and terms and elements of control identified)?
  11. Has the Document or Plan applied best current knowledge or practice for various effects, and does it have any innovative techniques of merit?
  • Form
  • Clear expression, plain English
  • Consistent use of terminology
  • Logical pattern
  • Ease of finding all policies, objectives, rules for one activity
  • Typeface, size, leading, layout
  • Maps and diagrams of clarity

Interested in sponsoring this award category? Contact Rikki Stancich to learn about our sponsorship opportunities.

RMLA will accept nominations from June 01 2018.

Awards Criteria: RMLA Publication Award

The Award

The RMLA makes awards for publications which enable a better or more complete understanding of resource management law, theory and practice by the resource management community or interested general public. These may be in academic, technical or other industry journals, or texts or other publications used by the resource management profession or broader public, – at the discretion of the National Committee.

Guideline

This award of the Association shall be made at the discretion of the National Committee. The nominees for awards should be appropriately qualified or recognised professionals within their field. The majority of the team is expected to be RMLA members.

Any RMLA member (excluding National Committee members) may submit nominations in writing, for an award.

Any nomination for any team award must identify in submitted documentation any current National Committee members that are team members (or are in the same firm, company or related entity as any team member).

If a National Committee member is a member of any team (or related to any firm, company or related entity nominated for a team award) they shall not participate in or be presen

Criteria

The overall criteria shall be that the document has made a significant contribution to the advancement of the law, theory and practice of resource management.

  1. Has the publication clearly demonstrated exceptional research and/or advancement of learning and understanding in the field of resource management?
  2. Has the publication made, or does it have the potential to make, a major contribution to a constructive and practical application of law, theory or practice within the profession of resource management?
  3. Does the publication apply best current knowledge or practice?
  4. Does it incorporate innovative techniques and methods of merit?
  5. Nominations may come from any sector but must be related to the practice of resource management.
  6. If publication of the document has not yet been achieved, it must be imminent within the next six months.

RMLA will accept nominations from June 01 2018.

Interested in sponsoring the Award Category? Contact Rikki Stancich.

Awards Criteria: RMLA Project Award

The Award

The RMLA makes awards for projects which make a significant contribution to the development of best practice and the implementation of the RMA’s purpose and principles.

Guideline

This award of the Association shall be made at the discretion of the National Committee. The nominees for awards should be appropriately qualified or recognised professionals within their field. The majority of the team is expected to be RMLA members.

Any RMLA member (excluding National Committee members) may submit nominations in writing, for an award.

Any nomination for any team award must identify in submitted documentation any current National Committee members that are team members (or are in the same firm, company or related entity as any team member).

If a National Committee member is a member of any team (or related to any firm, company or related entity nominated for a team award) they shall not participate in or be present at any discussion of or voting on that category of award.

Criteria

The overall criteria for all projects shall be that the project has made a significant contribution to the advancement of best practice and the implementation of the RMA’s purpose and principles.

In relation to projects the following criteria may be relevant:

  1. Has the project complied with all relevant provisions of the Act?
  2. Has the supporting documentation complied with all the requisite information requirements of the Act including the fourth schedule?
  3. Has the project demonstrated appropriate consultation practice both with iwi and the community?
  4. Does the project demonstrate fairness between activities?
  5. Have all relevant mitigation mechanisms been applied?
  6. Does the supporting documentation pass the clarity and presentation tests listed in the Awards Criteria Documentation list not otherwise set out here?
  7. Does the project apply best current knowledge or practice for various effects?
  8. Does it employ innovative techniques and methods of merit?
  9. Has the project been successfully implemented?

RMLA will accept nominations from June 01, 2018.

Awards Criteria: RMLA Outstanding Person Award

Background

The RMLA has an annual awards process in which awards are made for outstanding contributions to the law, theory and practice of resource management. Applicable to all awards, the recipient shall be presented with an appropriate award/plaque and a certificate at the RMLA National Conference.

Guideline

The RMLA personal award is to be made for outstanding contributions only. For this reason it is not necessary to make an award each year. The Outstanding Person Award is required to include the following extent of details:

  1. A cover letter, signed by the nominator.
  2. The nominee’s CV or biographical information.
  3. Two or three letters of recommendation from RMLA members.

Criteria

  1. It is desirable that the person should be nationally recognised for their activities and contribution.
  2. The award is not for long service but is for a contribution that results in further development and understanding of the law, theory and best practice in resource management.
  3. The contribution could be made to a person within any one or more of the relevant sectors, including government, the judiciary, industry, private practice or the general public.
  4. An Outstanding Person nominee must be an RMLA member.
  5. Meritorious nominees for the Outstanding Person award not selected in a given year may be held over for consideration by the Committee for the next year, but not held over for any further years. The names of these nominations will be conveyed to the next years Awards Committee.
  6. Only one person should receive the Outstanding Person award in any year and a recipient may receive the honour only once.
  7. Any nominee for the Outstanding Person award should not have been a member of the National Committee at any time within 2 years of the date of the nomination.

With respect to the Outstanding Person Award, the Awards Committee shall name recommendations, narrowing the nominations down to a shortlist of two (maximum three), with an accompanying report.  The decision on the Outstanding Person award shall then be made by the full National Committee, and the decision of the Committee is final.

RMLA will accept nominations from June 01, 2018.

Interested in sponsoring this Award category? Contact Rikki Stancich.

Awards Criteria: The Principal Judge R J Bollard Lifetime Commemorative Award

The Award

This is an award presented to an individual to recognise their outstanding services to the RMLA profession over the course of the individual’s lifetime career. This is an award that would only be expected to be given out to exceptional individuals and on occasion, rather than in any particular year. It would be expected there would be many years it would not be awarded.

Guideline

The Lifetime Commemorative Award is to be made for outstanding lifetime contributions only. For this reason the award will not be made each year.

The Award is required to include the following extent of details:

  1. A cover letter, signed by the nominator.
  2. The nominee’s CV or biographical information.
  3. At least three letters of recommendation from current RMLA members.

Criteria

  1. The person should be nationally and internationally recognised for their expertise in, and contribution, to the theory and practice of resource management in New Zealand over a prolonged period (in most cases, the recipient’s lifetime career).
  2. The person may still be practising or may be retired but generally if the latter the award would be made within 2 years of the retirement rather than many years after retirement.
  3. The person may have been a recipient of the Outstanding Person Award, although this is not a prerequisite.
  4. The award could be made to a person within any one or more of the relevant sectors, including government, the judiciary, industry, private practice or the general public.
  5. Meritorious nominees for this award not selected in a given year may be held over for consideration by the Committee for the next year, but not held over for any further years. The names of these nominations will be conveyed to the next years Awards Committee.
  6. Only one person may receive this award in any year and a recipient may receive the honour only once.
  7. Any nominee for this award should not have been a member of the National Committee at any time within 2 years of the date of the nomination.

RMLA will accept nominations from June 01, 2018.

Interested in sponsoring this award category? Contact Rikki Stancich.

Awards Criteria: The RMLA Regional Award

The Award

A RMLA Regional Committee can nominate a person within their region to give recognition to individuals who have contributed significantly to a Regional Committee’s RMLA work in any particular year.

Guideline

These nominations would be forwarded to the National Committee and 1-2 overall regional awards could be given in a particular year at the National Committee discretion.

Criteria

Similar restrictions apply such that where persons are on the Regional Committee and National Committee, they cannot be nominated themselves, or nominate others, until two years after they have sat on the relevant committee.

Interested in sponsoring this award category? Contact Rikki Stancich to learn about our sponsorship opportunities.

RMLA will accept nominations from June 01, 2018.


RMLA Awards Report 2017 : Citations

Beca, Southern Skies, Auckland Council, Sea Change, and Waikato Regional Council stole the limelight at this year’s RMLA Annual Awards, while Hon Peter Salmon QC and Adam Wild were honoured with RMLA’s Principal Judge R J Bollard Lifetime Commemorative Award and Outstanding Person Award, respectively.

The Awards took place on the closing night of RMLA’s Annual Conference, themed #Liveable, on Saturday September 23. With a stellar line-up of renowned international and national speakers, this year’s RMLA Annual Conference attracted over 700 delegates.

RMLA Documentation Award 2017

WINNER:  Sea Change Tai Timu Tai Pari Hauraki Gulf Marine Spatial Plan

RMLA’s Documentation Award 2017 was awarded to Sea Change Tai Timu Tai Pari Hauraki Gulf Marine Spatial Plan for its excellence in executing a collaborative process and producing an innovative plan to protect a nationally significant taonga.

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RMLA Publication Award 2017

Winner: Beca, Southern Skies and Auckland Council won the RMLA Publication Award for articulating the best current knowledge and practice in erosion and sediment control.

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RMLA Project Award 2017

WINNER: Waikato Regional Council was awarded RMLA’s Project Award 2017 for its forward-looking approach to resolving freshwater quality and allocation issues.

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RMLA Outstanding Person Award 2017

WINNER: Adam Wild

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The RMLA Outstanding Person Award is made for outstanding contributions to the law, theory and practice of resource management.

The Resource Management Law Association’s Outstanding Person Award 2017 went to Adam Wild for making an outstanding contribution to the field of heritage and conservation architecture, both in New Zealand and internationally.


Judge R J Bollard Lifetime Commemorative Award 2017

WINNER: Hon Peter Salmon CNZM QC

The Hon Peter Salmon CNZM QC, one of RMLA’s founders and its inaugural President, was awarded RMLA’s Principal Judge R J Bollard Lifetime Commemorative Award 2017 for dedicating a lifetime of leadership to the resource management profession.

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The RMLA would like to acknowledge and thank our 25th Anniversary Annual Awards Dinner Sponsor, Russell McVeagh

About the RMLA Annual Awards

The Resource Management Law Association makes regular awards in the field of resource management.  The focus of the awards is to:

  1. Award excellence in resource management documents including National Standards, Policy Statements, section 32 analyses, District or Regional plans or other such documents, prepared by or on behalf of government or local authorities in fulfilment of their duties under the Resource Management Act 1991
  2. Recognise outstanding contributions to the Resource management field of law and practice by individuals; and
  3. Award projects and publications, such as books and journals, that have made or make a significant contribution to the development of best practice and the implementation of the RMA’s purpose and principles, or enable a better or more complete understanding of resource management law, theory

RMLA Awards Report 2016 : Citations

Isthmus, Boffa Miskell, Hobsonville Land Company and Environmental Management Services were among the thirteen winners at this year’s RMLA Annual Awards.

Nearly 400 leading resource management practitioners gathered to attend RMLA’s Annual Conference and Awards in Nelson over the weekend.  A total of ten organisations and three individuals walked away with awards recognising their contribution to the advancement, implementation and understanding of resource management best practice in New Zealand.


RMLA Documentation Award 2016

WINNER: Tūpuna Maunga o Tāmaki Makaurau Authority and Boffa Miskell Limited

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For the compelling and evocative recording of the strategic direction for the management of the 14 Tūpuna Maunga in the Tūpuna Maunga o Tāmaki Makaurau Integrated Management Plan


Thomson Reuters Publication Award 2016

WINNER: Isthmus

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Coast. Country. Neighbourhood. City.

For capturing leading-edge RMA practice in Landscape Architecture, Urban Design and Architecture in an attractive, accessible presentation.

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Catherine Iorns Magallanes

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“Maori Cultural Rights in Aotearoa New Zealand: Protecting the Cosmology that Protects the Environment”

For a significant contribution to understanding how environmental law in a Western state can incorporate a broad approach to our relationship with the natural world through a survey of how Maori cosmology is upheld in New Zealand environmental law.


Chapman Tripp Project Award 2016

JOINT WINNER: Hobsonville Land Company, Isthmus, Campbell Brown, Glaistor Ennor, Isthmus_Construkt_JV

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For setting a benchmark in the delivery of sustainable new communities in New Zealand in the development of Hobsonville Point

JOINT WINNER: Ruapehu District Council, Environmental Management Services Limited, Aquanet Consulting Ltd,  Ngāti Rangi and Uenuku

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For developing an approach in the reconsenting of the Ohakune, Raetihi and National Park Wastewater Treatment Plants that was culturally inclusive, collaborative, technically feasible and effective.


Kensington Swan Outstanding Person Award 2016

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WINNER: Judge David Kirkpatrick

The RMLA Outstanding Person Award is made for outstanding contributions to the law, theory and practice of resource management.

This award is made to Judge David Kirkpatrick for making an outstanding contribution as Chair of the Independent Hearing Panel for the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan.

The Judge has made outstanding contributions to Resource Management law in New Zealand since his admission in 1984.  From 1994 – 2004 he was a partner at Simpson Grierson, before going to the bar in July 2004 and joining the bench in February 2014 following his appointment as Chair of the Independent Hearing Panel in late 2013.  While his long and distinguished career in the resource management field itself is outstanding, it is for his role as Chair of the IHP that he receives this award.


Judge R J Bollard Commemorative Lifetime Award 2016

WINNER: Dr Royden Somerville QC

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Dr Royden Somerville has a long and distinguished career in the Law that is remarkable not only for his skill as a barrister, recognised when he took silk and the many significant cases he has led, but the breadth of his contribution to environmental law and practice and the personal qualities that have made him admired and respected.


The RMLA would like to acknowledge and thank our sponsors for their generous support, including our Awards Dinner Sponsor, Russell McVeagh; and our individual awards sponsors Chapman Tripp, Kensington Swan and Thomson Reuters.

About the RMLA Annual Awards

The Resource Management Law Association makes regular awards in the field of resource management.  The focus of the awards is to:

  1. Award excellence in resource management documents including National Standards, Policy Statements, section 32 analyses, District or Regional plans or other such documents, prepared by or on behalf of government or local authorities in fulfilment of their duties under the Resource Management Act 1991
  2. Recognise outstanding contributions to the Resource management field of law and practice by individuals; and
  3. Award projects and publications, such as books and journals, that have made or make a significant contribution to the development of best practice and the implementation of the RMA’s purpose and principles, or enable a better or more complete understanding of resource management law, theory

 

RMLA Awards Report 2015 : Citations

The RMLA was delighted to acknowledge five publications, documents and projects in our annual awards ceremony this year in Tauranga.  It is fantastic to be able to recognize excellence right across the spectrum of planning, law, environmental science, engineering and other disciplines who all make such a significant contribution to the field of resource management.  The standard of entries was particularly high this year and the National Committee thanks everyone for the huge amount of effort that clearly went into preparing award submissions.  The 2015 winners are:


Documentation Award

Awarded to: New Zealand Chapter of Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand Inc.

For: Ecological Impact Assessment Guidelines

For Ecological Impact Assessment Guidelines which will provide practical assistance to experts and lift standards in this area.

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Dr Ian Boothroyd accepting the Documentation Award on behalf of the NZ Chapter of EIANZ


Publication Award

Awarded to: Ceri Warnock and Maree Baker-Galloway

For: “Focus on Resource Management Law”

For an innovative approach to presenting the law in an easily accessible manner.  The judges were particularly impressed with this publication for its clarity and simplicity, and while it is aimed at new professionals, the we considered it a highly worthwhile publication for those from the whole range of backgrounds and experience.

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Maree Baker-Galloway accepting the Publication Award on behalf of herself and Ceri Warnock


Highly Commended Publication

Awarded to: Catherine Iorns and Greg Severinsen

For: “Diving in the Deep End: Precaution and Seabed Mining in New Zealand’s EEZ”

For a highly readable and topical examination of this new area of practice and legislation.  By using examples and clearly structured writing, the judges considered this paper enhanced understanding and will be particularly useful for those new to the topics covered.

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Greg Severinsen accepting the Highly Commended Publication Award


Project Award

Awarded to: The NZ Transport Agency and Bloxam Burnett & Olliver

For: The Huntly Section of the Waikato Expressway

For strong stakeholder collaboration and innovation in delivering the Huntly Section of the Waikato Expressway.  This project was particularly unique in that it started from a position of significant opposition from a range of stakeholders. The extent of stakeholder engagement and collaboration through the consultation processes resulted in a high degree of involvement and consensus from all parties.

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Steve Bigwood and Mercedes Santos receiving the Project Award


Highly Commended Project

Awarded to: Hastings District Council, Rau Kirikiri, Ipurangi Developments Ltd, Environmental Management Services Ltd, GHD Ltd and Asher Davidson Barrister

For: The Hastings District Council’s Whakatu Arterial Link

The project is Highly Commended for innovative designation practice through community-led decision making.  The judges were impressed by the approach of this project team too of starting by asking the community what they wanted.

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Asher Davidson and Stephen Daysh accepting the Highly Commended Project Award

 

RMLA Awards Report 2015 : Citations

The RMLA was delighted to acknowledge five publications, documents and projects in our annual awards ceremony this year in Tauranga.  It is fantastic to be able to recognize excellence right across the spectrum of planning, law, environmental science, engineering and other disciplines who all make such a significant contribution to the field of resource management.  The standard of entries was particularly high this year and the National Committee thanks everyone for the huge amount of effort that clearly went into preparing award submissions.  The 2015 winners are:


Documentation Award

Awarded to: New Zealand Chapter of Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand Inc.

For: Ecological Impact Assessment Guidelines

For Ecological Impact Assessment Guidelines which will provide practical assistance to experts and lift standards in this area.

rmla_conference_2015-78

Dr Ian Boothroyd accepting the Documentation Award on behalf of the NZ Chapter of EIANZ


Publication Award

Awarded to: Ceri Warnock and Maree Baker-Galloway

For: “Focus on Resource Management Law”

For an innovative approach to presenting the law in an easily accessible manner.  The judges were particularly impressed with this publication for its clarity and simplicity, and while it is aimed at new professionals, the we considered it a highly worthwhile publication for those from the whole range of backgrounds and experience.

rmla_conference_2015-81

Maree Baker-Galloway accepting the Publication Award on behalf of herself and Ceri Warnock


Highly Commended Publication

Awarded to: Catherine Iorns and Greg Severinsen

For: “Diving in the Deep End: Precaution and Seabed Mining in New Zealand’s EEZ”

For a highly readable and topical examination of this new area of practice and legislation.  By using examples and clearly structured writing, the judges considered this paper enhanced understanding and will be particularly useful for those new to the topics covered.

rmla_conference_2015-80

Greg Severinsen accepting the Highly Commended Publication Award


Project Award

Awarded to: The NZ Transport Agency and Bloxam Burnett & Olliver

For: The Huntly Section of the Waikato Expressway

For strong stakeholder collaboration and innovation in delivering the Huntly Section of the Waikato Expressway.  This project was particularly unique in that it started from a position of significant opposition from a range of stakeholders. The extent of stakeholder engagement and collaboration through the consultation processes resulted in a high degree of involvement and consensus from all parties.

rmla_conference_2015-87

Steve Bigwood and Mercedes Santos receiving the Project Award


Highly Commended Project

Awarded to: Hastings District Council, Rau Kirikiri, Ipurangi Developments Ltd, Environmental Management Services Ltd, GHD Ltd and Asher Davidson Barrister

For: The Hastings District Council’s Whakatu Arterial Link

The project is Highly Commended for innovative designation practice through community-led decision making.  The judges were impressed by the approach of this project team too of starting by asking the community what they wanted.

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Asher Davidson and Stephen Daysh accepting the Highly Commended Project Award

RMLA Awards Report 2014 : Citations


Resource Management Law Association : Outstanding Person Award 2014

Awarded to: Ian Cowper

For: The RMLA Outstanding Person Award is made for outstanding contributions to the law, theory and practice of resource management.

This award is made to Ian Cowper for making an outstanding contribution: as a mentor, to the growth and development of others in the legal profession, and as a litigator, to the understanding and practice of resource management law.

Ian has made outstanding contributions to Resource Management law in New Zealand before it even had that name.  In 1971, Ian (along with Judge Newhook) was a law student representative on the newly minted Environmental Defence Society, with David AR Williams QC and others.  Through that organisation, he was involved in many of the seminal environmental cases in New Zealand, including Keam v Minister of Works and Development (CA), which prevented the abstraction of geothermal fluid that might have affected the Waimangu volcanic Valley.

Ian’s career has spanned four decades and five law firms.  His advice and legal arguments have directly affected communities throughout the country, and the indirect effect of those precedents is felt on an almost daily basis.  Ian was a director of EDS for a lot of its early life, and Gary Taylor advises that he gave the organisation a lot of direction and wise counsel.

Ian’s public interest in litigation also encompassed successfully obtaining Water Conservation Orders on the Mohaka, Rangitikei and a range of smaller North Island rivers.

Ian has worked across the range of New Zealand industries, including agricultural and horticultural enterprises, viticulture, forestry, timber treatment and processing, milk processing, mining, telecommunications and others.  He has acted for consent authorities in relation to contentious projects and been sought out by government for projects such as the contentious TCC gas fired power station, the Waterfront Stadium and Eden Park.  He has acted in relation to all scales of projects across the country.

Ian is courteous, fair and straightforward to deal with.  His reputation for fairness is such that Judge McElrea asked him to be amicus curiae in a particularly difficult criminal proceeding where the defendant was already represented.

Ian is recognised as an excellent teacher and mentor, who is patient and respectful with junior staff.  The letters in support of Ian’s nomination for this award recognise his contribution to the growth of many young staff members into capable lawyers.

Andrea Rickard
Awards Convenor

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Ian Cowper’s acceptance speech


The Principal Judge R J Bollard Lifetime Commemorative Award 2014

This award recognises the outstanding services by an individual to the RMLA profession over the course of the individual’s lifetime career. This award is not given every year, and has in fact only been awarded twice, first in 2010 posthumously to its namesake, Principal Judge Bollard, and second in 2012 to Professor Peter Skelton.

The key criteria against which nominations are measured is that the person should be nationally and internationally recognised for their expertise in, and contribution, to the theory and practice of resource management in New Zealand over a prolonged period.

It is extremely fitting that we are able to present this award in the recipient’s home town, where he made a significant impact that is still apparent today.

I am proud to announce that this year’s award goes posthumously to Jim Guthrie, (James Kempster Guthrie) and it is wonderful that his father, wife, sons and grandsons are able to be present to receive the award in honour of Jim.

It was with considerable sadness that we farewelled Jim in January of this year. It is timely that this year’s conference is being held in Jim’s home town of Dunedin.  In fact it was this very room that we held his valedictory dinner in 2004, to mark his retirement from full time practice due to his illness with Parkinsons.

Jim joined the firm of Anderson Lloyd in 1972, becoming a partner in 1974. He was lead counsel on many seminal cases acting for NGOs, SOEs, individuals and developers. Jim’s passion for the environment led him to outstanding environmental advocacy, including leading cases in water conservation. Following his early retirement from partnership due to his illness, he remained as a consultant with the firm for several years and continued to take a keen interest in resource management case law developments up until his death.

Jim made an outstanding contribution to the theory and practice of resource management law, conservation and the community.  Jim was a member and Chair of the New Zealand Conservation Authority, Chair of the New Zealand Law Society Resource Management (now Environmental) Law Committee and represented the legal profession on the Environment Court Liaison Committee. He was also a valued member of the National Committee of the Resource Management Law Association from 1999-2003. Jim was recognised by the Resource Management Law Association in 2004, receiving the “Outstanding Person of the Year” award. In recognition of his services to so many branches of our community Jim was also recognised in the New Year’s Honours in 2005 when he was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

We had several wonderful letters in support of Jim’s nomination for this award, but there is one in particular I will read out. Whilst I am a Dunedin girl, Andrew Cameron, then the Crown Solicitor in Wanganui, was my first mentor – and Jim was his. So when I had finished my time in Wanganui the circle led straight back to where I was ultimately aiming for.  I am grateful for my years with Andrew and I’m sure one day I’ll write similarly lovely words about him – and I am also grateful that I learned from a practitioner who was so heavily influenced by Jim, as well as then getting the opportunity to work with  Jim in Dunedin.

Andrew wrote:

For my part I worked closely with Jim for many years in the late 80s and 90s.  Consequently I was able to observe how he worked at first hand.  His analytical skills (both legal and factual) were outstanding and those skills combined with his penetrating and persuasive advocacy made him pre-eminent in our field.  Further, his ability to cogently advise and gain the confidence of clients (including Ministers for the Crown), was a privilege to observe.

I worked with Jim in my formative professional years, and so gained a mentor unlike any other.  He was exacting and inspired the pursuit of excellence.  He was highly communicative and engaged.  I was required to participle in his critical and analytical thinking.  He was patient and generous in his encouragement.  Jim modelled intellectual rigour, clarity of thought, articulate argument, courage under fire and self-belief.  This was deeply empowering for a younger practitioner.  I am forever in his debt.

As are we all.

Maree Baker-Galloway
National Committee

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The Guthrie family

Front Row L to R: Ron (Jim’s dad), Barbara, Mary (Steve’s wife)
Back Row L to R: Steve, Rob, Si, James, Duncan (Si and James – son’s  – other 3 brothers).

RMLA Awards Report 2013 : Citations


The RMLA Project Award 2013

(received by Ghassan Basheer, Waikato Regional Council)

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The Tui Mine Remediation Project
Waikato Regional Council

The RMLA makes awards for projects which make a significant contribution to the development of best practice and the implementation of the RMA’s purpose and principles.

Citation

The Tui Mine is an abandoned mine site on the western flanks of Mt Te Aroha in the Kaimai range and is surrounded by public conservation land in the Kaimai Mamaku Forest Park.  It was once dubbed New Zealand’s most contaminated site.

But after more than two years of work, the major risks to community health and safety and environmental damage posed by the Tui Mine site on Mt Te Aroha have been removed.  The successful conclusion of the complex project to remediate the Mine was celebrated in May 2013.

The Tui Mine remediation project aimed to:

  • contain the tailings within a stable and secure location
  • reduce the release of contaminants into the Tui and Tunakohoia streams, thereby improving the water quality in those streams
  • improve the geotechnical stability of the tailings impoundment
  • improve the safety and security of the site
    improve the visual appearance and aesthetics of the site
  • address as far as practicable, within the limitations of the project, the impacts of the Tui mine on the taonga of the Te Aroha maunga (Mt Te Aroha) for iwi.

The Waikato Regional Council has been involved in the management of the Tui Mine remediation works since June 2007, when the Ministry for the Environment (MfE) announced funding for the project.

The Project was considered by the committee as making a significant contribution to the quality of the environment (including of the Tui and Tunakohoia streams), consistent with the sustainable management purpose of the Act.  The Project provides an outstanding result within funding constraints and the issues arising from the abandonment of the site some time ago.  It has also mitigated the impacts of the Tui Mine on the taonga of the Te Aroha Maunga (Mt Te Aroha).


The RMLA Outstanding Person Award 2013

(received by Basil Chamberlain, Taranaki Regional Council)

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Basil Chamberlain
Taranaki Regional Council

The Association occasionally makes awards for outstanding individual contributions to the law, theory and practice of resource management.

Citation

Basil Chamberlain is Chief Executive of the Taranaki Regional Council, a position he has held for 23 years.  Prior to that he held senior roles with the Taranaki Catchment Commission and Regional Water Board, during a period of significant oil and gas discoveries and associated energy development.

Basil holds a Bachelor of Science (Honours) from the University of Otago and has undertaken executive management training in both the United States and England.

Basil has also enjoyed considerable involvement in a range of capacities at a national level, mainly in the fields of resource management and biosecurity.  In 2004, he chaired Local Government New Zealand’s Resource Management Act Improvement Project team and at the same time was a member of the Ministerial Reference Group advising on the review of the RMA.  Since 1997, he has been a member of the New Zealand Biosecurity Council and more recently the Government’s Biosecurity Ministerial Advisory Committee.  Basil has also served as Convenor of the Regional Council Chief Executives’ Group.

Basil is a strong advocate for both economic growth and environmental management in the Taranaki Region, leading the charge towards a thriving and prosperous Taranaki by:

  • Promoting the sustainable use, development and protection of Taranaki’s natural and physical resources
  • Safeguarding Taranaki’s people and resources from natural and other hazards
  • Promoting and providing for Taranaki’s regionally significant services, amenities and infrastructure
  • Representing Taranaki’s interests and contributions to the regional, national and international community

He has guided the Council through a myriad of significant, and sometimes controversial, issues over his 23 years as Chief Executive and is nationally recognised as a well respected speaker and commentator.

The Committee is delighted to award the Outstanding Person award to Mr Chamberlain in recognition of his significant contribution to the practice of resource management.


The RMLA Publication Award 2013

(received by Lucy Brake, EDS)
(hard copy publication)

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EDS for Caring for our coast: an EDS Guide to managing coastal developments (EDS, 2013)

The RMLA makes awards for publications which enable a better or more complete understanding of resource management law, theory and practice by the resource management community or interested general public.  These may be in academic, technical or other industry journals, or texts or other publications used by the resource management profession or broader public, – at the discretion of the National Committee.

Citation

EDS produces a range of publications on topical environmental issues.  This publication, Caring for our coast: an EDS Guide to managing coastal developments has made substantial and significant contribution to the understanding of matters requiring consideration in coastal development.

The work provides a comprehensive introduction to issues.  It provides practical insight into them, together with the processes surrounding coastal development.

The publication was described by the committee as being comprehensive, easy to read and navigate, and an outstanding reference textbook that will enhance the understanding of coastal issues, for practitioners working in environmental and resource management law, as well as for students and educational institutions.  That is consistent with EDS’s wider philosophy, intended to bring together the disciplines of science, law and planning to promote good environmental outcomes.


The RMLA Publication Award 2013

(received by Ross Abercrombie, Waikato Regional Council)
(media publication, to be developed for interactive smart-phone and tablet versions etc)

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Waikato Regional Council for the Menus of practices to improve water quality

The RMLA makes awards for publications which enable a better or more complete understanding of resource management law, theory and practice by the resource management community or interested general public.  These may be in academic, technical or other industry journals, or texts or other publications used by the resource management profession or broader public, – at the discretion of the National Committee.

Citation

Waikato Regional Council has recently launched a set of “menus of practices” for improving water quality for each of following activities:

  • Menu of practices to improve water quality: dairy farms
  • Menu of practices to improve water quality: drystock farms
  • Menu of practices to improve water quality: cropping land

The Committee was impressed with the innovative approach to the “menus”, which are designed to be developed for interactive smart-phone and tablet use.  They will undoubtedly prove to be a valuable and important resource that will assist in enhancing water quality within the region into the future.  (Although designed for Waikato, the menus will also be relevant for farmers and regulators elsewhere across the country).

The menus use the latest research to rate their effectiveness at reducing nitrogen, phosphorus, sediment and microorganisms entering waterways.  The cost and benefit on the farm business are also indicated to assist farmers in making choices about what practices best suit their farming circumstances.

Waikato Regional Council developed the menus together with DairyNZ, Beef + Lamb New Zealand, Foundation for Arable Reseach, Fonterra, Federated Farmers Waikato and Rotorua-Taupo branches, AgFirst, Ballance Agri-Nutrients and Headlands.

Farming practices at your fingertips

Farmers can now assess the costs and benefits of various farming practices to improve water quality at the click of a mouse.

Interactive online versions of a set of ‘menus’ of farming practices released as booklets last year are now available at www.farmmenus.org.nz.

The menus assess a range of practices for cropping land, and dairy and drystock farms that improve nutrient management and reduce impacts on water quality.

Farmers can use the menus on their home computer, tablet or smart phones to sort practices on the basis of:

likely water quality benefit in terms of reducing nitrogen, phosphorus, sediment or micro-organisms;
cost and benefit to the farm business.
Development of the menus was prompted by farmers asking Waikato Regional Council what they could do to improve water quality in rivers. So Waikato Regional Council worked together with eight industry partners for 18 months to develop booklets of menus of practices for dairy, drystock and cropping.

Since their release last year, over 2000 booklets have been distributed to farmers and rural professionals

The web menus make decision making information even easier to access. Farmers can cut and paste farm management practices straight into their environmental farm plans. The menus link to other industry websites for more information. They will be continually updated and online videos added in the future.


The RMLA Documentation Award 2013

(received by Kathryn Ross, Northland Regional Council)

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Northland Regional Council for the Proposed Regional Policy Statement for Northland

The RMLA makes awards for  technical, statutory or other resource management planning documents which make a significant contribution to the development of the practice of resource management and/or exhibit innovation and excellence in the planning or technical approach(es) used.

Citation

The Northland Regional Council formally notified its Proposed Regional Policy Statement for Northland for a public submissions period that ran from 8 October until 5pm Monday, 3 December 2012.  Independent commissioners heard submissions and have now deliberated and made their final recommendations to the Northland Regional Council.  The Council is soon due to publicly notify its decisions on the new RPS.

At the time of notification, the Proposed Regional Policy Statement for Northland represented two and a half years’ work involving strong community and stakeholder engagement from a broad spectrum of interests.

The new issues included in the Proposed Regional Policy Statement are targeted at a high level and focus on fresh and coastal water, indigenous ecosystems and species, economic wellbeing, regional form, issues of significance to tangata whenua, natural hazards, and natural character, landscapes and historic heritage.  It is intended to achieve greater integrated management of the region’s natural resources – how they are used, the value placed on them and the community’s aspirations for their management.

The Committee was impressed at the collaborative approach taken to the development of the proposed RPS.  It has a wide view that seeks to provide for economic development and wellbeing while sustainably managing resources in the region for future generations.  The document was logically constructed and made for a high degree of ease of use and understanding of the direction it sought to promote.

Andrea Rickard
RMLA Awards Convenor

RMLA Awards Report 2012 : Citations

RMLA Awards 2012 Citations

I am very honoured to be standing here today to present the RMLA Awards for 2012.  The awards provide significant recognition of excellence in the profession and recognition amongst our peers.

Bal Matheson is co-convenor of the awards sub-committee and he and I were both delighted at the standard and calibre of the award nominations received this year.

Needless to say, decision making was tough this year.


The Publication Award

The RMLA makes awards for publications which enable a better or more complete understanding of resource management law, theory and practice by the resource management community or interested general public.  These may be in academic, technical or other industry journals, or texts or other publications used by the resource management profession or broader public, – at the discretion of the National Committee.

The Publication award has been assessed by a sub-committee of the awards sub-committee.

I am delighted to announce that the winner is the Environmental and Resource Management Law: Fourth Edition, Editor Derek Nolan.

This edition has made substantial and significant updates to the previous edition and two new chapters on Climate Change and Landscape and Visual are included for the first time.  The work provides a comprehensive introduction to modern environmental law, its sources and institutions.  Along with a detailed analysis of the Act, a wide range of topics are addressed.

The book was described by the committee as being comprehensive, easy to read and navigate, and an outstanding reference textbook that will enhance the understanding of the RMA within and beyond the profession.  Whilst the target audience is primarily legal practitioners and other professions working in environmental and resource management law, it will have broader relevance to students and educational institutions.

There are 17 authors of this work who have all put in an extraordinary effort to produce such a successful work.

I’d like to invite Derek Nolan, as editor, to accept the award.


The Project Award

The RMLA makes awards for projects which make a significant contribution to the development of best practice and the implementation of the RMA’s purpose and principles.

The Project award has also been assessed by a sub-committee of the awards sub-committee.

I am pleased to announce that the sub-committee, led by Bal Matheson, has selected Beca and the Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team (also known as the SCIRT Alliance) as the winners of the Project Award this year.

The project is a Multi-Criteria Assessment Tool developed by the Beca planning team to assist SCIRT in selecting preferred rebuild options for the city’s earthquake damaged roads, fresh water, wastewater and stormwater networks.

The tool was developed from a recognised need to ensure resource management principles are taken into account early on in the design process for rebuild schemes.

The MCA had to provide a consistent, measurable and transparent process to justify the identification and eventual selection of the preferred rebuild options.  The tool is tailored specifically to address a number of easily measureable matters that would normally be included in a MCA, including project objectives, the effective provision and delivery of services, economic (non-cost) issues, and the ability to coordinate/align works with other projects.

The tool was described by the committee as being an innovative, pragmatic and practical solution developed under extreme time and emotional pressure.  It has provided a significant contribution towards the Christchurch rebuild by streamlining RMA processes.

I would like to invite Christine Ralph of the Beca planning team to the stage to accept the award on behalf of Beca and SCIRT.


The Outstanding Person Award

The Association occasionally makes awards for outstanding individual contributions to the law, theory and practice of resource management.

I am delighted to announce that the winner of the Outstanding Person Award for 2012 is Dr Kenneth Aiken Palmer.

Dr Palmer has impeccable academic credentials.  He studied law at Auckland University, Harvard University and the University of Virginia.  He was appointed to the faculty of law at the University of Auckland in 1972 and since that time has made an enormous contribution to research, teaching, law reform and legal practice in the fields of planning/resource management law and local government law.

His achievements include contributions to, and authorship of, a multitude of texts.  His editorial leadership in the area of environmental and resource management law is evidenced by his General Editorship of the New Zealand Journal of Environmental Law from its conception in 1997 until the present day.  He has also contributed a prodigious quantity of articles, case-notes and commentary on topical resource management issues in the LexisNexis Resource Management Bulletin since it began in 1994.  He has written many other articles and commentary for journals and other publications in New Zealand and internationally.

Dr Palmer commands the respect of colleagues as evidenced by invitations to address local and international conferences and countless references to his work in other academic writing;

  • of the judiciary – as evidenced by many references to his writings in judgements and invitations to address judicial symposia; and
  • of the profession – as evidenced by the number of his ex-students who have gone on to become leading practitioners and judges; and
  • by deference to his wealth of knowledge by practitioners who often seek his counsel on difficult matters of law.

It is no exaggeration to say that Dr Palmer is widely regarded as the “guru” of resource management and local government law in New Zealand.

Dr Palmer has also contributed at the “coal face” of legal practice, with involvement in litigation as advisor or counsel in many cases, including in the High Court and Court of Appeal.  His opinion, advice and support has been relied upon in other areas of litigation, including in relation to heritage protection, aquaculture, and marina development.

As a teacher of resource management and local government law Dr Palmer has gained the respect and affection of more than a generation of law students.

Dr Palmer is unable to be here with us today as he is overseas on academic business.  His award will be collected on his behalf by the Honourable Peter Salmon QC.


The Principal Judge John Bollard Lifetime Commemorative Award

This is an award presented to an individual to recognise their outstanding services to the resource management profession over the course of the individual’s lifetime career.

This is an award that would only be expected to be given out to exceptional individuals and on occasion, rather than in any particular year.

It would be expected there would be many years it would not be awarded.

I am delighted to announce that the winner of the award is Professor Peter Skelton.

Professor Skelton’s career has evolved through a number of different stages and has encompassed the full range of roles: lawyer, judge, academic and independent commissioner.  It is a career of considerable length and impressive variety within the New Zealand resource management field.

Professor Skelton’s legal career started as a law clerk in the Auckland office of Rennie Cox and Garlick in 1959, while attending university.  For almost 13 years he practiced law as a litigator, based in Hamilton.  From 1965 – 1975 he was a partner in the form of Harkness Henry and Co, and from 1975 to 1978 he was a barrister sole.  Much of this work involved town and country planning and environmental matters.

While working in Hamilton, Professor Skelton was a Council Member for the Hamilton District Law Society Council and was Joint Secretary of the 1969 New Zealand Law Society Centennial Conference.

In 1978, Professor Skelton was appointed as a Stipendiary Magistrate and Chairman of the No.3 Division of the Planning Tribunal, subsequently renamed as District Court Judge and Planning Tribunal Judge.  Professor Skelton became the first Tribunal Judge to be based in the South Island (Christchurch) expanding a judiciary then centred on Auckland and Wellington.

Since his appointment, Professor Skelton has made a very substantial contribution to the judicial law on planning and resource management.  The Environment Court estimates that he issued about 50 decisions per year for the length of his 22 years on the bench.  This amounts to over 1,000 decisions.

Major cases he presided over include the Clyde Dam appeals; the Kaitorete Spit sand mining application; the Mataura, Ahuriri, Rakaia, and Buller River Conservation Order Inquiries; the Port Chalmers, Shakespeare Bay and Granity jetty port developments; the challenge to the validity of the Auckland Metropolitan Urban Limits; the Doubtful Sound water export proposal; the establishment of the Rastus Burn ski field in the Remarkables, consideration of subdivisions within air noise contours of Christchurch Airport; and the Christchurch metropolitan refuse landfill appeals in the early 1980s.

Professor Skelton retired from the bench in 2000 after 22 years of service.  In 2001 he was appointed a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM) for Services to Environmental Law.

Upon retiring from the bench, Professor Skelton took up a position as Associate Professor at Lincoln University, where he taught for 5 years until 2005.  Upon his retirement from teaching, Professor Skelton was appointed as an Honorary Professor of Lincoln University.  He also undertook an increasing number of appointments as an Independent Hearings Commissioner.

In April 2010, Professor Skelton was appointed by the Government as one of the Environment Canterbury Commissioners to replace the Canterbury Regional Council.  He commenced that role on 1 May 2010 and will continue in that role until the end of 2013.

One of the main reasons the Government stated for the appointment of Commissioners to Environment Canterbury was the desire to improve the management of freshwater within the Region.  As part of implementing that objective, Professor Skelton was instrumental in bringing certainty to the planning framework by making the Natural Resources Regional Plan operative in 2011.  Subsequently Professor Skelton has been heavily involved in the development and implementation of the Canterbury Water Management Strategy, which seeks to adopt a more collaborative and efficient approach to the management of freshwater.

The fact that Professor Skelton continues to play a major role in the resource management field more than 50 years after first commencing work as a practitioner demonstrates a true lifetime contribution to the field.

Andrea Rickard
RMLA Awards Convenor

To view a copy of the Beca article, follow this link HERE

RMLA Awards Report 2011

Firstly, the National Committee wishes to thank all those members who put forward RMLA Award nominations this year.  As discussed at the Conference dinner, we really need our members to put effort each year into entering themselves or nominating others in the various categories.  The strength of the RMLA awards rests in the caliber and number of entrants and the resultant prestige in being selected as the winning entrant.  The RMLA Awards are a great way to annually recognise successes within the resource management profession, celebrate in others or our own success, and reward the professional excellence and hard work that goes on each year in the various RMA fields.


Documentation Category

The Waikato Regional Council was the successful recipient in the RMLA Document category, for Variation No. 5 related to Lake Taupo water quality.

Variation 5 is ground breaking and pioneering on an issue that affects one of NZ’s most important water catchments. The lessons learned and the examples set by Variation No. 5 are expected to be reviewed for other catchments and trading schemes internationally and nationally.  Variation No. 5 was born out of the efforts of Waikato Regional Council, with District Council, Central Government, Iwi partners and wider community stakeholders all actively engaged and involved in the process.  The RMLA wished to recognises Waikato Regional Council making a bold start on tackling this very difficult environmental issue, starting back in 2000.  It has taken some time for Variation No. 5 to complete the RMA statutory processes, primarily due its complexity and significant impact on landowners and stakeholders. However Variation No. 5 in its final operative form is comprehensive, well thought out and innovative, and will hopefully lead to significant advancements in the way water quality and sustainable land practises around our waterways are managed around Lake Taupo and potentially the rest of New Zealand in the near future.

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From left: Simon Berry (Simon Berry Environmental), Justine Young (WRC), Cr Stuart Kneebone (WRC), Rob Dragten (WRC), Craig Malone (Simon Berry Environmental)


Projects Category

The criteria for the Project Award is that the project makes a significant contribution to the advancement of best practice and the implementation of the RMA’s purpose and principles.

The Project Award recipient this year is Contact Energy’s Tauhara II Geothermal Consents project.  Tauhara ll was the first project to be completed in 2010 under the new “nine month “ Board of inquiry process administered by the newly formed EPA.

As such, the project team (comprising Contact Energy, Environmental Management Services, SKM, Buddle Findlay, Trevor Robinson Barrister and Isthmus) was breaking new ground to try to address all of substantive complex issues and deal with new statutory processes, all within a tight time frame. The procedures created and followed were well lead and coordinated. Innovative planning and consultative mechanisms were adopted that resulted in a highly successful outcome, including meeting the scheduled timeframes, and achieving community and stakeholder support through the new legislative process.

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For Tauhara II Project

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Kate Barry-Piceno presenting the award to Rosemary Dixon of Contact Energy


Outstanding Person Award

There were no nominees for this award in 2011.


The Judge John Bollard Lifetime Commemorative Award

There were no nominees for this award in 2011.

Report by Kate Barry-Piceno, Awards Convenor 2011

RMLA Awards Report 2010

Kate Barry-Piceno, Awards Convenor

This year we received an impressive standard in the nominations received in each category and the RMLA wish to thank all those members who have put forward a nomination. For those of you who have not been successful this year, we do encourage you, and also other members, to enter next year. The strength of our awards rests in the breadth of the nominated entrants and the resultant prestige in being selected as the winning entrant.


Documentation Category

The RMLA is pleased to announce the Taranaki Regional Council nomination of “Taranaki where we stand. State of the Environment Report 2009” as the successful recipient in this category.

This was a very comprehensive document, well set out and structured. It builds on earlier work (two earlier reports) and provided a well presented picture and objective of the environmental “status” of the region, based on a sound amount of information and monitoring. It was a very well presented document that was easy to follow, and a refreshing and innovative approach by a Council to review its own performance and present information to the public.


Projects Category

The overall criteria for all projects is that the project itself makes a significant contribution to the advancement of best practice and the implementation of the RMA’s purpose and principles. The RMLA is pleased to announce the Taranaki Regional Council’s “Riparian Management Programme for Taranaki” has been successful in this category.

This project was well underway and showed very clear problem definition, and a practical and collaborative response involving all stakeholders. It was a very topical issue, and demonstrates considerable perseverance to provide a solution with a ‘voluntary buy-in’ from all involved. The benefits of a long term view and goal were tangible and measurable. The project was narrow in focus but it won due to its practicality and effectiveness, and the great level of voluntary community ‘buy-in’ to the project.


Outstanding Person Award – Lindsay Gow

This year’s award is for an individual who has had a long career in government planning and resource management. Lindsay Gow has had a major influence in the shape of the governance of resource management and general government in New Zealand. Before his retirement, he oversaw many of the programmes that focused on improving practice in resource management in New Zealand and, in particular, Lindsay was the intellectual brain behind the development of the Resource Management Bill through its development in the late 80’s, and was strongly influential in the roll-out and implementation of the Act.

The RMLA was pleased to present the 2010 award for Outstanding Person to Lindsay Gow.


The Principal Judge John Bollard Lifetime Commemorative Award

The highlight of our Awards process this year is to announce a new RMLA Commemorative Lifetime Award, named in honour of Judge RJ Bollard. The inaugural recipient was to its namesake, Principal Judge John Bollard.

The award was presented by Peter Skelton who delivered a wonderful speech about John’s life. A copy of this speech follows this report and can also be viewed on-line on the RMLA website. It was accepted on John’s behalf by Principal Environment Court Judge Craig Thompson, as requested by John Bollard’s wife Shirley Bollard, who was sadly overseas and could not attend the evening.

As so well summed up about John Bollard’s career by Peter Skelton:

“In all that he did John Bollard was a giver and never a taker. From his earliest days in practise as a lawyer to the end of his career as a Judge he was motivated by dedication to the task in hand and service to others. His was a career of which his wife Shirley and his family can be truly proud. He served his country with great distinction and his contribution to the law will live on in the judgments he wrote so well during his distinguished career.”


The Principal Judge John Bollard Lifetime Commemorative Award

2 October 2010

Professor Peter Skelton

It is a great honour for me to have been asked to make this first presentation of the Principal Judge John Bollard Lifetime Award. John and I were close judicial colleagues for about 12 years until I retired from the Environment Court in 2000 but our friendship and our mutual interest in resource management law and practice continued until his untimely death in April last year.

John took his law degree at Auckland University and a recent reading of his CV has reminded me that we were virtually contemporaries at that University. However, while I settled gratefully for a hard won LL.B, John went on some years later to gain a Master of Jurisprudence (with distinction). This was a tribute not only to his academic ability but also to his powers of endurance which as it turned out were to be of considerable assistance to him in his later judicial life and in another way that I will allude to as I proceed.

John became a partner in the law firm of Brookfield Prendergast Schnauer and Smytheman in 1967 and continued in the firm of Brandon Brookfield from 1984 to 1987 as the result of a merger. In the earlier firm one of his partners was the recently retired Judge David Sheppard who was appointed to the Planning Tribunal in 1980. Brookfields as they were locally known in legal circles thus had a very strong planning and resource management legal team and I am fairly confident it is still the only law firm in New Zealand to have produced three Environment Judges. Judge Laurie Newhook comes from the same stable.

In the early years of his practising life John undertook general legal work until about 1976 when he began to specialise in litigation including town planning appeal work. It is worth reflecting here on the significance of that early general practice experience which can provide such a sound grounding for future specialisation. I experienced this myself at much the same time. In later judicial life I am sure both John and I benefited greatly from having learned the rudiments of conveyancing, land law, contract and commercial law. John’s versatility is demonstrated also by the fact that his masters thesis was entitled “Unit Trusts in New Zealand.” based on an interest he had developed as Convenor of the Companies and Commerce Subcommittee of the Auckland District Law Society in 1977-78. During his practising days John was also a member of several other Law Society committees both at the district and national levels and from 1974 to 1981 he was a part-time University tutor.

But as his career developed it was to be in the administrative and planning law areas that he would make his name and earn his reputation as a highly skilled and competent litigator. From 1980 to 1987 he acted for at least 9 territorial authorities in the Auckland Region and the Bay of Plenty, the Auckland Regional Council and his old alma mater the Auckland University. He even appeared in front of me on two or three occasions in planning cases I heard in Auckland after my appointment to the Planning Tribunal in 1978. The outcomes are unimportant but I recall him then as always being well prepared, highly knowledgeable about the law (a great help to me) and the soul of courtesy- a characteristic that he retained throughout his professional life.

John’s practise took him before the Planning Tribunal, the High Court and the Court of Appeal. The cases were mainly in the planning and environmental area and some of the more notable ones included a case about a reserve in Mt Roskill; an unsightly collection of car wrecks in Whitford; a designation for airport expansion of a quarryable volcanic cone at Mangere and two cases about bulk LPG storage at Wiri. In the Court of Appeal as well as some planning cases he also appeared in two important administrative law cases. He appeared for the Auckland University in a case about the jurisdiction of the University Visitor and he appeared for the Auckland Regional Council in a leading case about car rental firms at airports.

In April 1988 John was appointed a Judge of the Planning Tribunal (later the Environment Court). Judge Arnold Turner had retired reducing the number of Planning Judges to just three, David Sheppard (Principal), John Treadwell and myself so John’s appointment was a very welcome addition to our ranks. We were joined in 1990 by Shonagh Kenderdine in Wellington and for several years thereafter our number remained at five. It is interesting to observe that the authorised statutory number of Environment Judges is now 10.

John was awarded the 1990 Commemorative Medal and in 2003 was appointed Principal Judge of the Environment Court. During his long and distinguished career as a Judge he presided over a wide variety of cases some of which still have precedent value today. There were cases about Maori issues including the celebrated prosecution over the attempt to cut down the pine tree on One Tree Hill and urban expansion at Bethlehem in the Bay of Plenty and a development at Thames both on land of significance to Maori. Just pausing to reflect on the One Tree Hill case; I mentioned earlier John’s courteous disposition. I happened to be in Auckland for part of the time when John was dealing with that case and I recall very clearly the calm and measured way he went about handling a very angry and defiant defendant who I am sure really wanted to become a martyr to a cause but John ensured this did not eventuate.

John also presided over cases concerning an expansion of the Waihi gold mine; a proposed resort on Urupukakpuka Island also in the Bay of Plenty; the redevelopment of Eden Park for night matches; a case about coastal erosion at Papamoa Beach; a series of proposals for a Skytower in Auckland and the long drawn out case about the Whangamata Marina. I recall also that he was the Judge involved with the lengthy hearings into Change 55 to the Rodney District Plan- another tour de force if ever there was one. He was also the Judge at first instance in the precedent setting Machinery Movers Ltd prosecution that remains the leading case on sentencing under the Resource Management Act.

For much of his time as a Judge, John was joined on the bench by two very competent Commissioners. One was Jim Dart who will be remembered from the Auckland University Planning School and the other was Arthur Hackett who was a surgeon and of course thus eminently qualified to be a Commissioner. Actually, Arthur doubled as our unofficial medical adviser and was forever urging us to eat something sweet at lunchtimes to keep our blood sugar up so we wouldn’t go to sleep in the afternoons!

These three spent a lot of time together both in Auckland and on circuit mostly in the Bay of Plenty. They became very good friends and importantly in the context of what I am about to say, they were all competent tennis players. When they discovered that I too fancied myself as a moderately competent exponent of the game (I was in fact still playing inter club tennis at that stage) arrangements were made for me to sit more regularly in Auckland with the instruction that I was not to leave home without my tennis racquet. We did battle on John’s lovely home court at Benson Road in Remuera where we were always welcomed by his wife Shirley and liberally provided with recuperative libations. We did battle at many conference venues and Judges’ meetings and on one occasion I was able to take John to experience night tennis at my own club in Christchurch. I think that was after the Eden Park case but then again maybe not!

All three of John’s divisional team were not only full of tenacity and purpose when sitting in the Environment Court they were equally so on the tennis court and it soon became evident to me that my assumed superiority in that sport was completely misplaced. They were a formidable combination but John never suggested that I should team up with him to take on the other two. He always wanted to keep my scalp for himself and in that regard he was frequently successful. They were great days.

Some of John’s later cases included one about burning off tussock country in Otago; a case in the Applefields saga and a major case about a proposed sawmill in the Coromandel Peninsula.
John wrote many articles on planning and resource management issues and he attended and spoke at many conferences. I recall in particular his absolute delight on being invited to address the Xth Commonwealth Law Conference at Nicosia in Cyprus on the subject of enforcement. This I believe was a highlight of his judicial career.

In his capacity as Principal Judge he was responsible for many innovative improvements to the workings of the Environment Court including the case tracking system; revision of the Practice Notes relating to Alternative Dispute Resolution; development of the Code of Conduct for Expert Witnesses; standardising consent orders and improving pre-hearing caucusing of expert witnesses.

In all that he did John Bollard was a giver and never a taker. From his earliest days in practise as a lawyer to the end of his career as a Judge he was motivated by dedication to the task in hand and service to others. His was a career of which his wife Shirley and his family can be truly proud. He served his country with great distinction and his contribution to the law will live on in the judgments he wrote so well during his distinguished career.

I valued him very highly both as a friend and a colleague. I still miss him to this day and I will do so for a long time to come. I am delighted that the Resource Management Law Association has seen fit to create this award in his name and it is entirely appropriate that John should be the first recipient. It is now my privilege to formally make that presentation to His Honour Principal Judge Craig Thompson on behalf of Shirley Bollard who is currently overseas and in doing so I also want to record that John’s close friend and colleague David Sheppard has expressed a special wish to be associated with this award and with this evening’s presentation.

RMLA Awards Report 2009

This year we received a large number of nominations in each category and the judges have reported to the national committee on the challenge in selecting the winners. The RMLA wish to thank all those members who have put forward a nomination. The strength of our awards rests in the breadth of the nominated entrants and the resultant prestige in being selected as the winning entrant. For those of you who have not been successful this year, we do encourage you, and also other members, to enter next year.


Documentation

The award is being presented to an extremely pro-active industry umbrella organisation which has set a new benchmark in industry-led environmental responsibility. This organisation has prepared both a full manual and an easy to use field guide describing best practice for membership companies in the sector. Both documents are clear, user friendly and appropriately detailed. The guide, in particular, provides environmental standards and values for the industry operators. The format of the guide allows easy updating as resource management techniques in the sector evolves.

The RMLA is pleased to present the 2009 Documentation award to the New Zealand Forest Owners Association. The New Zealand Forest Owners Association is a voluntary organisation whose members collectively manage 1.4 million hectares of rural land, of which 80% is planted in plantation trees. The Code of Practice will be a key reference document to ensure the forestry sector in New Zealand continues to operate using state of the art best practice resource management.


Projects – First award

The Project category this year was particularly challenging to judge. Nominated entries ranged from different rural, urban and industrial developments through to processes for bi-cultural management of resources. There were two projects which stood out as exceptional examples of best practice resource management, and the judges have decided to award two first places in this category.

The first award is to be presented to a development and associated resource consenting process which showcases a careful balance between environmental, cultural and social, outcomes within a set of defined engineering and cost parameters. The Assessment of Effects for the development was presented in a range of formats – including models, computer simulations and more traditional plans/paper formats. The project design incorporates a number of innovative environmentally responsible mitigation features to enhance ecological and landscaping values. The developers and range of consultants involved in this project have submitted a joint nomination for the RMLA award and are obviously justifiably proud of this development.

The RMLA is pleased to present the first of the 2009 project awards to The Hills Group, Brown and Pemberton and Anderson Lloyd – for the Hills Homesite Project in Arrowtown.

The following wide range of specialist consultants have also been involved in the project:

Patterson Associates – Architects

Darby and Partners – Master Planners

Vivian and Espie – Landscape Architects

Traffic Design Group – Traffic

Conservation Consultancy Limited – Ecological Consultants

Tonkin and Taylor – Geotechnical Engineers

Construction Management Services – Engineers

Construction Survey Ltd – Surveyors.

All of the involved consultants have contributed to an excellent example of sensitive residential development enhancing local ecological and community values and robust design, consultation and consenting processes.


Projects – second award

The second award is to be presented to mark the culmination of an extended resource consenting process – stretching back to its origins in December 2005 through to an outcome in February this year. The process and resultant consent plus attached conditions, reflects a much needed leading approach to managing one of our key resources.

The RMLA is pleased to present the second of the 2009 project awards to the Hamilton City Council, Simon Berry and MWH New Zealand Ltd – for the Hamilton City Council Water supply consent. The consenting process effectively “married together” water demand and supply considerations. A comprehensive Water Conservation Demand Management Plan was developed and used as a basis for a “stepped take” approach to water supply. The result is a set of conditions which will allow security of supply but also serve to incentivise demand management. This type of infrastructure decision-making taking full account of the need to balance resource use (through secure infrastructure) and protection (through demand management) is a positive example of things to come – as we develop better processes to minimise any unnecessary resource consumption.


Outstanding Person Award

The highlight of our Awards process is presenting the Outstanding Person award. This award is only presented in years when we receive one or more nominations for individuals of the calibre befitting our award. This year’s award is for an individual who has contributed tirelessly to resource management practices in New Zealand. This person has been involved in acting for over 20 local authorities, developed RMA legal theory and jurisprudence both at the bar and through various publications, as well as having significant input into shaping Central Government RMA policy. He has contributed greatly to the RMA field best practice in a variety of ways- through his roles in RMA education, as an independent Commissioner, as well as being on the RMLA national committee and acting as the RMLA National President for a number of years.

The RMLA is pleased to announce the 2009 award for an Outstanding Person goes to Alan Dormer. Alan’s contributions to the resource management field over the years of his profession are far reaching and he is an inspirational benchmark to all of those who practise at the planning bar.

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).

RMLA Awards Report 2007

The RMLA Awards were presented at the conference dinner at the Mission Vineyard, Napier on Friday 5th October 2007. Nominations for the awards were received from Urbanism Plus and Kapiti Coast District Council for a design guide in relation to subdivision; a resource consent application for the V8 Supercars event in Hamilton prepared by Bloxam Burnett Olliver and Hamilton City Council; a notice of requirement and assessment of environmental effects for the Newmarket Viaduct Improvement Project prepared by Transit New Zealand and Beca Carter Hollings and Ferner Ltd; the Muddy Waters Programme prepared by the Greater Wellington Regional Council; and the “One Plan” prepared by the Horizon’s Regional Council.

Following consideration and evaluation of each of the nominations received, the awards panel applied the assessment criteria set out in the RMLA Guidelines and made two awards as follows:


The Documentation Award for 2006

Awarded to: the Subdivision Guideline, prepared by Urbanism Plus and the Kapiti Coast District Council.

This document had a number of commendable qualities. It was written in very clear, simple language, it proposed simple common sense solutions, adopted best practice in terms of urban design, and perhaps most importantly it was extremely well thought out and accessible as a document. It gave a clear and transparent message as to the Council’s thinking in respect of subdivision consent applications and will be a very useful tool for those having anything to do with subdivision in the Kapiti Coast District.

The Outstanding Project Award for 2007

Awarded to: the Hamilton City Council and Bloxam Burnett Olliver application for the V8 Supercars.

First and foremost this project showed that the RMA is capable of delivering a positive consent outcome for even challenging and complex projects within a reasonable timeframe, while still adhering to the requirements of the Act in relation to public participation. In addition the documents accompanying the application were thorough and innovative. The consent strategy implements adaptive management principles whereby the first event will be used as a pilot with a review and response mechanism in the event that proposed traffic mitigation and attendance figures do not progress as anticipated. In doing this and in discussing the major task of putting in place the infrastructure required for such an event the documents are clearly expressed and logically set out.


Finally the Awards Committee also awarded:

A special award to Karol Helmink for her outstanding contribution to the Resource Management Law Association.
Karol is the only person who has been involved with the administration of the RMLA and the National Committee since the Association’s inception 15 years ago. Without Karol’s contribution to the Association, it would not have the status and respect that the organisation has. Without Karol the Association would not function as effectively and efficiently as it currently does. The Awards Committee therefore had the greatest pleasure awarding Karol for her special and extraordinary service to the Association over the last 15 years.

RMLA Awards Report 2006

The RMLA Awards were presented at the conference dinner at SkyCity Auckland on Saturday 7 October 2006.

Nominations for the Project Award were received from Maunsell Limited for the Kupe Gas Project Consents and from Tonkin & Taylor and Auckland City’s Utility Planning Group for the Seaside Park Project – Brady Road Closed Landfill Rehabilitation.

Nominations were also received for the Documentation Award and two for the Outstanding Person of the Year Award.

Following consideration and evaluation of each of the nominations received, the Awards Panel applied the judgment criteria set out in the RMLA Guidelines and made three awards as follows:


The Documentation Award for 2006

Awarded to: the third edition of Environmental and Resource Management Law published by Lexis Nexis NZ Limited (2005). This publication was first issued in 1980 under the editorship of D. A. R. Williams QC and re-issued in 1997 under the same editorship. This Third Edition under the editorship [and part authorship] of Derek Nolan has significantly expanded the discussion and exploration of the legal issues surrounding environmental and resource management law in New Zealand. It represents the collective wisdom of some fifteen very experienced members of the resource management community.


The Outstanding Person of the Year Award for 2006

Was extended to two recipients this year, Judge Shonagh Kenderdine and Jim Wiltshire respectively.

Judge Kenderdine’s award recognises her lifetime contribution to the practice and development of resource management law in New Zealand, over a career spanning 25 years. In 1990 Shonagh was appointed a Planning (now Environment Court) Judge. Although Wellington based, her circuit has taken her on a regular basis to Nelson and Marlborough, as well as to the Hawke’s Bay region and beyond. Her Honour has delivered judgments, and continues to do so, in diverse areas of environmental law. She coined the term “Aquaculture Management Area” before Parliament ever got hold of it, and is well known for her abilities to both grasp complex subjects and to run a court that made everyone, not just the lawyers and expert witnesses, feel welcome. Judge Kenderdine retired as a fulltime Judge on 6 August 2006 and has since been appointed as an Alternate Environment Court Judge.

Jim Wiltshire will also be known to many of you. Jim worked part-time through much of his University career as a law clerk at Brandon Ward McAndrew & Watts. He continued working for that firm following his graduation and his admission as a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court. He subsequently became a partner in that firm and thereafter in a number of successor firms including Brandon Ward Evans-Scott & Hurley, and Simpson Grierson.

Throughout his career, Jim maintained an interest in heritage matters and acted for the New Zealand Historic Places Trust in a number of landmark cases both under planning legislation and the Historic Places Act. In more recent years, Jim undertook a range of roles as a hearings commissioner and has given tirelessly of his time to training seminars for those involved in the resource management area. His relationships with both the Court and other practitioners were also marked with unfailing courtesy and he was always prepared to provide a word of advice to younger practitioners who were appearing before consent authorities and the courts on resource management matters.

Jim has been a member of the Association since its early days, and a member of the National Committee since 1995. During that time he has chaired the Legislation Committee responsible for evaluating all proposed legislation and regulations of significance to the implementation and practice of resource management, and when necessary, has made submissions on behalf of the Association on certain aspects of the proposed legislation/regulations. Since 1997 he has chaired the Scholarship Committee responsible for awarding scholarships which recognise and encourage excellence in people training in resource management professions. Jim chaired the Wellington branch of RMLA from 1995 to 1998 and has acted as liaison with senior management of the Ministry for the Environment and other representatives of professional bodies throughout his term.

RMLA Awards Report 2005

Four nominations were received this year, all in the document and project sections. The Awards Panel, comprising Mike Foster (Convenor), Dave Serjeant and Bill Loutit, applied the judgement criteria set out in the RMLA guidelines and made two awards.

The Project Award for 2005 went to the “Wind’s Up” project by Mark Ashby of Connell Wagner. The document provides a comprehensive guide to best practice for local authorities, and anybody proposing a wind farm.

“Wind’s Up” was officially launched by the Minister for the Environment in November 2004 and can be accessed freely at the EECA website. EECA informs us that it is the most downloaded document on the website. There is an interesting chapter in the book called “The Silence of the Plans” alluding to the lack of planning provision providing controlling for wind farms. With the rush for wind farm space all over the country currently, are we moments away from an aquaculture-type imposed moratorium? .

The second, (considered by the Awards Panel to be the primary award) went to the Ministry for the Environment for its ‘Making Good Decisions’ programme which has been running nation-wide this year with a second round of workshops just recently held. The programmes genesis was the Ministerial Panel on Business Compliance Costs in 2001, followed by research into options for a voluntary decision-maker accreditation scheme. The recommended option, which had significant cross-sector support, was then further developed by a Ministry Advisory Board. A further group produced a Workbook and Presentation Teams Handbook, including a DVD with a scripted, acted hearing. The Auckland University’s Centre for continuing Education was granted a license to deliver the programme and then a cast of presenters was engaged to actually deliver the programme.

The programme had three main aims:

To improve the quality and consistency of decision-making where notified applications for resource consent are concerned.
To build capacity in local government by providing decision-makers with the skills, knowledge and confidence to make informed, well-founded decisions.
To secure the confidence of applicants, submitters and communities in local decision-making processes under the RMA.
By the Panel’s count in the supporting documentation there have been 50-60 persons involved with preparing this programme. To date approximately 800 persons have been through the workshop nation-wide.

The National Committee thanks all four applicants and encourages members to keep their award nominations coming for 2006.

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.

RMLA Awards Report 2003

AWARD TO THE HONOURABLE JUSTICE PETER SALMON
By Jim Milne, President, RMLA

At the Blenheim conference I had the pleasure of presenting His Honour Justice Salmon with the Association’s special award recognising an outstanding contribution by an individual to resource management practice. In His Honour’s case that contribution has been a multi-faceted one.

That we have the RMLA today, is due to the foresight and enthusiasm of the small founding group in 1992, including the then Peter Salmon QC. As the respected leader of the Planning Bar, he was invited by the group to become the Association’s inaugural president. He continued in that position until his appointment as a Judge of the High Court, the first of our members to attain that distinction. The leadership that he provided over that period firmly established the Association as a credible voice on resource management matters.

His Honour is well known to practitioners as the General Editor of the eponymous Salmon The Resource Management Act, which many of us use as our professional bible. His contributions to RMLA annual conferences include the lead address at Wellington in 2001 and the closing review at Blenheim.

In practice His Honour was renowned for his sharp intellect and cross-examination. The evasive witness was pursued until finally a definite, affirmative answer was extracted. This was followed up with: “So the answer to the question I first asked you was ‘Yes’?” The unfortunate witness would have no alternative but to agree, only to be met with: “Well, why didn’t you say so in the first place?” to which question there is, of course, no sensible answer.

Thankfully for evasive witnesses and opposing counsel alike, His Honour was appointed to the High Court bench. There his contributions to the RMA jurisprudence include:

Freeman v Savage – a consideration of jurisdictional issues relating to the foreshore, currently very topical.

Cavanagh v Auckland City Council – application for judicial review granted on the basis that the building was not an “accessory building” in terms of the District Plan definition.

Green and McCahill v ARC – upholding the Environment Court’s decision as to the validity of the Metropolitan Urban Limits imposed by the proposed Auckland RPS.

Minhinnick v Watercare Services – holding that section 8 did not provide tangata whenua with a veto, addressing consultation, and the objectivity of the test for “offensive or objectionable” under section 314.

Murphy v Whangarei DC – a judicial review of a non-notified application in which the technical breach established did not justify granting relief.

Olsen v Auckland CC – in which the Court determined that Turner v Allison applied and that the conditions in question fell within the certifier as opposed to arbitrator category.

Peninsula Watchdog v Coeur Gold NZ Ltd – holding that where a decision determines that a party has a liability to pay costs then that decision should be appealed in terms of section 300 notwithstanding that the decision on quantum may not yet have been received.

ACC v Long – holding that where an officer who did not have appropriate delegated authority signed a certificate of compliance, the validation of that certificate by the counter-signature of a duly delegated officer did not amount to a fresh exercise of the power and recording an obvious reluctance to set aside a particular decision or course of conduct on the basis of a technical breach which has no material effect.

Aley v North Shore CC – one of the first decisions on the permitted baseline holding that a consideration of effects on the environment required an assessment of the effects on the environment as it exists.

Bayley v Manukau City Council – an important contribution on the issue of challenges to non-notified decisions.

Parkbrook Holdings v ACC – holding that leave was not required to withdraw an appeal and addressing the status of one who had given notice under section 274.

Juken Nissho v Northland RC – holding that the proviso in section 15(1) “unless the discharge is expressly allowed by a resource consent” is not part of the description of an offence but is an exception which falls within the ambit of section 67(8) of the Summary Proceedings Act (ie a positive defence for the defendant to prove).

Varnier v Vector Energy Ltd –a consent under the RMA is not intended to remove the common law right to claim in nuisance or negligence in relation to effects arising from the implementation of the consent at least in so far as those effects affect the health of persons exposed to them.

Panela Corporation v District Court Whangarei – holding that a prosecution to which section 339(1) applies is to be commenced in the summary jurisdiction subject to the right to elect trial by jury.

Smith Chilcott Ltd v Martinez – another of the important baseline decisions holding that regardless of whether the density rule is or is not a bulk and location requirement it is a provision of the plan which people are entitled to rely upon even although its purpose may not be to protect amenity consideration such as view or outlook. It is still relevant to consider whether in a particular case it could have an effect on such amenities. Secondly, it would not be appropriate to accept as a permitted development a proposal that is simply not credible. The Court must be wary of getting into issues of financial viability. Credible was the test, rather than likely.

Martinez v ACC – the second round. Leaving aside issues of whether the Environment Court would have jurisdiction to reinstate an earlier decision where the decision was referred back to it for reconsideration, it would be inappropriate for it to do so. In its second decision the Environment Court held the hypothetical development met the non-fanciful test. The High Court held that this decision included an error of law holding that the proposed 8 unit apartment development had the same effects as those of a 3 unit but not fanciful complex as permitted by the plan.

Skinner v Tauranga DC – striking out an appeal on the basis of the grounds were clearly untenable.

Geotherm Group v WRC – determining that the priority of applications for competing geothermal extractions was to be determined in accordance with the date of public notification.

And while sitting as a Judge of the Court of Appeal:

Yoshimoto v Canterbury Gulf International –interpretation of a term in a contract conditional on the obtaining of the necessary planning authorisations and resource consents within 12 months.

Earlier this year His Honour reached the mandatory retirement age for High Court Judges and was re-appointed as a temporary Judge for 12 months. Although his distinguished judicial career is now drawing to a close, His Honour’s considerable RMA experience will no doubt continue to be available to practitioners in the role of mediator or arbitrator. Members will join with me in congratulating His Honour for his achievements and wishing him well for the future.

RMLA Awards Report 2002

This years call for nominations was answered with five nominations all in the documentation category as follows:

  • Auckland Regional Council for its Proposed Air, Land, Water Plan.
  • Environment Waikato for its Clean Streams Programme.
  • Environment Waikato again for its Coromandel Beaches Coastal Hazard Control Programme.
  • New Zealand Centre for Environmental Law: Monograph Series Volume I: Environmental Law for Sustainable Society.
  • Wellington Regional Council for its Enforcement Procedures and Guidelines.

Each of the nominations had considerable merit with aspects of leading edge resource management practice. In the “highly commended” category were two documents, the Wellington Regional Council’s “Enforcement Procedures and Guidelines” and the NZCEL’s monograph.

The former document comprises precise guidelines at the “sharp end” of resource management where getting your facts right will usually mean the difference between success and failure. By following the guidelines the Council would be able to achieve consistency in both the type of breaches of the RMA that enforcement is taken against and in the manner in which the enforcement is carried out.

The NZCEL monograph comprises several thought provoking articles on the subject of sustainable development. We are lucky indeed to have such a learned group of people focussing their intellectual powers on this topic in an in-depth way. An added bonus was the 30 pages containing over 750 references on a wide range of resource management topics that is an essential resource for all undertaking research, article or even evidence writing.

The winner of the RMLA Award for 2002 was Environment Waikato for its Clean Streams Programme and associated documentation. This is not the only such programme being run by a regional council, nor is it the first attempt by Environment Waikato to introduce an environmental management programme which addresses the critical issue of non point source discharges. The Clean Streams programme includes a sound policy underpinning, practical guides to implementation, costings and case studies of successful examples. It has been well received by the farming community and supported by the Council from a fund earmarked for this purpose.

Congratulations Environment Waikato.

TRIBUTE TO REBECCA MACKY – RMLA Awards 2001

The following speech was presented by Derek Nolan at the RMLA 2001 Conference Dinner held recently in Wellington

Ladies and Gentlemen

Those members who looked closely at the forms mailed out to you a month or so ago, to vote for members of the National Committee; or who were present at the AGM yesterday when the President’s Annual Report was presented; will have noticed something uniquely different about those forms and the report, compared to any previous year.

What was it?

It was of course that the list of candidates for the incoming National Committee was, to use the new jargon, “Rebecca-Free”!

This was not the work of the “Eco-Taleban”, to use Francis Weaver’s term for the GM-Free lobby, or the “Taleban-Banana” as they have also been called by their opponents.

Rebecca is alive and well, and here tonight. It is just that she chose to retire after an illustrious nine year career on the National Committee.

The Committee quite properly decided that this occasion could not go unnoticed. I am honoured to have been asked by the Committee to say something tonight about Rebecca’s contribution.

The RMLA is loosely based on similar organisations in Australia, primarily NELA (with whom we had a joint conference in Queenstown) and related State Associations like QELA (the Queensland Environmental Law Association). They are multi-disciplinary bodies who like us are linked together by environmental and planning legislation.

In the 1980’s a number of New Zealanders joined NELA and were travelling to their conferences, or to those run by QELA (which always seemed to be in beautiful tropical locations), and were receiving their publications. We began to think about establishing a related, multi-disciplinary group in New Zealand, perhaps as an off-shoot of NELA. We went to the extent of meeting with executive members of NELA, obtaining NELA’s written constitution, and so on. But like so many voluntary things, ongoing pressures of work meant that the idea just simmered along and never got on the boil.

Rebecca Macky, meanwhile, although an Aucklander and a Victoria University graduate, was practising in property and planning law in what became the Brisbane office of Freehills, the national Australian law firm. Rebecca was an active participant in QELA and NELA activities and was well known as a great organiser and as someone who is very social. Links were soon forged between her and the New Zealanders attending the Australian events.

As luck would have it for us, at about the time that the Resource Management Act was coming to final fruition, Rebecca decided to return to live in New Zealand. So suddenly we had in our midst an enthusiastic member of the Australian versions of the RMLA, a great organiser, someone keen on a good time, and perhaps best of all at that very point – someone who didn’t immediately have a full practice or client workload as she had arrived fresh from overseas.

With Bell Gully’s blessing, as her employer, (which we are grateful for), within a very short time Rebecca took the initiative to set up a series of lunch meetings with a small group of us who shared the vision to establish a multi-disciplinary Association here in New Zealand. That founding group was Rebecca, Peter Salmon, Ian Cowper, me, Rob Fisher, Phil Mitchell and Adrienne Young-Cooper. A little later we invited Judith Collins to join us. She was with Fletcher Challenge and added an industry perspective.

Over a period of a few months and lots of lunches, we had decided on a name and a structure for the new association and agreed on what its objects should be. On the 1st of October 1992 the RMLA was formally launched at an inaugural dinner, attended by 120 people from all over New Zealand. Membership now stands at 850 or so.

Peter Salmon became our first President in 1992, with Rebecca as our first Secretary. She continued to serve that role when I was President, and in October 1997 Rebecca became our third President, which role she filled for two years. She remained on the National Committee from 1999 until this year.

Rebecca was undoubtedly the individual who contributed the most to the formation of the RMLA and to running it thereafter, especially for the first critical years, including the initial Rotorua conference in 1993 and many of the subsequent conferences. Karol Helmink was for much of that period Rebecca’s secretary, and the hours those two put into our Association together, was enormous. It has only been in more recent times, with the RMLA so well established, the regional committees in place, and Karol handling things on a day-to-day basis, that Rebecca has felt that the Association need not take up so much of her time.

So Rebecca, we have a lot to thank you for. You are undoubtedly the “Mother of our Association”. You successfully brought all your skills to bear, for nine years. I’ve already mentioned your organisational skills. In part that’s because you are also, an excellent communicator, you delegate well, and you have a happy knack of getting people to do things for you.

I can, of course, recall some occasions when people who have been supposed to undertake a task for the RMLA, have not performed to your high expectations. I always felt rather sorry for them, as you drew yourself up to your not inconsiderable height, and gave them a withering stare and a good Macky telling off! It always seemed to work.

Indeed, when I first watched that new television programme with Louise Wallace, as some sort of dominatrix, telling the losers in her competition “You are the weakest link! Goodbye!” I immediately thought of Rebecca.

People here should also know that during this nine year period when you have given such commitment to RMLA, you have achieved several other milestones in your life which on their own would be enough for most people.

You worked hard and successfully, to become a Partner in Bell Gully, which is an honour in itself.

You fell in love with, and married, one of your Partners at Bell Gully.

And out of loyalty to the RMLA, you even selected one who was an RMLA member, and I should take this opportunity on behalf of the Association to thank David McGregor for all his love and support for Rebecca, which has benefited us all.

More recently you have become a Consultant to Bell Gully.

And now, according to my sources, you can be found at the gym; but in between pumping iron or whatever you do at the gym, you are also studying for a Diploma in Environmental Management at the University of Auckland.

Now, one last story about Rebecca to close on.

We all had to trek up north to Pakiri Beach (of “Arrigato” fame), to Rebecca’s wedding. Everyone was muttering away under their breaths, shaking their heads in amazement, and saying “how could she?”.

But Rebecca’s powers of organisation proved even greater than the combined powers of Prada, Team New Zealand and the Almighty! That first race of the America’s Cup was cancelled for lack of wind.

The really big event in Auckland and the place to be that day was Pakiri!

So Rebecca, to honour your great contribution to the RMLA and to the wider resource management community, I am very pleased to announce that the National Committee has decided, first to offer you honorary membership for life, and second, you are to be a recipient of the “RMLA Award”.

The citation on the trophy, as chosen by the Committee, reads “For inspiration, innovation and leadership in the development, theory and practice of resource management”.

I would ask that you come up and receive the Award.

RMLA Awards Report 2000

The recipient of the 2000 RMLA Award was John Gallen, Chief Legal Counsel (now semi-retired) for the Ministry for the Environment.

In the words of the irrepressible Jim Hopkins, John was our first “Remarkable Remalan” for the new millenium. John had a long and notable career as a Crown legal adviser on planning and environmental matters and has made a significant contribution to the introduction and development of the RMA over the last ten years.

RMLA Awards Report 1999

Nominations for awards this year were again of a high calibre and varied in their subject matter and focus. The nominations have largely moved away from statutory planning documents to annual reporting requirements and are more innovative, non-mandatory contributions to policy and implementation activities.

The first award this year is for a State of the Environment report. There have been other nominations for State of the Environment reports in the past. However our perception is that this has been a developing skill amongst Councils and that as each document has been produced so has the collective knowledge about parameters to measure and indicators to use. There has also been an impression left by some of the earlier State of the Environment reports that they were more notable for what they did not or could not measure than what they did.

This year’s recipient has produced a document which is at once an attractive coffee table production and full of information on data on key environmental parameters. We understand that the public response has been extremely positive. We consider it to represent best practice for this type of document. The award goes to Horizons.MW (or for those that are not familiar with the trading name) the Manawatu-Wanganui Regional Council. (Jeff McNeil).

The second award is to the New Zealand Centre for Environmental Law at the University of Auckland. Over the last three years the Centre has achieved a number of landmark initiatives. These include:

  • The introduction of a specialist post-graduate Masters of Law in Environmental Law in 1996;
  • The founding of the New Zealand Journal of Environmental Law in 1997;
  • The staging of a successful international conference called “Environmental Justice and Market Mechanisms in 1998.

Its permanent staff which includes Ken Palmer, David Grinlinton, Klasse Bosselman, Tim McBride, Ben Richardson and Prue Taylor have also been responsible for a number of publications in their respective areas of expertise in environmental law. The Centre has a key objective of emerging as a regional centre of excellence in environmental law and policy in the Asia Pacific region. We consider that their contribution to the law, theory and practice of resource management in New Zealand has been outstanding and that they are well on their way to achieving their objective.

RMLA Awards Report 1997

This year’s awards took a slightly different tack to the previous two years with the focus moving away from policy and plan documentation and instead being widened to include “any group or personal contribution by way of documentation and instead being widened to include “any group or personal contribution by way of documentation, authorship, process or activity which has served to develop the law, theory and practice of resource management.”

There were seven nominations in total which included a mix of documents and services to resource management. The National Committee adjudicated directly on the nominations and decided that the outstanding nomination was for the David Williams edited textbook “Environmental and Resource management Law” (2nd edition).

As noted in the foreword to the book by The Right Honourable Sir Geoffrey Palmer one of the primary challenges of environmental law is its cross-disciplinary nature. The contributors to this book “have compiled a volume which will undoubtedly prove to be most useful not only for practitioners but also for academic lawyers”.

The award was received by Derek Nolan, the book’s sub-editor, on behalf of David Williams and the many contributing specialist authors at the RMLA conference in Queenstown.

Report Prepared by Dave Serjeant, Chair of the Awards Subcommittee

RMLA Awards Report 1996

Each year nominations are called to recognise excellence in the preparation of formal resource management documents such as policy statements and plans. The best overall document award this year went to the Proposed Waitakere City District Plan as an example of a document which clearly identified the resource management issues affecting the city, formulated objectives and policies which were linked to these issues and adopted methods which would, in high probability, lead to the achievement of the environmental results anticipated. It was presented in a clear, concise manner, including a high-quality colour map series and user-friendly liftout plan sections.

The Hawkes Bay Regional Air Plan, which received a document merit award, also exhibited many of these features and represented a state-of-the-art appreciation of guidelines, techniques and industry codes of practice which operate in this area of resource management.

Manukau City also received a special prize in recognition of the size of their one volume `omnibus’ District Plan document – a pair of 4kg training dumb bells to assist their staff in their preparation for transporting the plan to meetings and hearings.

In total, 20 nominations for awards were received this year, which included district and regional plans, regional policy statements, a state of the environment report and specialist software which was developed to assist in applying the Hazardous Facilities Screening Procedure.

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