RM Journal

Environment Court approves first example of Regional Coastal Plan Controls on Fishing

TRUSTEES OF THE MOTITI ROHE MOANA TRUST V BAY OF PLENTY REGIONAL COUNCIL [2018] NZENVC 67

Last November’s issue of RMJ examined the High Court’s decision in Attorney-General v Trustees of the Motiti Rohe Moana Trust [2017] NZHC 1429, (2017) 20 ELRNZ 1 in which Whata J confirmed that regional councils can manage the effects of fishing that are not directly related to biological sustainability of the aquatic environment as a resource for fishing needs.

Leave to appeal Whata J’s decision to the Court of Appeal has been granted to the Crown in respect of four questions of law which address the interplay between the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) and the Fisheries Act 1996 and the scope of the restriction in s 30(2) of the RMA on the exercise of regional council functions to control fishing, in particular to make provision for Māori interests and maintain indigenous biodiversity.

Sally Gepp, Environmental Lawyer, Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society of New Zealand Inc, and Madeleine Wright, Environmental Lawyer, Environmental Defence Society Inc look further at the appeal, its implications and observations