9.00AM Welcome from the organisers
9.05AM Welcome address from the Chair: the state of environmental law in New Zealand – lessons from the past and pathways for the future

What is the state of New Zealand’s environmental framework and where are we headed? Peter Salmon, our conference Chair, will briefly discuss the state of environmental law, taking into consideration our new Government and the changes they have promised.

Hon Peter Salmon CNZM QC, Retired Justice of the High Court of New Zealand
*Hon Peter Salmon CNZM QC is general editor of Salmon Resource Management Act and A to Z of NZ Law - Environment and Natural Resources - Westlaw NZ. He is co-general editor of Environmental Law in New Zealand.
9.20AM Understanding recent changes in freshwater policy

What are the practical implications of the September 2017 amendments to the Freshwater NPS? What might the impacts be of the Waitangi Tribunal hearings in Stage 2 of The National Freshwater & Geothermal Resources Inquiry and of the Labour-NZ First Coalition Agreement proposals for freshwater reforms? Lastly, will the August 2017 commitment of $44 million to improve water quality have its intended consequences? This session explores the plethora of developments in freshwater policy and its impact on use, quality and development.

Simon Berry, Partner, Berry Simons
Matthew Smith, Barrister, Thorndon Chambers
*Matthew Smith is acting alongside Richard Fowler QC as counsel for the New Zealand Maori Council in The National Freshwater & Geothermal Resources Urgent Inquiry. He is also author of the Judicial Review Handbook (2nd edition) and contributor to International Human Rights Law in Aotearoa New Zealand.
10.00AM Case study: the collaborative planning process in action

The recent amendments to the RMA formalised a "new" plan-making process – but in reality, the collaborative planning process has already been tried and tested. The Hauraki Gulf Marine Spatial Plan is one recent example of collaboration in action. How is it working, what are the lessons learned and what can we do to improve the process going forward?

Raewyn Peart, Policy Director, Environmental Defence Society
11.00AM Feature session: improving access to justice through alternative dispute resolution procedures

Although legal rights exist, the cost of effective participation often places limits on a party’s ability to participate. What can be done to increase access to justice, maximise efficiency and minimise cost? Traditional forms of ADR as well as alternative hearing processes introduced by legislation and by the Court itself attempt to address these issues. This session will provide a summary of the varied forms of dispute resolution and guidance on the benefits and drawbacks of each.

Judge Laurie Newhook, Principal Environment Judge
11.35AM Understanding the procedural requirements of alternative adjudicatory forums

The previous session highlighted alternative hearing forums that have emerged in the environmental space. This session will discuss the procedural nuances of those varied and sometimes hybrid forums, whether it involves the Environment Court, EPA, a Board of Inquiry or some other special tribunal. Understanding the applicable procedural requirements is fundamental to adequately prepare and ultimately succeed in representing your clients.

Judge John Hassan, Environment Judge
12.10PM Accelerating urban development – are UDAs the answer?

In February 2017, MBIE released the UDA Proposal with the purpose of speeding up large-scale projects. This proposal, coupled with Labour’s plans for an Affordable Housing Authority and ambitious KiwiBuild programme signal what could be the beginning of widespread changes for urban development. This session explores whether a public/private partnership is the solution to address housing affordability and provides an update on the status of the Government’s proposals and details the opportunities it presents for urban growth.

Rachel Devine, Partner, Minter Ellison Rudd Watts
1.40PM Climate change law & policy update

Get an in-depth understanding of recent developments in the international and domestic climate change framework, recent interpretations of law and the new Government's policies and priorities. This session will provide a practical and timely insight into the implications of evolving climate change law & policy on the environment, businesses and your practice.

Vernon Rive, Senior Lecturer in Law, Auckland University of Technology Law School
2.20PM Consulting with Iwi – participation in practice

Mana Whakahono ā Rohe formalises the relationship between Iwi and local authorities related to planning processes, while other amendments to the RMA work to enhance Māori participation. How can local authorities and Iwi manage these changes and what are the impacts and opportunities of Iwi participation agreements? This session will explore the challenges and practical implications of this shifting landscape.

Frances Wedde, Senior Associate, Kensington Swan
Adam Tapsell, Solicitor, Kensington Swan
3.20PM Environmental case law update – recent decisions and key takeaways

Understand how the law is applied in practice and what it means for claims you may encounter. This session provides a case law roundup of recent environmental law decisions, a summary of how the law was interpreted and their impact going forward.

Helen Atkins, Partner, Atkins Holm Majurey Limited
Stuart Ryan, Barrister
* Helen Atkins is an author of Resource Management and DSL Environmental Handbook. Stuart Ryan is a panelist of Salmon Resource Management Act and author of DSL Environmental Handbook.
4.10PM The current state of enforcement – trends, priorities & resource allocation

This session will provide an invaluable discussion of environmental enforcement, the realities of non-compliance, enforcement trends and management of Councils’ finite enforcement resources. Deepen your understanding of how to avoid, mitigate and effectively defend (or enforce) environmental actions from experts in the field.

Karenza de Silva, Environmental Lawyer
Antoinette Besier, Director, Tasman Law
* Karenza de Silva is a panelist of Salmon Resource Management Act and author of DSL Environmental Handbook and Resource Management Workflow. She is also consulting editor of Resource Management Tracker and a contributor to Environmental Law in New Zealand. Antoinette Besier is an author of Resource Management Workflow.

Dates & Locations

Auckland: 20 March 2018
Stamford Plaza

Early bird cost

$595 + GST
*Earlybird closes 2 February 2018

Full Price

$650 + GST

Conference attendance earns 6 CPD Hours


For any event enquiries please email or phone 09 361 8925