We are actively involved in providing advice to clients on changes to resource management and local government legislation. At a regional and district level, we assist clients in navigating their way through the plan review and plan change process from providing strategic advice on how to best protect their interests to representation at hearings.
This input helps shape the form of the legislative framework within which developers operate. You can find our commentary on the latest changes to the Resource Management Act 1991 here
. At a regional and district level, we are routinely involved in plan reviews and plan changes. Recent examples include our work for the NZ Transport Agency on the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan and the Christchurch Replacement Plan.
Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan
The Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan will replace the existing Regional Policy Statement and 13 district and regional plans that apply across the Auckland region. We represented the New Zealand Transport Agency at 19 hearings relating to its 450 submissions and numerous further submissions on the Unitary Plan. Our work included reviewing submissions and preparing further submissions, attendance at pre-hearing meetings and mediations, negotiating plan provisions with the Council and other submitters and overseeing the preparation of the New Zealand Transport Agency’s evidence. We also provided strategic advice on the significance of, and risks associated with, various provisions for the NZ Transport Agency. Key topics for the NZ Transport Agency included the network utilities, stormwater rules, the location of the rural urban boundary and the Puhinui Precinct provisions.
Christchurch Replacement Plan
The Proposed Christchurch Replacement District Plan is being developed under special legislation which provides for a fast-tracked plan making process to deliver a new District Plan. We have assisted the NZ Transport Agency with its case before the Independent Hearings Panel including preparation of submissions, consideration of other parties’ submissions, preparation of further submissions, evidence preparation and representation of the NZ Transport Agency at pre-hearing meetings, and hearings.
Grey District Council’s Proposed Plan Change 9
We acted for Transpower New Zealand Limited on Proposed Plan Change 9, which sought to implement the National Policy Statement on Electricity Transmission by restricting land uses in close proximity to National Grid infrastructure. We represented Transpower at the Council hearing, advised on its appeal against the Council’s decision, and represented Transpower at mediations which eventually settled the appeal without the need for an Environment Court hearing.
St John New Zealand - strategic property advice
St John New Zealand is a charitable organisation that provides ambulance services, first aid training, event medical and care-based services to the New Zealand public. We were instructed by St John New Zealand to provide strategic legal advice on the existing and future planning framework for two of its Auckland properties. This included advice on the impact of the new planning framework under the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan.