Environment, planning & resource management
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Environment, planning & resource managementEnvironment, planning & resource management

Environmental law specialists with an unmatched track record

Our national environmental, planning and resource management team is hugely experienced in commercial projects, land use planning, infrastructure development and consenting. 

We offer unique geographic coverage, depth and extensive expertise in the Resource Management Act (RMA) and other environmental legislation.  The RMA plays a critical role in any New Zealand development.

We understand the dynamics of policy development where legal input is an essential ingredient in the mix and where processes require active and constructive multi-disciplinary engagement.  We have reviewed and provided comment on draft legislation and made significant contributions to our client’s submissions on law reform proposals, including amendments to the RMA, foreshore and seabed legislation, aquaculture legislation, national policy statements and national environmental standards.

Ranked Tier One for projects & resource management and environment work by independent legal directory Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2016

We have advised

  • Bathurst Resources and its New Zealand subsidiary Buller Coal Limited on its successful resource consent application for a coal mine (estimated 4.6m tonne coal reserve) on the Denniston Plateau on the West Coast of the South Island. This is very significant for the industry – the ‘Escarpment Mine’ will become New Zealand's second-largest opencast coal mine. Our work included representing Buller Coal in the Supreme Court in an appeal which related to an application for declarations on the extent to which a decision maker should have regard to the effects of climate change when considering land use consents for a coal mine. The Supreme Court decision will be significant for those wanting to undertake land use activities associated with the discharge of contaminants to air
  • The Transport Agency (TTA), New Zealand’s national transport authority, on various "Roads of National Significance" projects and applications to the Environmental Protection Authority, including:

    undertaking extensive work as part of the “Further North Alliance”. This is believed to be the first time (globally) a law firm has ever been part of such an integrated Alliance. Further North is responsible for securing all statutory approvals including designations and resource consents required to construct the Puhoi to Warkworth motorway north of Auckland

    – the Waterview Connection Project, the largest ever roading project in New Zealand (value approx.. NZ$1.8b). Chapman Tripp has successfully represented TTA to gain all resource consents and designation changes required for the project, and continues to advise on various related property and Public Works Act matters

    – the Transmission Gully Project (a new 27km stretch of highway north of Wellington) where a Board of Inquiry approved a plan change, designations and consents for this approx. NZ$1b project

    the MacKays to Peka Peka Expressway, to provide a new expressway route for SH1 through the Kapiti district. Chapman Tripp successfully represented TTA to the Board of Inquiry hearing and acted for them on appeals to the High Court
  • Crown Irrigation on the environmental and resource management, structuring, funding and all other legal aspects of its investments into major regional irrigation projects in a manner consistent with government policy
  • Transpacific Industries on its application for the renewal of consents for the Redvale Landfill at Dairy Flat, Auckland’s largest municipal landfill
  • Eastland Port on its successful application for all necessary resource consents to extend its log storage area.  Eastland Port is New Zealand’s largest log export port, and this work is part of a significant ongoing project to upgrade the port’s available berth space and storage space
  • Ryman Healthcare, New Zealand’s leading retirement village provider, on a range of environmental and consenting matters related to the development of new villages, including: the consenting of new village Petone Retirement Village (housing up to 400 residents); ongoing consenting of new village Howick Village (housing up to 400 residents); and assisting Ryman Healthcare to lobby Auckland Council and the Government on changes to the Auckland Unitary Plan and the Government’s special housing area policy
  • a series of major players in the Auckland economy, including Transpacific Industries, New Zealand Steel, The Warehouse, Ryman Healthcare, Transpower and Owen-Illinois, on the impact of the proposed Auckland Unitary Plan, which will direct how and when development occurs in Auckland for the next 10 years
  • the New Zealand Earthquake Commission (EQC) in relation to various consenting options for land repair work in the Christchurch region, following thousands of earthquakes there over the last three years.  Consent for remedial and construction work and new developments in Christchurch can be obtained by various specially created processes due to the volume and urgency of work required in the city
  • New Zealand Steel by obtaining all necessary resource consents and coastal permits for their extension to the Taharoa ironsand slurry pipeline
  • Transpower New Zealand Limited in relation to the Wairakei to Whakamaru replacement transmission line project (cost at NZ$100-300m), and on the construction contracts for its North Auckland and Northland 220KV cables project
  • Meridian Energy on property, stakeholder, consenting, construction and procurement issues in relation to the proposed North Bank hydro generation scheme
  • on obtaining plan change approvals and the necessary resource consents for the NZ$500m redevelopment of the Porter Heights Skifield, including a year-round alpine village situated at the foot of the ski area
  • Meridian Energy on the construction and procurement contracts in relation to Meridian’s Mill Creek wind farm, and advising Meridian’s Australian subsidiary on the construction and procurement contracts for the Mt Mercer wind farm in Victoria, Australia
  • on National Policy Statements, including drafting the National Policy Statement for Fresh Water Management on behalf of the Ministry for the Environment; representing Meridian Energy before the Board of Inquiry on the proposed National Policy Statement on Electricity Transmission and advising Ministry for the Environment officials as part of a reference group on proposals for a National Policy Statement on Renewable Generation


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