BA, LLB (Hons, First Class), Associate
Kirstie Wyss
Kirstie specialises in resource management, environmental and local government law.  She regularly advises local authorities and private clients on a broad range of matters including planning, consenting, RMA enforcement action, environmental due diligence, and local government processes. 
 
Kirstie has particular expertise in advising regional councils on the development and implementation of freshwater management plans. 

Kirstie was part of the winning team of the Young RMLA Mooting Competition, click here to read more about it.

"Working in resource management and environmental law means I learn many interesting things, from how to batch concrete, to the habitat and life cycle of the Alpine galaxias.  I really enjoy understanding what my clients do, and why, to be able to provide tailored and practical advice."
Contact
Wynn Williams (Christchurch)
Level 5, Wynn Williams House,
47 Hereford Street,
Christchurch 8013,
New Zealand.

Specialities

Recent Projects

  • Appearing in the Environment Court on Plan Change 13 to the Mackenzie District Plan dealing with pastoral intensification in the Mackenzie Basin.
  • Advising a local authority on RMA related enforcement action, including abatement notices related to the taking of water.
  • Appearing (as junior counsel) in the Environment Court on an appeal against a decision to decline resource consent for the take and use of water for the purpose of irrigation.
  • Part of the legal team providing strategic and legal advice in relation to the Canterbury Land and Water Regional Plan and its sub-regional catchment plans.
  • Part of the legal team advising Environment Southland on the development and implementation of the proposed Southland Water and Land Plan.
  • Acting for a submitter on the proposed Christchurch Replacement District Plan, including appearing at the hearings to obtain the rezoning of land from residential to commercial.
  • Advising on the implications of archaeological and historic sites, including under the Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Act 2014 and district plans.
  • Advising on the rebuild and repair of units on various multi-unit sites (cross leases and unit titles) throughout Christchurch, including non-compliances with the Christchurch City Plan and existing use rights, as well as implications arising from changes to building footprints under the Resource Management Act and Unit Titles Act.
  • Advising an international client on the legal compliance of the operations of its New Zealand business, in relation to wastes and contaminants, hazardous substances, transportation and operation of construction machinery, and regulatory requirements under the RMA, Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act, and Land and Transport Act.
  • Appearing (as junior counsel) in the Environment Court for an application on direct referral.
  • Advising on the implications of the proposed Auckland Unitary Plan, including drafting submissions and further submissions.
  • Advising on the process to declare land as road under the Public Works Act and road stopping under the Local Government Act.
  • Advising on delegable functions and powers of local authorities under the Local Government Act, Local Government Ratings Act, and Resource Management Act, including the power to sub-delegate under those Acts.
  • Advising on the legitimacy of powers arising under the Selwyn District Council Traffic and Parking Bylaw and successfully seeking a Council resolution to provide for a designated ambulance bay.
  • Advising on various duties and powers of local authorities under the Public Works Act, Soil Conservation and Rivers Control Act, Resource Management Act, and Local Government Act, including requirements to be met for the notification and consultation of a bylaw.
  • Successfully obtaining resource consents, change of resource consent conditions, and certificates of compliance for concrete batching plants throughout New Zealand.

Recent Articles

27/04/2017

Wellington Fish and Game Council v Manawatu-Wanganui Regional Council [2017] NZEnvc 37 – summary of the One Plan Declarations

This decision of the Environment Court concerns an application for various declarations made by Wellington Fish and Game Council and the Environmental Defence Society Inc, that the Manawatu-Wanganui Regional Council has been failing to correctly implement the Manawatu-Wanganui Regional Plan.

Keep reading...


1/04/2016

Are More Changes Afoot for the Management of Freshwater Quality?

A recent hikoi and associated petition presented to Parliament this week highlights the increasing focus being given to the management of the quality of freshwater in New Zealand.

Keep reading...


27/11/2015

Environmental reforms - a paradigm shift?

On 26 November 2015, the Minister for the Environment, the Honourable Nick Smith, announced the long-awaited details of the suite of reforms to the Resource Management Act 1991 ("RMA") and other environmental legislation proposed in the Resource Legislation Amendment Bill. The main objectives of the reforms are to achieve better alignment and integration across the resource management system, proportional and adaptable processes, and robust and durable decision making.

Keep reading...


5/05/2015

To approve or not to approve; that is the question.

What is a written approval? The resource consent process under the Resource Management Act 1991 ("RMA") provides an opportunity for certain persons affected by an activity seeking consent, to become involved in the decision-making process. A consent authority is required to notify adversely affected persons of the application for consent. Those affected persons are then entitled to lodge a submission in support or opposition to the application. Anyone who has lodged a submission can bring evidence and be involved in the hearing of a resource consent application.

Keep reading...


26/08/2014

LGA Reforms

The Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Act 2014 (the "Act"), which came into force on 7 August 2014, implements the Government's second phase of legislative reform of the operation of local government. The Act contains some significant changes for local authorities in relation to development contributions, local boards, delivery and governance of services, consultation in decision making, and infrastructure strategies. We outline some of these changes below.

Keep reading...


11/08/2014

Christchurch City Council Plan Review - Another 'Streamlined' Process

The review of the Christchurch City Plan and Banks Peninsula District Plan will be streamlined by an Order in Council made under the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act 2011 ("CER Act"). The Canterbury Earthquake (Christchurch Replacement District Plan) Order 2014 (the "Order"), which came into force on 8 July 2014, requires the Christchurch City Council ("the Council") to review the existing district plans and develop a replacement district plan. The Order modifies the provisions and application of the Resource Management Act 1991, and remains in force until 19 April 2016.

Keep reading...


19/03/2014

Environmental reporting bill - All talk, no action?

The Environmental Reporting Bill will, if enacted, introduce a national-level environmental reporting system focusing on five key domains: air, climate and atmosphere, freshwater, land, and marine.

Keep reading...


9/08/2013

Queenstown – A Resource Management Hotspot: Shotover Park Case Note

Queenstown has become a hotspot, not only for adventure tourism, but also resource management litigation. In a recent article, we discussed caselaw involving two resource consent applications to build a Pak'nSave and a Mitre 10 Mega at Frankton Flats, Queenstown (the "Consent Cases"). A further development has emerged in a related High Court appeal.

Keep reading...


11/07/2013

The Queenstown Central Cases - The Meaning of "Minor" and The Assessment of Non-Complying Activities

The recent decisions of the High Court in Queenstown Central Ltd v Queenstown Lakes District Council have highlighted developments in fundamental principles related to resource consent applications for non-complying activities, the definition of "the environment", and the meaning of the word "minor".

Keep reading...


9/06/2013

Drugs and Alcohol in the Workplace

Everyone knows that an employee who turns up at work under the influence of drugs or alcohol poses a very real risk not only just to their own safety but also to the safety of other employees and customers - especially where the operation of heavy machinery is involved.  This doesn't always (but can) involve blatant drug or alcohol use at work.  Sometimes, as an employer, you are dealing with the after-effects of drug or alcohol use by your employee the night before.  In other instances, you are trying to screen for drugs and alcohol in a safety sensitive area.

Keep reading...


21/04/2013

Hutt City Council v The Lower Hutt District Court [2013] NZHC 706

Section 181(2) of the Local Government Act 2002 empowers territorial authorities to construct sewage and stormwater drainage works "on or under private land". This case was the first occasion the High Court has been required to interpret section 181(2) of the Act.

Keep reading...


14/03/2013

Do Council's owe a Duty of Care when Issuing S 224 Certificates?

The Courts have recently looked at the issue of whether a Council owes a duty to take reasonable care in issuing a section 224 certificate and ensuring registration of a consent notice under the Resource Management Act 1991.  The outcome of these proceedings may have important consequences for local authorities.

Keep reading...


14/03/2013

Proposed Changes to the Construction Contracts Act 2002

On 29 January 2013, the Construction Contracts Amendment Bill (the "Bill") was introduced to Parliament.  The Bill proposes changes to extend the application of the Construction Contracts Act (the "CCA") to residential construction contracts, and to widen the group of professionals covered by the CCA.  It also proposes to amend the enforcement and adjudication processes and to allow more direct enforcement of determinations under the CCA. 

Keep reading...


Memberships

  • Canterbury Women's Legal Association
  • Resource Management Law Association
  • Canterbury Young Professionals

Publications

  • Kirstie Wyss "Visual Identification: Is the Current Law Sufficient to Protect Against Misidentification" (2011) OYLR



 Security code

Wynn Williams Christchurch
Level 5, Wynn Williams House, 47 Hereford Street, Christchurch 8013, New Zealand.
PO Box 4341, DX WX11179, Christchurch 8140.
+64 3 379 7622
+64 3 379 2467
Wynn Williams Auckland
Level 11, AIG Building, 41 Shortland Street, Auckland 1010, New Zealand.
PO Box 2401, Shortland Street, Auckland 1140.
+64 9 300 2600
+64 9 300 2609
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