& Planning

Our specialist Environmental Law & Planning team is recognised as one of New Zealand's best. Its standing is recognised in the Legal 500, Chambers and Partners Asia Pacific and Doyle’s Guide legal directories.

The team of respected strategists are also proven and revered litigators. We have decades of experience in the development of resource management plans for councils throughout New Zealand - many of which have become known for setting best practice benchmarks. Admired for our innovation in planning, environmental and natural resources law, we are at the forefront of freshwater planning in New Zealand and are frequently engaged as specialist advisors in this space. With a strong grasp on the finer details of environmental law, we're engaged by councils and industry to advise on environmental risk and responsibility and navigate the legislative framework to achieve desired outcomes.

We also have a history of working with teams of expert consultants to achieve great outcomes in complex consenting cases. Our track record includes obtaining resource consents for residential, industrial and retail developments throughout New Zealand and defending decisions on appeal.
Our advice is accurate, well-researched, and pragmatic.

How we can help

We take a long-term approach to planning, offering guidance and advice that will stand our clients in good stead for years to come. Our specialist team are available to help in a wide array of matters including:

  • Strategic advice on plan architecture, development and process
  • Legal advice throughout the plan preparation, submission and hearing process
  • Freshwater management legislation and planning
  • Advice on the implications of national policy direction
  • Advice on plan drafting, both as to workability and legality
  • Project consenting, including fast-track approval processes
  • Managing stakeholder communications and engagement
  • Attending council hearings, including presenting legal submissions in opening and in reply
  • Environment Court and High Court appeals
  • Judicial reviews

- Advised on proposed plan changes 7 and 8 to the Regional Plan: Water. Proposed plan change 1 to the Regional Plan: Waste. These plan changes have been 'called-in' by the Minister for the Environment

- Acting for Otago Regional Council on its 'called in' proposed Plan Changes 7 and 8 to the Regional Plan: Water and proposed Plan Change 1 to the Regional Plan: Waste

- Acting for Canterbury Regional Council throughout the development and hearing of the Canterbury Land and Water Regional Plan and Canterbury Air Regional Plan (as well as associated plan changes)

- Advising Te Tai o Poutini Plan Committee (a committee made up of iwi representatives, the West Coast Regional Council, Buller, Westland and Grey District Councils) on the delivery of a combined District Plan for the region

- Advising on the proposed Northland Regional Plan on the Proposed Regional Plan for Northland, a combined coastal, air, land and water plan

- Acted for Queenstown Lakes District Council on several appeals to the Environment Court and High Court, alongside judicial review proceedings in the High Court

- Advising Environment Southland on the proposed Southland Water and Land Plan

- Advising Environment Southland on all aspects of regional resource consenting processes

- Acting for Queenstown Lakes District Council on appeals to the Environment Court and High Court and defending judicial review proceedings

- Obtaining resource consents for an 850 lot greenfield subdivision in the Waikato, for boutique lake-front visitor accommodation development in Rotorua and comprehensive retail developments in Christchurch

- Advising requiring authorities and submitters on designation processes

- Appearing for Canterbury Regional Council and Otago Regional Council in the Environment Court, High Court and Court of Appeal on appeals and judicial reviews relating to water permits, stormwater, quarrying and other regional issues

Key Contacts

Lucy de Latour
Mike Doesburg
Philip Maw
Alice Balme