Environmental Law Roundtable of Australia & New Zealand (ELRANZ) Introduction and Manual


How many times have you attended a conference and wanted to see a particular issue developed further? Or wanted to have a greater time for discussion of a topic at the conference?

The Environmental Law Roundtable of Australia and New Zealand (ELRANZ) provides a forum for discussion and development of proposals for the harmonisation or coordination of environmental law and policy throughout Australia and New Zealand. As a multidisciplinary forum, ELRANZ is open to professionals, Government Departments and Agencies, statutory corporations, business, industry, NGOs, academics and students. As an inclusive and multidisciplinary approach to improving environmental laws and policies across Australia and New Zealand, ELRANZ advocates the processes of public participation and consensus building. Even before harmonisation, a greater level of cooperation will develop out of the ELRANZ process.

The Roundtable is a joint initiative of the National Environmental Law Association Limited (Australia) (NELA) and the Resource Management Law Association of New Zealand Inc (RMLA).

The active participation of Local Government is promoted by ELRANZ as many regulatory actions are within the local sphere. Both RMLA and NELA work closely with Local Government. The RMLA also works closely with Regional Councils in New Zealand. The Environmental Law Associations of Australia work closely with State Governments.

The ELRANZ offers opportunities for all spheres of government to have a forum where new ideas and improvements on old ideas can be discussed in a consensus building framework. ELRANZ expects suggestions to come from the public sector. The ELRANZ will allow Governments to engage with stakeholders through an independent forum.

Without paying a fee, you can become an ELRANZ Associate at any time by sending an email to John Haydon, the ELRANZ Convenor at johnhaydon@ecodirections.com ELRANZ Associates receive ongoing information about Roundtable activities and projects. Being an ELRANZ Associate gives you (a) information on ELRANZ projects and (b) the option of becoming a stakeholder and participating in a project that catches your interest.

You can also become a member of the ELRANZ Working Group and assist in research projects and/or developing papers on particular topics. Working Group members have the opportunity to have a greater degree of involvement. You can be an Associate and a Working Group member at the same time.

As a member of NELA or RMLA, you will be given access to additional ELRANZ information.


The ELRANZ Manual is a concise document describing the essential elements of the Roundtable. Click here for a copy of the ELRANZ Manual.

The table of contents of the ELRANZ Manual is:

  • Foreword.
  • Why an Environmental Law Roundtable of Australia and New Zealand?
  • How to raise an issue for ELRANZ condisderation.
  • What will ELRANZ do with your issue?
  • Process Design.
  • Sample Approaches.
  • Sample Approach 1: The Blank Page.
  • Sample Approach 2: Discussion Paper.
  • Sample Approach 3: Visioning.
  • Sample Approach 4: Joint Fact Finding.
  • Sample Approach 5: Best Use Technology.
  • Members Only Information
  • Appendix A – Bibliography.

Achieving good environmental outcomes requires the combination of a number of different efforts. These efforts are integrated within an ecological sustainability discourse. Setting broad policy and law frameworks is part of the process. ELRANZ promotes greater stakeholder involvement, through consensus building and public participation, in making improvements in environmental law and policy in Australia and New Zealand. Within the environment and planning law and policy disciplines there is a need for raising awareness of best practice facilitation, creative visioning, meaningful stakeholder participation and other consensus building techniques.

Consensus building and public participation can transform the traditional adversarial forum of dispute resolution into a forum characterised by collaboration and cooperation. These techniques are relevant to dispute avoidance, minimisation and resolution. ELRANZ recognises that the adversarial tone of litigation (and cultures of adversarialism) can undermine the more cooperative sprit of consensus building, so all stakeholders must be strongly committed to achieve this goal.

NELA and RMLA have multidisciplinary memberships and promote a multidisciplinary approach for ELRANZ that advocates a strong commitment to collaborative decision making across the various professions.

The Roundtable includes the following concepts:

  • Associate registration whereby corporations, associations, organisations and individuals can register as ELRANZ Associates and initiate roundtable issues;
  • Project Teams are established to assist in ELRANZ projects;
  • Associates may engage in research, consultation and brainstorming with respect to a project on the ELRANZ agenda and actively participate in neutral third party facilitated conferences, seminars and meetings;
  • Suggested projects will be prioritised within the ELRANZ agenda. The results may include draft legislation, a new policy approach or a protocol for industry;
  • Issues suitable for resolution through consensus building processes may be recommended to the Australian and New Zealand Judicial and Intergovernmental Ministerial meetings;
  • Some ELRANZ projects could be managed through adaptations to the negotiated rulemaking process; and
  • Seminars, public forums and other educational activities can be included as Roundtable events to ensure the involvement of individual and corporate NELA and RMLA members as well as to continue building support for the growing network of ELRANZ Associates.

We look forward to working with you.

John Haydon


Environmental Law Roundtable of Australia and New Zealand

Brisbane, Australia