RMLA Awards Report 2006

The RMLA Awards were presented at the conference dinner at SkyCity Auckland on Saturday 7 October 2006.

Nominations for the Project Award were received from Maunsell Limited for the Kupe Gas Project Consents and from Tonkin & Taylor and Auckland City’s Utility Planning Group for the Seaside Park Project – Brady Road Closed Landfill Rehabilitation.

Nominations were also received for the Documentation Award and two for the Outstanding Person of the Year Award.

Following consideration and evaluation of each of the nominations received, the Awards Panel applied the judgment criteria set out in the RMLA Guidelines and made three awards as follows:

The Documentation Award for 2006 went to the third edition of Environmental and Resource Management Law published by Lexis Nexis NZ Limited (2005). This publication was first issued in 1980 under the editorship of D. A. R. Williams QC and re-issued in 1997 under the same editorship. This Third Edition under the editorship [and part authorship] of Derek Nolan has significantly expanded the discussion and exploration of the legal issues surrounding environmental and resource management law in New Zealand. It represents the collective wisdom of some fifteen very experienced members of the resource management community.

The Outstanding Person of the Year Award for 2006 was extended to two recipients this year, Judge Shonagh Kenderdine and Jim Wiltshire respectively.

Judge Kenderdine’s award recognises her lifetime contribution to the practice and development of resource management law in New Zealand, over a career spanning 25 years. In 1990 Shonagh was appointed a Planning (now Environment Court) Judge. Although Wellington based, her circuit has taken her on a regular basis to Nelson and Marlborough, as well as to the Hawke’s Bay region and beyond. Her Honour has delivered judgments, and continues to do so, in diverse areas of environmental law. She coined the term “Aquaculture Management Area” before Parliament ever got hold of it, and is well known for her abilities to both grasp complex subjects and to run a court that made everyone, not just the lawyers and expert witnesses, feel welcome. Judge Kenderdine retired as a fulltime Judge on 6 August 2006 and has since been appointed as an Alternate Environment Court Judge.

Jim Wiltshire will also be known to many of you. Jim worked part-time through much of his University career as a law clerk at Brandon Ward McAndrew & Watts. He continued working for that firm following his graduation and his admission as a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court. He subsequently became a partner in that firm and thereafter in a number of successor firms including Brandon Ward Evans-Scott & Hurley, and Simpson Grierson.

Throughout his career, Jim maintained an interest in heritage matters and acted for the New Zealand Historic Places Trust in a number of landmark cases both under planning legislation and the Historic Places Act. In more recent years, Jim undertook a range of roles as a hearings commissioner and has given tirelessly of his time to training seminars for those involved in the resource management area. His relationships with both the Court and other practitioners were also marked with unfailing courtesy and he was always prepared to provide a word of advice to younger practitioners who were appearing before consent authorities and the courts on resource management matters.

Jim has been a member of the Association since its early days, and a member of the National Committee since 1995. During that time he has chaired the Legislation Committee responsible for evaluating all proposed legislation and regulations of significance to the implementation and practice of resource management, and when necessary, has made submissions on behalf of the Association on certain aspects of the proposed legislation/regulations. Since 1997 he has chaired the Scholarship Committee responsible for awarding scholarships which recognise and encourage excellence in people training in resource management professions. Jim chaired the Wellington branch of RMLA from 1995 to 1998 and has acted as liaison with senior management of the Ministry for the Environment and other representatives of professional bodies throughout his term.