RMLA Awards Report 2009

This year we received a large number of nominations in each category and the judges have reported to the national committee on the challenge in selecting the winners. The RMLA wish to thank all those members who have put forward a nomination. The strength of our awards rests in the breadth of the nominated entrants and the resultant prestige in being selected as the winning entrant. For those of you who have not been successful this year, we do encourage you, and also other members, to enter next year.


The award is being presented to an extremely pro-active industry umbrella organisation which has set a new benchmark in industry-led environmental responsibility. This organisation has prepared both a full manual and an easy to use field guide describing best practice for membership companies in the sector. Both documents are clear, user friendly and appropriately detailed. The guide, in particular, provides environmental standards and values for the industry operators. The format of the guide allows easy updating as resource management techniques in the sector evolves.

The RMLA is pleased to present the 2009 Documentation award to the New Zealand Forest Owners Association. The New Zealand Forest Owners Association is a voluntary organisation whose members collectively manage 1.4 million hectares of rural land, of which 80% is planted in plantation trees. The Code of Practice will be a key reference document to ensure the forestry sector in New Zealand continues to operate using state of the art best practice resource management.

Projects – First award

The Project category this year was particularly challenging to judge. Nominated entries ranged from different rural, urban and industrial developments through to processes for bi-cultural management of resources. There were two projects which stood out as exceptional examples of best practice resource management, and the judges have decided to award two first places in this category.

The first award is to be presented to a development and associated resource consenting process which showcases a careful balance between environmental, cultural and social, outcomes within a set of defined engineering and cost parameters. The Assessment of Effects for the development was presented in a range of formats – including models, computer simulations and more traditional plans/paper formats. The project design incorporates a number of innovative environmentally responsible mitigation features to enhance ecological and landscaping values. The developers and range of consultants involved in this project have submitted a joint nomination for the RMLA award and are obviously justifiably proud of this development.

The RMLA is pleased to present the first of the 2009 project awards to The Hills Group, Brown and Pemberton and Anderson Lloyd – for the Hills Homesite Project in Arrowtown.

The following wide range of specialist consultants have also been involved in the project:

Patterson Associates – Architects

Darby and Partners – Master Planners

Vivian and Espie – Landscape Architects

Traffic Design Group – Traffic

Conservation Consultancy Limited – Ecological Consultants

Tonkin and Taylor – Geotechnical Engineers

Construction Management Services – Engineers

Construction Survey Ltd – Surveyors.

All of the involved consultants have contributed to an excellent example of sensitive residential development enhancing local ecological and community values and robust design, consultation and consenting processes.

Projects – second award

The second award is to be presented to mark the culmination of an extended resource consenting process – stretching back to its origins in December 2005 through to an outcome in February this year. The process and resultant consent plus attached conditions, reflects a much needed leading approach to managing one of our key resources.

The RMLA is pleased to present the second of the 2009 project awards to the Hamilton City Council, Simon Berry and MWH New Zealand Ltd – for the Hamilton City Council Water supply consent. The consenting process effectively ‘married together’ water demand and supply considerations. A comprehensive Water Conservation Demand Management Plan was developed and used as a basis for a ‘stepped take’ approach to water supply. The result is a set of conditions which will allow security of supply but also serve to incentivise demand management. This type of infrastructure decision-making taking full account of the need to balance resource use (through secure infrastructure) and protection (through demand management) is a positive example of things to come – as we develop better processes to minimise any unnecessary resource consumption.

Outstanding Person Award

The highlight of our Awards process is presenting the Outstanding Person award. This award is only presented in years when we receive one or more nominations for individuals of the calibre befitting our award. This year’s award is for an individual who has contributed tirelessly to resource management practices in New Zealand. This person has been involved in acting for over 20 local authorities, developed RMA legal theory and jurisprudence both at the bar and through various publications, as well as having significant input into shaping Central Government RMA policy. He has contributed greatly to the RMA field best practice in a variety of ways- through his roles in RMA education, as an independent Commissioner, as well as being on the RMLA national committee and acting as the RMLA National President for a number of years.

The RMLA is pleased to announce the 2009 award for an Outstanding Person goes to Alan Dormer. Alan’s contributions to the resource management field over the years of his profession are far reaching and he is an inspirational benchmark to all of those who practise at the planning bar.