RMLA Conference 2011 Report

The RMLA conference for 2011 was held in Hamilton from 6th – 8th October.  The organising committee was thrilled with the high level of support by sponsors and the large number of participant registrations.   In particular, the committee thanks Bell Gully for sponsoring John Allen’s keynote session and Russell McVeagh for sponsoring Kevin Robert’s keynote session.  These two inspirational speakers provided a global context for the conference’s theme: ‘Our place in the world; hei whakapai ururoa’.

The conference also heard the latest updates from MfE and the EPA regarding developments under their separate and combined umbrellas as well as an announcement from the Minister for the Environment regarding proposed changes to sections six and seven of the RMA to better provide for information-sharing concerning natural hazards.

All keynote, and plenary speakers were well received by delegates.  Their topics included: a review of co-governance arrangements to  achieve restoration of the health and wellbeing of the Waikato River; an overview of Australia’s policy and regulatory response to climate change; alternative dispute resolution mechanisms in the Environment Court; and spatial planning and infrastructure development issues.

Delegates also had an opportunity to attend two out of a selection six topical workshop sessions as well as one of seven field trips within the Waikato Region.  The field trips provided something of interest for all and catered for adventure and thrill-seekers as well as for those wanting first hand experience of some major technological and infrastructure developments in the region.

The organising committee is also grateful for the support of Mighty River Power, who sponsored an extremely successful dinner at the Don Rowlands Centre, Karapiro, and also Harkness Henry who hosted the welcome reception at Sky City. 

With perfect weather, the venues, programme and social events helped to showcase Hamilton in its best light and to enable delegates to enjoy a thought provoking and challenging conference.