RMLA Regional News – June 2013

Auckland Branch – Kitt Littlejohn

April and May have been busy and engaging months for RMLA members in Auckland.  On 24 April we hosted Environment Minister Amy Adams at Bell Gully and were provided with a comprehensive summary of the Government’s current legislative programme in relation to the Resource Management Act.  The event was “sold out” and very informative. 

On 8 May Kensington Swan gratefully hosted Tony Penny presenting his national road show “Transport 101”.  A select group of traffic engineering disciples turned out on a rainy evening to hear Tony’s pearls of wisdom. 

Finally on 23 May our Young RMLA committee co-hosted with the Young NZPI and Engenerate a function showcasing the Onehunga foreshore restoration project.  The event was well attended and thoroughly enjoyed.

In June and July, Young RMLA is holding a ‘Noise 101’ at Buddle Findlay and our keenly awaited annual Salmon Lecture by The Chief Justice Sian Elias is on 25 July at the Northern Club.

Waikato Branch – Lachlan Muldowney

On May 8 the Waikato Branch attended a breakfast seminar which was presented by Tony Penny from the Traffic Design Group. His presentation ‘Transportation Planning 101’ was an insightful overview about traffic engineering/transportation planning and its relationship to land use developments. This ranged from the definition of transportation networks at the district wide scale to compliance with transportation rules in District Plans. Tony explained the role of transportation modelling and the appropriate techniques used to predict the performance of transportation networks. He also spoke about the way land use effects on transportation infrastructure are managed for projects of different scales. 

It was useful to understand in laymans terms the foreign world of traffic engineering/transportation planning.  Following Tony’s informative presentation we now have a better understanding of the methodology behind the reports.

Planning for our next presentation is now underway.

Taranaki Branch – Lauren Wallace

The Taranaki branch has been very busy this year preparing for the National Conference “Black and White Gold – Does it All Glitter?”, which is to be held in New Plymouth between 26 and 28 September 2013. We have some excellent speakers lined up and a number of interesting panel discussions and workshops planned. As always, the conference will be rounded out with several fantastic social events which are going to be held in some of Taranaki’s most spectacular venues and for those who haven’t visited Taranaki before, the conference will also deliver the chance to experience the sights and sites our region has become renown for. So please do mark it in your diaries now.

For local members, the Transportation Planning 101 roadshow is going to be held on Friday 14 June 2013 at Govett Quilliam. This will be our first lunch time event and we hope to see a good turn out there to hear from Mr Tony Penny of Traffic Design Group.

We also have a roadshow planned for August which will involve a facilitated discussion on the National Environmental Standard for Contaminated Soils. More details about this roadshow will be distributed closer to the time.

Sadly, we have had to say goodbye to our secretary, Laura Burton. Laura has moved to Christchurch and joined the Resource Management Group. We wish her well in her new role.  If any Taranaki members would like to join the Branch committee and/or take on the secretary role, please do let me know.

Canterbury Branch – Andy Carr

The Canterbury branch is fortunate to have a wealth of enthusiastic members wishing to contribute and this year’s committee is the largest for some time, comprising Andy Carr (Chair), Daniel Murray (Secretary) and Michelle Mehlhopt (Treasurer) with David Caldwell, Gerard Cleary, Amanda Douglas, Sarah Eveleigh, Ian Fraser, Sam Hutchings, Philip Maw, Michael Smith, Jane Walsh and Tim Walsh.

After a difficult post-earthquake period for all branch members, the committee has decided to be little bolder in its forward planning and has set two overarching aims for the year.  The first is to hold one event per month and things kicked off in May with Tony Penny’s ‘Transportation 101’ roadshow. Despite atrocious weather conditions, this was well attended by a wide cross-section of professions, and the hardy souls who braved the torrential rain were rewarded with an informative and entertaining talk (and a few war stories!) of the intricacies of transport modelling. No doubt the opportunity was also taken to prepare a few questions for future cross-examination of Tony.  The branch now looks forward to ‘Geotech 101’ where we are fortunate to have secured Dr Jan Kupec, Chief Geotechnical Engineer with the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority, as a speaker.

The second aim is to attract younger members of the profession into the branch. With this in mind, planning is well underway for the inaugural event of the Canterbury Young RMLA – a ‘Meet the Court’ function, which will be held in July. Add in other seminars, plus the Tony Hearn Memorial Lecture in August, and it will be a jam-packed year!

Wellington Branch – Jill Gregory

Over the last couple of months the Wellington branch has been busy. The Housing Affordability seminar was very well attended and provided valuable non-RMA perspectives on the issues. We also hosted Tony Penny on his traffic planning roadshow. Thanks to DLA Phillips Fox and Minter Ellison for hosting these events. By the time this goes to print we will also have co-hosted a wine tasting competition with the NZPI Wellington branch. While primarily a social event, the heat will be on to see whether planners or lawyers know their wines best.  Special thanks to Mark St Clair for organising and Russell McVeagh for hosting this event. 

Looking forward we are developing seminars on the interface between the RMA and Treaty of Waitangi issues, and managing conflicts between earthquake strengthening and heritage protection.  Look out for these flyers over the next few months.