RMLA Regional News : April 2014

Auckland – Kitt Littlejohn

After a very hectic February, Auckland practitioners have now (almost) recovered from the close of the submissions on the Proposed Unitary Plan and are eagerly awaiting the release of the summary of submissions from Auckland Council. 

While you wait, we have several events planned for your diaries.  On 30 April, Paul Majurey will be speaking on the Tamaki Iwi Collective settlement process and outcomes – watch out for the flyer which will be circulated shortly.  June will be a busy month, with a panel discussion scheduled for 12 June where Paul Goldsmith, Jacinda Ardern and Denise Roche will discuss their core party environmental policies prior to the election later in the year.  The Committee also hopes to confirm a session with Judge Kirkpatrick, Chair of the PAUP Hearing Panel, to discuss the potential Panel process following the release of the summary of submissions.  We expect that session to be a sell-out, so register quick when you see it advertised, or be disappointed!  

Looking ahead, on 17 July Dr Jan Wright will deliver the annual Salmon Lecture at the Northern Club.

There are also some upcoming young RMLA events on the cards, including a reprisal of last year’s extremely popular session held jointly with the young planners and engineers.  This year’s topic will be the AMETI project, with the speakers including our very own Committee member Kate Stubbing.  One not to be missed.  The young RMLA committee is also working closely with members of the Environment Court on a planned advocacy workshop, which would be an excellent training ground for those interested in this year’s Environment Court mooting competition.  The Committee is very grateful for the Court’s ongoing support for these initiatives and particularly for the mooting competition – so start thinking about a team mate now and/or make sure to encourage your younger team members to give it a go! 

This month the Auckland Committee also says goodbye to Olga Obushenkova – Olga has overseen the Young RMLA Committee in recent times and while we will miss her involvement, we wish her well on her travels.  The Committee also welcomes its newest member, Deborah Riley, who is taking over Olga’s duties for the Young RMLA.

Bay of Plenty – Cushla Loomb

The Bay of Plenty branch held a local event at the Port of Tauranga on 20 March 2014 which involved a port tour and a discussion of the Environment Court and High Court processes regarding the Port’s dredging consents.  It was well attended by Bay of Plenty standards with approximately 35 people attending, who were also able to enjoy a drink on the Port’s deck while watching the departure of the longest ship to dock at the Port to date (the cruise ship Celebrity Solstice of 317m length).  Vanessa Hamm and John Koning discussed the dredging case from Port and Iwi perspectives and some interesting discussion occurred.  Many thanks to the Port of Tauranga for hosting the event.

Wellington – Nicky McIndoe and Maia Wikaira

The Wellington RMLA Committee has had an enthusiastic start to the year.  Jill Gregory and Stewart McKenzie have stepped down as co-chairpersons, after giving great service to the Wellington section.  Nicky McIndoe and Maia Wikaira have been appointed the new co-chairpersons. 

The Committee is planning its schedule of events for the year, starting with a Treaty of Waitangi Issues Seminar on 2 April 2014.  The Seminar will be presented by Hon Justice Williams, Paul Beverley and Craig Linkhorn, who will discuss recent and upcoming changes in natural resource management relevant to Te Tiriti.

Future events include a Pre-election Special, Young RMLA events, and the National RMLA roadshows as they travel around the country.  The Pre-election Special will provide an opportunity for members to hear directly from the environment spokespeople for the various political parties, and is usually very well attended.  It is likely to take place in June, and more details will be released in the next month or so.

Queenstown / Central Otago – Jan Caunter

The Central Otago/Queenstown branch is in planning mode at the moment, we have been busy putting together an interesting and exciting list of seminars and social events for the year ahead. We are looking to host a number of the National road shows and local interest seminars. We welcome Marc Bretherton to our local RMLA committee, Marc is the General Manager of Planning & Development at Queenstown Lakes District Council and will be a great addition to the committee.