New Environment Court Practice Note issued for consultation

Principal Environment Judge Laurie Newhook has released, for purposes of consultation, an update of the Environment Court’s Practice Note.

The more significant changes to the Practice Note include a new section on Direct Referrals (where Councils resolve that applications for resource consents be referred directly to the Environment Court for first instance hearing); cooperation required in the preparation of evidence; detailed requirements concerning statements of evidence; alternative dispute resolution including mediation (including a requirement that parties be represented at ADR sessions by persons holding full authority to settle); pre-reading of evidence by the Court and consequent hearing procedures; a new Appendix concerning lodgement and use of electronic versions of documents; an Appendix containing an updated Protocol for Court-assisted mediation; and an Appendix containing a protocol for Expert witness conferences, a significant part of which has been informed by workshops conducted nationally by the Court.

Submissions on the new Draft Practice Note may be addressed to the Registrar of the Environment Court, Harry Johnson, by Friday 27 June.  Submissions may be addressed to him by email, to harry.johnson@justice.govt.nz or by mail: Harry Johnson, Registrar, Environment Court, PO Box 7147, Wellesley Street, Auckland 1010, or by DX to Harry Johnson, Registrar, Environment Court, DX CX10086, Auckland.

Comparison with the existing Practice Note may be made by referring to that document on the website of the Court: http://www.justice.govt.nz/courts/environment-court.