RMLA Regional News : June 2014

Auckland – Kitt Littlejohn

On 28 May Russell McVeagh hosted our most recent event – a seminar presented by Paul Majurey and entitled Tāmaki Makaurau Collective Treaty Settlement and Future Resource Planning and Governance in Auckland. Paul, who is Chair of Nga Mana Whenua o Tāmaki Makaurau, was assisted by James Brown (Ngai Tai ki Tāmaki) and Mike Dreaver (Chief Crown Negotiator. Over 60 members attended to hear about the Collective settlement process that has been on-going in Auckland for many years. The presentation and Q & A session at the end were very informative and invaluable for all those who attended (based on feedback received). Many thanks again to Paul and James for putting this together for the Auckland Branch members.

After a quiet start to the year, our branch now has four events in quick succession – hopefully giving all members an excuse not to curl up by the fire every night of the week!  On 12 June we have Paul Goldsmith (National), Phil Twyford (Labour) and Denise Roche (Greens) speaking on their party’s environmental policies and response to the issues facing Auckland and on 25 June, Judge David Kirkpatrick will reprise his recent presentations to other organisations on the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan specifically for RMLA members. 

After a successful session on Ethics and Advocacy in April, our Young RMLA will be hosting a joint session with Young Planners and Engineers on 11 June.  The subject of the session is the AMETI project in East Auckland. 

Further details of all upcoming events are on the main RMLA website

Bay of Plenty – Cushla Loomb

The BoP local branch have officially switched into ‘conference organising mode’ in preparation for the 2015 conference to be held here in the Bay and have added new and eager members to our organising committee. A very exciting theme is emerging and the ideas are already flowing so it is shaping up to be cracker. We are also busy planning for the ‘Conditions of Consent’ roadshow coming to Tauranga on 8 July. It is a half day workshop with high level speakers so be sure to keep an eye out for the flyer with more information on how to register

Waikato – Lachlan Muldowney

The past few months have been a busy time for the Waikato branch of the RMLA with many of its members being involved in the numerous plan and policy making First Schedule processes including the Hamilton City Council Proposed District Plan, the Waipa Proposed District Plan, the South Waikato Proposed District Plan and the Proposed Ruakura Plan Change Board of Inquiry hearing. 

The Waikato branch is also busy planning its 2014 events.  On 9 July 2014 the Waikato branch will host the ‘Conditions of Consent’ roadshow which will examine recent trends around the framing and administration of consent conditions.   The interactive workshop will include a range of presentations from guest speakers, including Principal Environment Judge Newhook, Environment Court Judges Kirkpatrick and Borthwick and Environment Commissioner Ross Dunlop.  We look forward to seeing see all our members there.

Taranaki – Cam Twigley

The Taranaki Branch has had a slow start to the year in terms of hosting events but we now have the Environmental Compensation and Consent Conditions roadshows coming up which we are sure will be well attended by members and non-members alike.

Wellington – Nicky McIndoe / Maia Wikaira

The Wellington committee of the RMLA has a busy year planned.  On 17 June Buddle Findlay is hosting an election special, where Jacqui Dean, Russel Norman and Moana Mackey will be presenting on each of their party’s environmental policies.  Similar sessions in previous years have been entertaining, informative and well-attended, and we are hoping this one will be too. The Committee is also looking forward to hosting many of the national RMLA roadshows, including a workshop on consent conditions which is scheduled for 3 July.

Nelson/Marlborough – Antoinette Besier

The Nelson/Marlborough branch recently held its AGM followed by a presentation from Staig and Smith on advanced survey technologies, including 3D laser scanning, aerial photography and visualisation.  At the AGM, Shoshona Galbreath stood down as Chair and Antoinette Besier was appointed to take on this role.  The branch thanks Shoshona Galbreath for her past leadership and wishes Antoinette well in this new role. 

On Monday 16 June at the Trailways Hotel, we are running a seminar on the basic concepts of environmental compensation, including biodiversity offsets and their places in the RMA and Conservation Act.  Register now if you have not already done so. Suggestions for events are always welcome and can be emailed to abesier@fvm.co.nz

Canterbury – Gerard Cleary

The Canterbury Branch recently organised a ‘What is reasonable noise’ 101 in early May, which was well attended by local members.  The presenters were David Pedley of Adderley Head and Darren Humpheson and Michael Smith of URS whose tag team approach to educating us on current noise issues was much appreciated.

The branch continues to build on the successful launch of our Young RMLA in 2013. Preparation is well under way for a further event in June, at which a variety of senior professionals will discuss their career paths with Young RMLA members.

Otago/Southland – Chris Thomsen

Preparation for the 2014 Conference at Dunedin is in full swing.  We are pleased to offer a high calibre of national and international thought leaders in the various environmental professions. 

Abstracts for posters to be displayed are due at the end of the month.  We have had a good response so far, with a good mix of planning, science and project-based topics.  Keep them coming.

As I expect is the case in most regions there is a high level of interest in the Supreme Court’s decision in the King Salmon cases.  A workshop was organised to discuss and work through that decision, which was very well attended.  The Branch had the benefit of the attendance of Ceri Warnock, the Resource Management Law Lecturer at the University of Otago’s Law School, who provided a number of thought provoking comments and observations that were well received.

Aside from the Conference there are several roadshows coming up, so keep an eye out.

Queenstown – Jan Caunter

The Branch is in full flight organising seminars and social functions to see us through the cold winter months ahead. We recently enjoyed a very interesting seminar from Remarkables Park Ltd on its overall integrated development plans for the future. In early June, the Branch is meeting with Council planning staff to be briefed on the current status of the district plan review. That will be followed by a session on environmental compensation in early July and a workshop with Judge Newhook and others in mid July on consent conditions. In August, we will host a member of the Environment Court staff, who will train us on the use of IPads in Environment Court hearings.

Our mid winter function is scheduled for 17 July, to coincide with the Environment Court’s consent conditions workshop.

Flyers for all events will follow in coming weeks.