RMLA Regional News : August 2015

Auckland – Francelle Lupis

On 23 July the Auckland RMLA Committee said goodbye to, and acknowledged the huge contribution of, our long-standing Chair Kitt Littlejohn, who has stepped down after nine years on the Committee and three years as chair.  We also said goodbye and thank-you to Deborah Riley.  Deb has been leading our young-RMLA sub-committee for several years and has been instrumental in significantly increasing the number of events we have been able to offer our younger members.     

Auckland practitioners are still feeling the pressure of the Unitary Plan process, but nevertheless our two most recent events were well-attended.  On 24 June Bronwyn Carruthers led an RMA-101 session for young RMLA members, kindly hosted by Brookfields, and on 2 July, Chapman Tripp hosted a panel session with representative members of the successful Further North Alliance. 

As incoming Chair I am pleased to report that we have a full schedule planned through to the end of 2015.  We have two upcoming young-RMLA events, including a repeat of last year’s very successful multi-disciplinary projects review, as well as a number of sessions planned for our wider membership.  Registration details will follow as details are finalised.  

In the meantime, mark 3 December in your diaries as the date of this year’s Auckland RMLA Christmas function.  It will be a busy run-up to December and this year’s break will be very well-deserved for our Auckland members.  Although Christmas seems like an unattainable goal at the moment, I’m already looking forward to the opportunity to catch up with many of you at the Christmas function and celebrate everything that has been achieved in 2015.  But we have to make it first!  Best of luck to everyone juggling Unitary Plan mediations, hearings and project deadlines over the next few months.

Bay of Plenty – Paula Golsby

The Bay of Plenty Branch Committee and Conference Organising Committee have been busy preparing for the Annual Conference – Matauranga Maori- to be held  24-26 September this year.  The Registration Brochure is now available and registrations can be made through the RMLA website. 

The Bay of Plenty Branch recently had it’s AGM in Tauranga, which was followed by the High Court Case Law Roadshow, presented by Bronwyn Carruthers and Mary Hill.  The event was well-attended and the Committee is very grateful to Cooney Lees Morgan for hosting the AGM and Roadshow event. 

At the AGM we farewelled Michelle Paddison who stepped down from the Branch Committee, as well as Russell De Luca, Bill Wasley and Vanessa Hamm who stepped down during 2014.  Mary Hill and David Greaves joined the Committee  and Cushla Loomb stepped down as the Chairperson, although remains a member of the Committee.  Paula Golsby now fills the Chairperson role.  The contribution of Michelle, Russell, Bill, Vanessa and Cushla has been greatly appreciated by all. 

We are also looking forward to organising some further local events after the Annual Conference in September.

Wellington – Maia Wikaira and Nicky McIndoe

The Wellington resource management community has been particularly busy over the last few months, with a variety of seminars to attend on cold winter nights.  These have included:

  • contrasting overseas work experiences in our “Planning in the Middle East” seminar presented by Darryl Lew and Andrew Hammond; and
  • perspectives on development contributions, an RMLA roadshow presented by Shaun McAuley, Andrew Braggins and Philip Jones. 

Our thanks to these presenters, and the firms that hosted the seminars. 

We have also kept up our social calendar with a joint RMLA-NZPI quiz night recently held on 6 August, and organised by younger members of the committees from both organisations. It was a fun and relaxed social occasion, although the competition was fierce! 

The Wellington Branch also bids farewell to outgoing committee member Phil Gurnsey, who has been a long-serving and valued member of the Wellington committee. His drive and enthusiasm have been a substantial contribution to the committee, and have enhanced our programme of events year and after year. We wish him the best in his future endeavours. 

Finally, but most importantly, the Wellington committee is very proud to be hosting the Salmon Lecture in Wellington this year, and is working hard to ensure it will be a success. Our speaker this year will be Sir Peter Gluckman, who will discuss the place of science in successful environmental policy and law.  RMLA members from throughout the country are encouraged to attend what will be a wonderful event.

Nelson/Marlborough – Antoinette Besier

Local members have been meeting regularly to organise the 2016 conference and planning is well underway.  Other than that, the winter months have been relatively quiet but spring will start with a seminar to be presented by Rachel Staunton from the Environment Court Registry in Wellington.  The topic of the seminar is the use of technology (particularly Ipads) in Court hearings and how we can prepare ourselves for this use of technology.

Otago/Southland – Rachel Brooking

The Otago/Southland branch has fare-welled Chris Thomsen who is off to Nelson after many years of involvement with the Otago branch as a committee member, chair, presenter and co-convenor of the 2014 RMLA conference. To mark his departure an irreverent discussion on whether or not regional policy statements serve a useful purpose was held. Chris will be missed in Otago and we wish him well for his new life in Nelson. With Chris stepping down Rachel Brooking is now the chair.
A workshop on the new consent application was held with a very engaged audience. In addition to the presentation helpful commentary was provided by 3 senior council staff being Alan Worthington of Dunedin City Council, David Campbell of Clutha District Council and Chris Shaw of Otago Regional Council.