Regional News : December 2015

Auckland – Francelle Lupis

As I write this, Auckland members are gathering for our annual Christmas function, which will be a welcome chance to relax and debrief on what has been a very busy year for most.   

That is certainly true for the Auckland branch – keeping pace with a hectic Unitary Plan schedule, we have organised over 14 events for members this year, including most recently the third annual Environment Court moot competition, which saw the Meredith Connell team taking home the trophy. 

Looking to the new year, our first event for 2016 will be a walking tour of recent developments on Auckland’s waterfront, currently scheduled for mid-February.  Details to follow. 

I want to pass on my thanks for the efforts and commitment of Karol Helmink and of the Auckland Committee – Peter Hall, Jill Gregory, Rob O’Connor, Sharon Dines, Leigh Walker, Natasha Garvan, Philip Comer, and Kim Hardy.  The willingness of the Committee to continue to offer their time and resources is greatly appreciated, particularly given the other pressures in place this year. 

The Auckland branch collected $470.00 at the Christmas party for its two charities, this year – Auckland City Mission and the SPCA.  A big thank you to all those who donated.

Happy holidays to all our branch members and keep safe over the summer break.

Northland – Julian Dawson

Northland Branch wishes its members and contributors a Merry Christmas and Happy Festive Season.  Bronwyn Carruthers’ presentation on High Court case-law was warmly received earlier this month and the puppets have been replayed several times since. We look forward to a Happy New Year and more successful road shows. 

Best Wishes – Northland Branch

Bay of Plenty – Paula Goldsby

The Bay of Plenty Committee hosted the annual RMLA conference in September and the organising committee was pleased with its success and the positive feedback received.  We also recently hosted the Development Contributions Roadshow and are currently looking forward to our combined social function with the local NZPI branch to celebrate the festive season.  The social event was a Christmas Quiz Night to held at Brew in Tauranga on Thursday 10 December and enjoyed by all.  

The branch committee has recently been discussing options for local events in the coming year and welcome any feedback regarding the types of events or any specific topics members would like to see covered in the coming year.  If you have any feedback, please get in touch with a member of the committee or email Paula Golsby at paula@pmgplanning.co.nz

Many local practitioners have been involved in the recent Bay of Plenty Regional Council hearing on the resource consent applications to leave the Rena on Astrolabe Reef and are eagerly awaiting the Council’s decision which is now expected on 26 February 2016. 

Happy Christmas to the Bay of Plenty branch members and we hope your holiday season is fun and festive!

Waikato – Joan Forret

The Waikato Branch has held some well attended seminars this year including the Development Contributions and High Court Case Law Roadshows.  Our thanks go to the presenters and RMLA executive committee for organising these Roadshows.  The quality continues to be very high and they provide valuable opportunities for professional development, debate and reflection.

We have also organised several other functions within the Branch and have a seminar planned for early 2016.  Breakfast seminars continue to be popular with Branch members and it is encouraging to see such a large number and range of members attend the various seminars according to interest.

Many Branch members attended the RMLA conference in Tauranga, which was a highlight of the year and much enjoyed by all of those that I have spoken with.

We have an interesting year ahead with many of the local and regional planning documents reaching the final stages before becoming operative – just in time for further changes to the RMA.   We await more ‘streamlining’ and ‘simplifying’ with trepidation and anticipate a further round of MfE updates in due course.

I wish the Branch and the wider RMLA community all the best for the festive season and look forward to seeing everyone looking relaxed and positive in the New Year. 

Wellington – Nicky McIndoe

The Wellington Committee co-chairs Nicky McIndoe and Maia Wikaira would like to thank the committee members for their support and work during 2015, and wish all RMLA members a very happy Christmas and New Year holiday break.  The Resource Legislation Amendment Bill will make excellent reading for the beach or hammock!  The Committee plans to schedule a “Welcome Back” social function in February 2016, so look out for the invite when you return to the office after the summer break. 

Nelson/Marlborough – Antoinette Besier

The Nelson Marlborough Branch has had a quiet time recently.  However many local members are working on plans for the conference for next year.  An end of year function is planned for 18 December at Deville’s in Nelson for members to toast the year that has been and that a well-deserved break holiday period is just around the corner!  

Otago/Southland – Rachel Brooking

At the end of October we heard from Maree Brown of EDS regarding biodiversity and the structural changes EDS recommends to reverse the decline. It was a very interesting and interactive discussion. 

Another of our committee members, Will Jennings, has left the region so we are on the lookout for new committee members. An AGM will be held in February and if you think you might be interested please contact me. 

Queenstown – Jenny Carter

Queenstown RMLA members have been kept busy with the District Plan review. Submissions on Stage 1 of the review closed on 23 October, with over 800 submissions lodged, making 8000 points of submission. The summary of submissions will be notified on 3 December and further submissions close on 16 December. This will keep us all busy in the lead up to Christmas!!  We have also been busy with hearings for the Proposed Regional Policy Statement for Otago which were held throughout November. 

RMLA is joining forces with the local branch of NZPI for a Christmas get together at Graze café in Lake Hayes Estate on 16 December. We hope to see everyone there to celebrate the upcoming Christmas holidays!!