RMLA President’s Report : December 2015

Happy holidays everyone – the RM fraternity is due a well deserved break!  Those of you practicing in Auckland and Christchurch, in particular, have survived a very intense year with the bespoke unitary plan and city plan processes.  Throughout the country, many councils are notifying their second-generation plans that will shape New Zealand over the next decade.

The last couple of months have marked several significant changes in our community.  Associate Professor Ken Palmer was honoured on 10 December at a special sitting to mark his retirement, formally acknowledging his forty-six years of exceptional contribution to the legal profession as barrister, teacher, editor and author. 

On a more sombre note, the Queenstown and wider RM community sadly paid their respects to late lawyer Tony Ray, most recently of MacTodd, but who practiced throughout New Zealand when he wasn’t sailing around the world.  The fitting words from Principal Judge Newhook marking Tony’s passing are repeated in this newsletter.

Our industry continues to evolve, mature and change.  The Resource Legislation Amendment Bill was introduced on 26 November, and the RMLA is soliciting members’ views as we prepare a comprehensive submission to the select committee by 14 March.  In addition the New Zealand Productivity Commission has called for submissions on its publication ‘Better Urban Planning’. 

The closing months of the year also saw publication of The Land and Water Forum’s Fourth Report; as well as the landmark Environment Aotearoa 2015 report on New Zealand’s overall environment, released jointly by Statistics New Zealand and the Ministry for the Environment.

Next year is shaping up to be a big one.  Planning for the 2016 OUTstanding Conference in Nelson (22 – 24 September) continues apace. The conference committee is putting together an excellent programme that really delivers on the conference’s theme. Looking further ahead, I am pleased to confirm that the 2017 conference will be held in Auckland.

On behalf of the RMLA, I wish you and your families a safe and happy festive period, and I look forward to seeing you in the New Year, recharged, refreshed and ready to continue your important work.