RMLA Northland : Implementation Road Show


Resource management reform is currently front of mind for all practitioners, and also for many members of the public.  The conversation so far has been heavily focused on the design of new legislation; the words on the page.

However, the failure of the RMA to live up to expectations cannot just be chalked down to the statutory framework.  Implementation failure is a key contributor, some consider the main contributor.  Some of the current regime’s central features – like environmental limits and Te Ao Māori concepts – are also areas where implementation is most challenging.  And these concepts are signalled to have an increased role under the new law.  This means that if implementation is not tackled in parallel to preparing new legislation there is a real risk we will continue to see poor outcomes for the natural environment and development alike.

This is the purpose of the RMLA’s implementation National Road show; to initiate a parallel, complementary conversation to that about the statutory language.  Its focus is how to successfully apply the law on the ground and create a better future.  Each panel will take a deep dive into critical factors for successful implementation and fresh perspectives for implementation approaches under a new resource management system, drawing on local knowledge and experience to generate ideas of national application.


Sarah Shaw – Sarah has over 20 years’ experience in RMA and local government in Aotearoa and the UK, with degrees in law and environmental planning from Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato / Waikato University and experience across both planning and law. Sarah is a barrister in Te Tai Tokerau Northland, advising on district and regional plan development and resource consenting for local authorities, applicants, and mana whenua.

Hirini Tane – Hirini grew up in the small community of Oromahoe in the Bay of Islands, Northland. He completed a doctorate at the University of Otago, Dunedin, exploring the past-present and future of his papakāinga. The general theme of his research interests is understanding something of the relationship between people, land and water. HIrini is researcher and co-founder of the independent research unit Takarangi Research, and also kaiwhakahaere for the website www.maorimaps.com.

Karen Field – Karen grew up at the beach in the Hauraki Gulf, snorkelled with the sprats while dreaming of being Jacques Cousteau, became a marine biologist and ended up in Wellington working in Fisheries Research (MAF/NIWA) on orange roughy stock assessments, including many months at sea on deepwater fisheries research surveys.

Karen brings her experience in fisheries management and government processes to Fish Forever, reminding us about the importance of submissions and translating complex fisheries science into stories we can all understand.

“I am committed to restoring marine ecosystems so future generations can experience the same undersea wonders I did as a child, or actually, let’s make them even better than that, they were already pretty compromised by the 1960s.”

Jessica Hollis – Jess has approximately 17 years of experience in resource management planning, including approximately 12 years working for local government authorities in the Nelson, West Coast and Northland regions.  Jess previously ran her own planning consultancy for 4 years, based on the west coast of the South Island, undertaking work in various locations around the country, and has recently returned to working as an independent planning consultant.  Jess has a range of experience across the planning spectrum, including in policy development and review, complex consenting and engagement.  Jess has also been working with the Ministry for the Environment since mid-2020 within the COVID 19 Recovery Fast-track Consenting Team. Jess has a particular interest in Māori development and cultural issues, and recognising/providing for positive cultural outcomes via planning.


Madeleine Wright is an environmental barrister with experience in Courts of all levels, acting in precedent setting cases and for a range of clients.  She is also experienced at participating in national policy negotiations, and advising on and assisting with legislative processes.  Madeleine’s work is underpinned by a desire to see better outcomes on the ground for both the environment and Aotearoa’s communities – and so she can continue teaching her daughter Ngaia to surf and ski.

Natasha Garvan is a partner at Bell Gully in the environmental and resource management team. Her expertise includes providing strategic advice and consenting strategies for large scale projects, and implementing those strategies through plan change, designation, or consenting processes. She regularly appears as counsel at mediations and hearings. Natasha has an interest in “on the ground” initiatives which provide pathways to enhancing our environment in ways which add value to our economy. Natasha is recognised as a “Next Generation Partner” in The Legal 500 Asia Pacific for projects and resource management, and was included in NZ Lawyer’s inaugural “Rising Stars” list in 2020 which acknowledges up-and-coming starts in the legal profession who are committed to making a difference.

Please note this event is subject to being in Alert Level 1, and if not, may be held online or postponed until a later date.

When: 17 March 2021

Time: 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

Where: Woodlands Motel & Conference Centre

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