RMLA Otago/Southland : Implementation Road Show


The purpose of the RMLA’s implementation National Road show is to focus on how to successfully apply new environmental and planning 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 environmental management system, drawing on local knowledge and experience to generate ideas of national application.

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.


4:00pm arrival and registration
4:15pm-5:15pm panel discussion
5:15pm-6:00pm social time and informal discussion with the facilitators and panellists

Speakers have been carefully selected across the country to provide a range of perspectives, from senior practitioners with extensive experience, through to rising stars at the middle of their career who will be tasked with implementing and interpreting the new system.


Maria Bartlett, Senior Advisor, Te Ao Marama Inc: Maria is currently a Senior Advisor at Te Ao Marama Inc based in Invercargill supporting Ngāi Tahu ki Murihiku.  She has spent the last decade in strategy, policy and planning within the Ngāi Tahu tribal structure focussed on local government relationships, freshwater management, Crown minerals and climate change response.  Her resource management career began twenty years ago at Environment Canterbury as a surface water consents planner. It was through the Tuia programme of partnership between Environment Canterbury and Ngāi Tahu that Maria began working with iwi and hapū, experiencing and practicing resource management from a Te Ao Māori perspective.

Blake Holgate, Head of Sustainable Business Development, Rabobank: As the Head of Sustainable Business Development, Blake helps the bank ensure its clients are in the strongest position themselves to best manage increasing environmental, societal and market risk as well as seizing opportunities created by a scarcity of resources and a growing global population.  Hailing from a sheep and beef farming family, Blake has an MBA from Otago University and practised as an environmental lawyer specialising in resource management before joining Rabobank.

Bridget Irving, Partner, Gallaway Cook Allan: Bridget is a partner in Gallaway Cook Allan’s resource management and environmental law team.  She helps a wide range of clients, including assisting farmers with their operations, such as irrigation, effluent and nutrient management. She also works with industrial clients, residential land developers and local authorities. Outside of work, Bridget enjoys running, mountain biking and skiing.

Louise Taylor, Partner, Mitchell Daysh: Louise is a Director of Mitchell Daysh, a national resource management consultancy. She is a skilled statutory planner with over twenty years’ experience in preparing project plans, assessments of environmental effects, notices of requirement, plan changes, undertaking duties as an expert planning witness and carrying out iwi and stakeholder consultation. Louise was accredited as a Hearings Commissioner in 2009 and achieved the Chair endorsement in 2013. She regularly sits on hearings panels and chairs various meetings. Louise enjoys the challenge of applying her skills to Resource Management Act decision making.


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: 06 May 2021

Time: 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Where: Anderson Lloyd Boardroom, 10th Floor

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