RMLA Taranaki : Expert Conferencing / First Instance Hearings: Assisting the Commissioners – the Role of Experts

Join us for a discussion on the role of experts at first instance hearings, particularly in Expert Conferencing.  Expert conferencing is being used more routinely at Council-level hearings.  It is supported by many commissioners for its efficiencies and value.

A timely and relevant event given the upcoming of the rolling New Plymouth District Plan hearings in the next few months.

Anticipated topics include:

  • the special role of expert witnesses compared to the lawyer/advocate and lay witnesses;
  • guidance for successful and efficient expert conferencing that complies with the Environment Court’s Practice Note;
  • the timetabling for conferencing;
  • best practice in the layout of the joint witness statement or ‘JWS’;
  • the role of the conferencing facilitator and the value of a scribe.

The floor will be open for questions on any problems or pitfalls that attendees have encountered.

Presented by:

Mark St. Clair and Sarah Ongley

Mark has more than 30 years’ experience in public policy development, environmental and resource management assessment, environmental management systems, monitoring and auditing, and project management in New Zealand.  He is a co-director of a strategic resource management and environmental policy and planning consultancy which specialises in environmental and resource management assessment and policy advice.  Mark is a certified hearings commissioner (Chair endorsement) and is the recipient of the NZ Planning Institute’s Distinguished Service Award.

Sarah is a barrister with approximately 25 years’ experience in environmental and local government law.  Sarah commenced her career in Wellington’s larger law firms, followed by senior positions in central government (MfE, DOC), local government (Auckland Council) and as in-house counsel for an energy company.  She has substantial experience across resource management and in numerous hearing fora.  Sarah is a certified hearings commissioner and has particular interests in biodiversity and freshwater – including acting for iwi and hapū interests in these areas.

Date and Time: Thursday 27 May @ 5:30pm. Approximately 1-2 hours or as needed.

Drinks and nibbles to be provided.

When: 27 May 2021

Time: 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Where: Govett Quilliam Boardroom

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