RMLA Wellington : Implementation Road Show


The purpose of the RMLA’s implementation National Road show is to initiate a parallel, complementary conversation to that about what the statutory language should be.  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 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.


4:30pm arrival and registration
4:45pm-5:45pm panel discussion
5:45pm-6:30pm drinks and nibbles

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.


Naomi Aporo

Naomi has had a broad and varying career across areas such as strategy, operational modelling, organisational design, post settlement structuring, organisational development, business performance, risk management, and capability development. More recently she has focused in Māori agribusiness, and the environment. In Naomi’s role as Kaihāpai Māori for the NZ Land and Water National Science Challenge she is responsible for ensuring integrity in the Challenge’s commitment to have Te Ao Māori at the heart of the Challenge.

Kate McArthur

Kate is an independent consultant with 20 years of experience in water resource management. Kate has a background in freshwater ecology and natural resource management and has worked as a senior scientist for regional councils.  She has a deep interest in tangata whenua relationships with water and the environment and works with iwi Māori to develop water frameworks and cultural assessment tools. Kate is President of the New Zealand Freshwater Sciences Society, and leads national education programmes in freshwater science and policy. Kate is also an experienced and accredited RMA Hearings Commissioner, and has been appointed by the Minister for the Environment as a Freshwater Commissioner for the new Freshwater Planning Process.

Michael Lowe

Michael is an Urbanist working across urban design, master planning, transport, and fine arts. He is passionate about the way well-designed urban environments can help improve social equality, and give people access to high-quality amenity. Michael specialises in large-scale projects where he helps clients strategize, develop a project methodology, review, and deliver their vision. He is a key member of Studio Pacific’s urban design team advising across all aspects of design, process, and policy. He has been privileged to be a part of Kāinga Ora’s Strategic Masterplans in Tāmaki, Mount Roskill, and Eastern Porirua.   He is an active member within the design community, loves making submissions, and to stir the pot on social media.


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: 08 April 2021

Time: 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm

Where: Bell Gully

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