What is Resource Management Law

Resource Management

Many people have heard of the Resource Management Act but are still unsure as to when they might need to use our Resource Management Team.

Resource management has become a specialised area of legal practice. It differs from other areas in many respects including the need for decision makers to make anticipatory judgements about likely effects on the environment of proposals for a development and the need for mastery by lawyers practising in this area to understand complex professional, scientific, and ecological areas of expertise.

The core principle of the Act is the sustainable management of our natural resources which includes land, air, water and the coastline. The Act requires consideration to be given to the effects that proposals may have on the environment and, where those effects are adverse, what can be done to mitigate them.

The Resource Management Act is undoubtedly one of the most important pieces of New Zealand legislation. Any business or person wanting to use this country’s natural or physical resources may have to deal with the requirements of the Act and seek timely advice from a lawyer as to the Act’s regulatory requirements and to obtain representation before consent authorities or the Courts.

Cavell Leitch has a wide client base and represents a broad range of clients from large developers through to private homeowners who may require advice in this area from time to time. We have specialist litigators who appear in the Environment Court and the High Court for a range of applications including plan changes, resource consent applications (including land subdivisions), prosecutions and enforcement proceedings.

A better understanding of the type of work carried out by our RMA team may be gained by reviewing a list of some of our recent work. This has included: 

  • Providing advice and representation in relation to the construction of a multi-million dollar high rise office building. 
  • Obtaining subdivision consent for a hill subdivision in Lyttelton. 
  • Obtaining a substantial plan change to create a special business zone for a client’s operations in outer Christchurch. 
  • Obtaining numerous consents before consent authorities to erect dwellings, boatsheds and ancillary buildings where issues of non-compliance with plans arise. 
  • Obtaining a significant plan change to allow for construction of a new townhouse development. 
  • Advising clients on liability for financial contributions payable upon undertaking developments and negotiations with local councils to obtain substantial rebates.
    Defending enforcement and prosecution proceedings in relation to a substantial landslip in Lyttelton.
  • Opposing the establishment of a café in a rural area where it would give rise to adverse traffic effects on a quiet valley environment. Our team is very proud of its successful track record in resource management cases.

If you have need for any legal advice in this area then please contact our specialist team.

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Copyright © Cavell Leitch. All rights reserved. Redistribution is only permitted with express written permission. For enquiries please contact us. This article by its nature cannot be comprehensive and cannot be relied on by clients as advice. It is provided to assist clients to identify legal issues on which they should seek legal advice. Please consult the professional staff of Cavell Leitch for advice specific to your situation.