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Obiter

Obiter dictum – “a statement of a Judge on a point of law not essential to the decision of the case before him or her.  “I think there is little doubt that those opinions were obiter and, in the case of two of the members, given merely in passing … we are free to take a different view” (per McCarthy J, Joe v Young [1964] NZLR24, 48).


The purpose of this part of our website is to provide a platform for debate and discussion about topical and emerging issues in resource management, local government and environmental law.

We invite and host contributions at the leading edge of such debate.

The views expressed in the opinion pieces on this page are not necessarily the views of the RMLA, or indeed its members.

  • The Final Straw for the RMA? Some shortcomings of the Resource Legislation Reform Bill 2015

    Date: 27 Jul, 2016
    Author: Simon Berry, Partner and Helen Andrews, Senior Associate, Berry Simons

    Introduction

    The Resource Legislation Reform Bill 2015 (“RLRB” or “the Bill”) represents the second phase of the National-led Government’s reform of the Resource Management Act 1991 (“RMA” of “The Act”), as signalled by the February 2013 discussion document “Improving our Resource Management System” (“Discussion Document”). It follows the first phase of RMA reforms which resulted in the Resource Management (Simplifying and Streamlining) Amendment Act 2009 (“2009 Amendment Act”) and the Resource Management Amendment Act 2013 (“2013 Amendment Act”).

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  • Jurisdiction of Councils to Regulate GMOs under the RMA

    Date: 15 Oct, 2014
    Author: Dr Kerry Grundy Convener Inter-Council Working Party on GMO Risk Evaluation and Management Options

    Jurisdiction of Councils to Regulate GMOs under the RMA - Response to Christensen and Nicolle, Anderson Lloyd Lawyers

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  • The King Salmon Soiree

    The King Salmon decision

    Date: 12 Jun, 2014
    Author: Various - see the content below

    In June 2014, a group of environmental lawyers met to consider the ramifications of the Supreme Court decision in EDS v King Salmon.

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  • Supreme Court’s decision in Environmental Defence Society v King Salmon

    Date: 09 Jun, 2014
    Author: Martin Williams, Barrister and President, RMLA

    President’s comment- an ‘Overall Judgement’ of my own!

    Introduction and context

    The Supreme Court’s decision in Environmental Defence Society v King Salmon does not (as one colleague recently put it to me) “shift the world on its axis”.

    The most significant dimension of the decision is the Court’s discussion of the ‘overall judgment’ approach.  I am aware of arguments being raised that the Supreme Court’s decision effectively signals the “death knell” of that approach.

    I disagree.

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  • Environmental Policy-making in New Zealand, 1978-2013

    Environmental policy making in New Zealand

    Date: 31 Oct, 2013
    Author: Gary Taylor, EDS

    Gary Taylor MA (Hons) QSO is the Chairman of the Environmental Defence Society. He has been involved with EDS since the late 1970s. He is an environmental policy analyst and has had extensive governance experience as a Director of public sector entities in Auckland.

    I’m going to talk about the ways in which key environmental policies have been made in the past, and reflect on the present state of play with respect to those same policies. I’ll draw on my experience with the Environmental Defence Society (EDS) since 1978 and the reflections are personal ones. The issues covered are as follows:

    1. Government agencies
    2. Climate change
    3. Oceans
    4. Freshwater
    5. Resource management law

    The objective of this discussion is to see if the past illuminates the present in any useful way.

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