Environment and Planning

Ongoing amendments to the Resource Management Act and environmental legislation coupled with regular changes in national, regional and district policies and rules means anyone seeking to influence council plans or gain project approvals needs the best legal advice.

We can work with you across the entire spectrum of environmental and planning issues, providing you with the social and environmental licence to operate. Many of our environmental lawyers have worked in the industry so we can give you first-hand advice on the commercial challenges. Also, we regularly appear before local authorities and the Environment Court so we can offer you comprehensive practical advice before you start any project.

Our national team advises clients with strategic planning concerns impacting their industries, commercial developments as well as Māori interests.  We also provide realistic response strategies to minimise risks associated with environment and planning litigation, investigations and prosecutions.

Before you start your next project, talk to our environmental experts. We will make sure you get input at the planning stage and any necessary approvals to make your project a reality.

Recommended for "their organisational skills, attention to detail and ability to quickly understand key issues associated with a wide range of technical disciplines." Chambers Asia Pacific

How we help

  • Changing and working with planning rules
  • Obtaining all types of licences to operate
  • Due diligence when buying or selling land and businesses
  • Advocacy
  • Policy advice
  • Project management

Who can help

Rachel Devine

Partner - Environment and Planning

Rachel provides advice on all aspects of environmental and resource management law for private and public sector clients – from design through to approval, implementation and operation.

Rachel has advised extensively on requirements for resource consents, including major industrial and infrastructure projects, and implications of planning requirements. She has significant experience in obtaining complex environmental and project approvals for developers, and advises on other environmental issues including pollution licensing and contaminated land.

Her commercial experience means Rachel can provide practical, down-to-earth solutions to environmental problems in any context – corporate transactions, planning projects or site management.

In recognition of her environmental expertise, Rachel is President of the New Zealand Resource Management Law Association.

Rachel Devine


Environment and Planning

P: +64 9 353 9912
M: +64 21 521 299

Bianca Tree

Partner - Environment and Planning

Bianca is a specialist in resource management and environmental law. She provides advice on all aspects of the Resource Management Act 1991 and related legislation. She has experience across a broad range of development projects and environmental issues, including in the commercial, industrial, infrastructure, aquaculture, forestry and energy sectors. Bianca’s clients value her knowledge of their business and her clear commercial advice on resource consent and planning process.

Bianca has extensive experience of the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan, with direct involvement in the regional policy statement, business, transport, heritage and air quality chapters. She also acted for several clients to achieve an uplift in zoning or area specific precinct controls.

Bianca also has experience in the related fields of the Public Works Act and the Local Government Act, including development contributions and private development agreements.

Bianca Tree


Environment and Planning

P: +64 9 353 9784
M: +64 27 700 8883

Clare Sinnott

Special Counsel - Environment and Planning

Clare is a Special Counsel in our environment team

She has extensive expertise across the range of environmental work – from obtaining and managing designations, consents and other authorisations for infrastructure, commercial and industrial clients to advising on the environmental aspects of international financing arrangements.

She also advises on public law and Public Works Act issues.

From her experience in the state sector, Clare has in-depth knowledge of how central and local government work.

Clare Sinnott

Special Counsel

Environment and Planning

P: +64 4 498 5020
M: +64 27 376 8824

Stephanie de Groot

Senior Associate - Environment and Planning

Stephanie is a Senior Associate in the Environment Team. She specialises in providing advice on all aspects of environmental and resource management law to private and public sector clients including property developers, infrastructure providers and clients in the commercial, industrial, oil and gas, aquaculture and forestry sectors.

Stephanie is experienced in advising on a broad range of issues from consenting, planning and regulatory compliance through to due diligence for major acquisitions and divestments and environmental dispute resolution.  She regularly advises on complex and contentious matters.

Stephanie has a science background, and in addition to her legal qualifications has a bachelor of science majoring in geography and environmental science.  She also has previous experience in the regulatory services department of the Auckland Regional Council (now Auckland Council), contributing to the former air quality, industrial and trade processes and coastal teams.

Stephanie de Groot

Senior Associate

Environment and Planning

P: +64 9 353 9765
M: +64 21 92 9296

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