Environment and Planning

We take the lead in advising on a wide range of environmental, planning and local government issues.

  • Summary
  • Work highlights
  • People
  • Publications

​​We have a solid reputation for achieving results on complex and large projects. This means we are in demand for significant projects that are shaping major cities, as investment in infrastructure continues at pace in New Zealand.

Our team of experts assists clients to manage the complex consenting and compliance issues involved in major projects and developments. Our breadth of experience in large scale infrastructure work, commercial development (including retail and office), manufacturing, transport, energy, mining, coastal, agriculture (including viticulture), and climate change provides our clients with leading expertise, no matter what the issue or project.

We represent clients in contested proceedings before Councils, the Environment Court and the Higher Courts. We provide advice and input into planning and policy at district, regional and national levels.​

Our team has specific and extensive expertise in due diligence advice for company mergers, acquisitions and property transactions, particularly with respect to sensitive land applications under the Overseas Investment Act. We also advise on environmental liability issues, particularly on contaminated sites, working with clients on their immediate and longer term issues.

Our clients tell us we are pragmatic, cost effective and results orientated.

Recognition of our environment and planning expertise

"Resource management and environmental law are significant elements in the work of Bell Gully’s Projects and Resource Management practice. The team always provides exceptional service and appropriate levels of expertise. My “go-to” team for planning and RM advice."

"An exceptional team with an excellent ability to focus on the key issue and deliver a workable outcome."
The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2021 - Tier 1​​

Auckland Transport and Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Agency
Advising Auckland Transport and Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Agency on Te Tupu Ngātahi, the Supporting Growth Alliance on route protection of the transportation network required to service the next 30 years of Auckland's growth.

Auckland Transport
Successfully represented Auckland Transport on declaratory proceedings in the Environment Court relating to the interpretation of the provisions for 'rollover' designations and lapse dates under the RMA.

Assisted Auckland Transport to obtain a designation and resource consents for the Matakana Link Road, a proposed four​-lane arterial transport corridor with active modes, connecting SH1 to Matakana Road, and providing for urban growth in Warkworth north.

Advised Auckland Transport on designation for the NZ$245 million upgrade of nearly 9kms of road between Redoubt Road in Manukau and Mill Road in Alfriston. The proposed road will provide network security and resilience, as well as addressing the high crash record of the poor quality arterial road connection that exists.

Advised Auckland Transport on the Penlink roading project. Penlink is a proposed road providing a link between State Highway 1 and the Whangaparaoa Peninsula, north of Auckland. Penlink provides an alternative to the existing Whangaparoa Road, which is subject to significant congestion.

Port Marlborough Limited
Advising Port Marlborough on the fast track consenting hearing process for its nationally-significant project to fully redevelop Port Picton to accommodate New Zealand's future interisland freight and passenger services between the North and South Islands.

Advising Port Marlborough on the Proposed Marlborough Environmental Plan.

Advising KiwiRail on the fast track consenting hearing process for its nationally-significant project to fully redevelop Port Picton to accommodate New Zealand's future interisland freight and passenger services between the North and South Islands.

Representing Transpower in High Court appeal from the Environment Court decision to grant resource consents to realign the Hairini – Mt Maunganui A (HAI-MTM A) 110kV transmission line which currently traverses the Maungatapu Peninsula, Rangataua Bay Estuary and Matapihi.

Advising Transpower on the maintenance of the transmission line between Manapouri and Invercargill and on grid upgrades from the Upper Clutha to Waitaki.

Assisting Transpower with its submissions in relation to national regulatory reforms and proposed national policy statements.

Representing Transpower, owner and operator of the National Grid, at Council hearings and Environment Court mediations, and advising on appeals for a number of planning matters including the Christchurch Replacement District Plan which involved a fast tracked hearing process with a large number of parties, Proposed Southland Regional Policy Statement, Proposed Otago Regional Policy Statement, plan changes and Special Housing Areas in the Auckland region.

Marlborough District Council
Advising Marlborough District Council (as applicant) on the Flaxbourne Community Irrigation Scheme, which is intended to extract water from the Waima River to irrigate 1250ha of farmland.

Acting on Greater Wellington Natural Resources Plan.

Advising CentrePort on its masterplanning for redevelopment of areas of land and facilities that are no longer required for Port purposes – including Harbour Quays and the Waterloo and Interislander wharves.

City Rail Link Limited
Assisted with obtaining the original designations and resource consents, and continues to act on a range of alterations to the designations involving High Court and Court of Appeal proceedings and contentious aspects of land acquisitions for the City Rail Link (CRL). The NZ$4.6 billion, 3.4km CRL is New Zealand's largest ever single civil construction project.

Kāinga Ora
Assisting Kāinga Ora with the planning component of the Eastern Porirua Development Project, a $1.5 billion investment in replacing state homes, creating opportunities for home ownership and the revitalisation of the eastern Porirua neighbourhoods.

Genesis Energy
Acting on the Healthy Rivers/Wai Ora Plan Change 1 to the Waikato Regional Plan.

Meridian Energy
Advising on its wind energy generation projects throughout New Zealand. Meridian is New Zealand's largest electricity (and wind energy) generator. We also assist Meridian on a wide range of planning and policy related matters including maintaining consents and establishing a favourable policy framework.

Advising Seaport Land Company on its resource consent application to develop a 2.6 hectare site close to Port Taranaki for mixed uses including residential, commercial, hospitality and open space.   ​

Arvida Group Limited
Assisting Arvida to obtain resource consents for an extension to the Lansdowne Park retirement village in Masterton, including controversial access from SH2.

Tainui Group Holdings
Asssisted with its strategic projects, including its staged development of The Base retail centre in Te Rapa, Hamilton and its proposed inland port at Ruakura.​

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  • Andrew Beatson

    Partner Auckland/Wellington
  • Natasha Garvan

    Partner Auckland
  • Lisa McLennan

    Senior Associate Auckland