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Education

LLB (Hons), University of Auckland, 1995.

LLM, University of Berkeley, California, 1999.

Making Good Decisions Foundation course, 2020.

Making Good Decisions Chairs course, 2020.

Additional credentials

Commonwealth Scholarship for study in India.

Fulbright Scholarship.

Philanthropic Educational Organization Scholarship.

Ethel Benjamin Prize in Law.

Spencer Mason Travelling Scholarship.

Leadership New Zealand participant, 2011.

Bio

Janette has specialised in all aspects of resource management law for over 25 years. Her depth of experience means she is highly regarded as one of New Zealand’s leading experts on the topic.

Throughout this time Janette has represented clients in resource management matters in front of councils, parliamentary select committees, the Environment Court, District Court, High Court, and the Court of Appeal, as well as in mediations and direct negotiation. She has acted for both prosecuting agencies and for defendants in criminal prosecutions of environmental offending.

Janette is known for her ability to cut through bureaucracy to get straight to the core of the matter. She is respected for her sound, strategic counsel and is adept at devising effective, sustainable solutions that mitigate the potential for conflict and litigation.

She holds long-standing, respectful relationships with many of New Zealand’s preeminent experts who provide expert opinion on the natural environment, amenity matters, conservation management, and resource use.

A qualified Independent Commissioner with a Chair’s endorsement, Janette is able to chair, sit on, and determine resource consent applications, or the content of planning documents, for councils.  She has also brought and defended a number of applications for judicial review, challenging the grant of resource consents without notice. This strengthens her decision making skills, knowing well what makes a defensible decision.  

Janette is regularly sought after to speak at education seminars, including for members of the resource management community.

Before joining Bankside Chambers, Janette was a partner at Meredith Connell, leading the Environment and Resource Management group for almost eight years. Prior to that Janette was a partner in boutique resource management firm Cowper Campbell.

From 1999 to 2004, Janette was director of the Environmental Defence Society.

Case Highlights

Recent highlights include:

Summerset Waikanae Retirement Village

Chaired the Expert Consenting Panel appointed to hear and determine the application for a retirement village on a large site with existing native vegetation, wetlands and native fauna, requiring substantial earthworks. Consents were granted, subject to a comprehensive and stringent set of conditions.

Cossens v Queenstown Lakes District Council

Acted for Queenstown Lakes District Council in a judicial review seeking to challenge the Council's processing of a resource consent and the formulation of its District Plan. The proceedings were discontinued after the first morning in Court.

Queenstown Arterials Project

Obtained COVID-19 ‘fast track’ designation and consents for Queenstown Lakes District Council via the Environmental Protection Authority.  These permissions allow the construction of a new town bypass, enabling the creation of a public transport hub and improved pedestrian amenity for residents and visitors.

Golden Bay Cement

Obtained non-notified changes authorising a significant upgrade to New Zealand’s only end-to-end cement plant, resulting in the go ahead for a landmark sustainability project for manufacturing in New Zealand. Up to 3 million waste tyres created in New Zealand each year will now be used in cement manufacturing at the Golden Bay Cement plant instead of going into landfill or other unsatisfactory disposal sites.

Winstone Wallboards

Obtained a suite of consents on a non-notified basis for a $400 million, five hectare manufacturing and distribution plant in Tauriko.

Ōrewa seawall application

Obtained resource consent on behalf of Auckland Council for its Ōrewa walkway and seawall project to enable better access to and protection for the Ōrewa esplanade reserve, which is threatened by significant coastal erosion.  Complex technical evidence before the Environment Court was matched by novel preliminary legal issues about Council’s ability to appeal its own decision.

Nga Awa Purua Geothermal Power Station

Obtaining resource consents for the Nga Awa Purua Geothermal Power Station.

What Others Say

Publications

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Memberships

Member of the New Zealand Law Society.

Member of the Auckland committee of the Resource Management Law Association, including two years as Chair.

Member of the Women’s Infrastructure Network.

Member of Women in Urbanism.

Member of Lawyers for Climate Action NZ.