Environment Commissioners

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I M Buchanan

Ian Buchanan took up his appointment as a Environment Commissioner in January 2013, commuting to the Wellington office from his home in Greytown. He graduated with a BSc (Hons) in ecology in 1975 and was then employed as a fisheries and wildlife manager with the Fish & Game Council for close to 20 years, followed by ownership of a number of small businesses including an outdoor pursuits company and a golf pro shop.

Overlapping this Ian had 27 years as an elected local government member, firstly with the Wairarapa Catchment Board followed by the Wellington Regional Council. He chaired the Planning and Environment committee from 1992 to 2004 and from 2004 to 2007 chaired the Council and was a member of the national council of Local Government New Zealand.

Ian is a past member of the Wellington Conservation Board, the NZ Conservation Authority and the National Animal Ethics Advisory Committee as well as numerous national, regional and local boards and committees during his term in local government.

E H von Dadelszen

Before joining the Environment Court in 2013, Eileen (JP, MPP, BA, DipTP, MNZPI) served as an elected member of the HBRC for a number of years. In that capacity she obtained accreditation as a Hearings Commissioner and as Chairperson of Hearings Panels and served on many committees including being Chairperson of the Council between 2004 and 2007. She completed a LEADR mediation qualification in 2002.

As a Planner, Eileen’s initial experience was with the Ministry of Works and Development where she worked at Head Office and then as District Planner for the East Coast Region. As a Planning Consultant, she worked on behalf of private clients and for a number of local authorities. A Member of the Institute of Directors, Eileen has served on a number of ‘Not for Profit’ Trusts, and on the Council of the New Zealand Planning Institute.

R M Dunlop

Ross M Dunlop BA, Diploma Town and Country Planning, MNZPI is a professionally qualified resource management planner living in Glendowie, Auckland. He was initially appointed as a fulltime Environment Commissioner on 3 March 2003 (5 year term) and re-appointed in June 2013 for a further 5 year term.

Ross Dunlop has over 30 years experience in planning and resource management, which has included a number of senior management positions, namely District Planner for the Ministry of Works and Development (Auckland), Manager Planning and Environment for the Franklin District Council and Senior Principal (Planning) for URS New Zealand Limited (the successor to Woodward-Clyde NZ Ltd and Murray North and Partners).

In addition to his plan preparation and policy work much of Ross Dunlop's experience has been with multi-disciplinary teams engaged on a range of major public and private sector projects, particularly transportation and major infrastructure works in Otago/Southland, Taranaki, Auckland and Northland. He completed a LEADR mediation workshop in March 2003.

K A Edmonds

Kathryn was first appointed to the Environment Court in 2005 and was re-appointed in January 2015 for a further 5 year term.. Before joining the court Kathryn practised as a solicitor and headed the environmental division of a large consultancy firm. Earlier she was an advisor to the Minister for the Environment after holding senior policy, planning and management roles in water and soil, and town and country planning, in the Ministry of Works and Development.

Kathryn has an LLM (Dist) and LLB (Hons) from Victoria University of Wellington, a BA (Geography) from the University of Auckland and a postgraduate diploma in town planning from the UK.

Kathryn also served as a member of the Board of Inquiry into the Proposed New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement 2008.

W R Howie

Russell Howie was appointed an Environment Commissioner in July 2001 and was re-appointed in June 2013 for a further 5 year term. He holds the degree of Bachelor of Civil Engineering from Canterbury University, and is a Fellow of the Institution of Professional Engineers. He has been an Independent Commissioner under the RMA on many occasions for the Wellington Regional Council and for the Wellington, Porirua, Hutt and Upper Hutt City Councils. He was the Environmental Manager for the Electricity Corporation of New Zealand and before that he was the Deputy Director of Water and Soil Conservation for the National Water and Soil Conservation Authority. He has been involved in the design and construction of highways, dams, irrigation schemes, flood control schemes and drainage schemes and in the allocation of water resources. He is a past president of the New Zealand Society of Large Dams and was recently the Project Manager for the Strengthening of the Matahina Dam.

J A Hodges

Jim Hodges was appointed an Environment Commissioner in June 2013. Jim is Auckland based with approximately 40 years of experience in engineering, environmental science, statutory planning, policy development and resource management. He has led large teams in the investigation, consenting and design of major infrastructure projects. For approximately four years to June 2011, Jim was Chief Engineer of Watercare Services Limited, the largest provider of water supply and wastewater services in New Zealand. Before joining Watercare, Jim worked for URS (NZ) Ltd.

Jim is an independent Resource Management Act Commissioner and a Chartered Professional Engineer.

J R Mills

John Mills was appointed an Environment Commissioner in July 1999 and was re-appointed in September 2009 for a further 5 year term. John graduated from Lincoln University with a B.Agricultural Commerce in 1975. He owned and managed a 3000 stock unit sheep and beef farm in the Te Anau Basin 1981-99.

Local government experience: elected to Southland Regional Council 1989-98. Deputy Chair of that Council 1992-98. Chair of Consents Committee 1992-98.

He was first appointed an Environment Commissioner in 1999. Completed LEADR mediation workshop 1999.

K Prime

Kevin Prime lives in Northland and was initially appointed from 1 March 2003 (5 year term) and re-appointed in June 2013 for a further 5 year term.

Kevin Prime has been a farmer and forester in Motatau (Northland) for the last 40 years and in the last two years has taken up bee keeping as a hobby. During the last 20 years or so he has been very much involved in community matters with Marae Committees, Māori Committees, Runanga, Māori development, School Boards of Trustees, Charitable Trusts, Health Trusts, Community Trusts, Forest Trusts, Forest Companies, Health Companies, Health Boards, and Conservation Boards at local, regional and national levels. He has also served on Ministerial Advisory groups pertaining to Health, Forestry, Conservation, Māori Affairs, Environment, Crown Research Institutes, Lands, and Sport.

D Bunting

David Bunting was appointed an Environment Commissioner in August 2007 and was re-appointed in August 2012 for a further 5 year term. David holds an honours degree in civil engineering from the University of Canterbury, and has completed senior executive development programmes at both the INSEAD Business School (Paris) and Stanford University (USA). He is a Chartered Professional Engineer and a Fellow of the Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand. He has been a board member of the Institution of Professional Engineers, the Engineers Registration Board and the Chartered Professional Engineers Council.

Before joining the Environment Court in 2007, he was international manager and then business development manager for one of New Zealand’s largest firms of consulting engineers, architects and planners. In this role he was responsible for many infrastructure projects in New Zealand, Australia, the UK and developing countries in the Asia Pacific region.

His work with the Environment Court has included wind farms, coastal protection works and a tidal energy project. He has been a member of the Boards of Inquiry for the Turitea wind farm near Palmerston North and the MacKays to Peka Peka Expressway north of Wellington.

A C E Leijnen

Anne Leijnen (NZCTP, BTP) commenced duties with the Environment Court in January 2011. She is a professionally qualified Town Planner with some 30 years experience in both local authority planning practice and as a private consultant.

Anne was the managing director of a small planning consultancy in the 1980s and during this period, amongst other roles, advised the Minister for the Americas Cup and helped formulate the special legislation needed to meet obligations at that time.

Anne has practised as a sole practitioner for the last 20 years. Anne has had a successful career working on a wide range of development projects including major retail, health and education projects and sports/entertainment projects, as well as iwi consultation and urban design projects. She is experienced in working with multi-disciplinary teams, often in a lead role.

Before her appointment as a Environment Commissioner, Anne also worked as an independent hearing commissioner in Auckland.

J K Illingsworth

John K Illingsworth BE Hons (Civil), MBA (Monash), MPEINZ, CPE is a professional engineer and businessman. John was appointed to the Environment Court in June 2013 as a Deputy Commissioner. Before joining the court John spent 40 years in the fields of Civil Consultancy, Civil Contracting, Management and Construction. Previously John worked for Fletcher Building in senior roles including General Manager Winstone Aggregates, General Manager Hume Industries and Chief Executive of the Concrete Industries Sector. Industry roles include a member of the Contractors Federation, the Institute of Quarries and as President of the Aggregates Association. In 2003 John left Fletcher Building and went into business in the areas of contracting, aquaculture, sand processing, land development and housing.

D Kernohan

David Kernohan was appointed as a Deputy Commissioner in August 2007 and was re-appointed in August 2012. David is an architect and former Associate Professor and Dean of the Faculty of Architecture at Victoria University of Wellington’s School of Architecture. He has been operating his own research and building heritage consultancy, Architecture Diagnostics, for the past five years. David was co-author of the Hunn Report on the weather-tightness of buildings that precipitated recent changes to the Building Act 2004

David is a member of the Board of Wellington Waterfront Ltd, and was appointed in January 2004. Previously, he chaired Wellington City Council's Waterfront Development Subcommittee in its first three years of existence during the critical period of translating the Wellington Waterfront Framework from aspiration to intention. David is co-owner, with his wife Christine, of Gladstone Vineyard in the Wairarapa.

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Dr R Bartlett

Ruth Bartlett was appointed an  Environment Court Commissioner in December 2016 for a three year term.  Ruth holds the degrees of Bachelor of Science in botany and geography and an MSC (First Class Honours) in geography from the University of Auckland.  She was awarded a PhD in botany, specialising in ecology, from the University of Guelph, Canada in 1990. She is certified in Massey University’s “Sustainable Nutrient Management in New Zealand Agriculture” (2016) and as an independent Commissioner by the Ministry for the Environment (2006-present).  She is based in Auckland.

Since 1990 Ruth has worked in in the fields of environmental science and management, providing ecological and resource management advice to both the private and public sectors. She has been involved in numerous development projects, including mining, quarrying, land management, energy, sub-division, irrigation, transportation and tourism projects nationally.  A keen field scientist, Ruth has carried out botanical and ecological surveys in a range of environments country-wide, and has led multi-disciplinary technical teams for a variety of projects.

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