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.

Ian has completed the LEADR mediation workshop.

K A Edmonds

Kathryn was first appointed to the Environment Court in 2005.  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.

Kathryn has completed the LEADR mediation workshop.

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.

Russell has completed the LEADR mediation workshop.

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.

Jim has completed the LEADR mediation workshop.

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.

Kevin has completed the LEADR mediation workshop.

D Bunting

David Bunting was appointed as an Environment Commissioner in August 2007 and is now in his third term with the Court. 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 Fellow of the Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand and 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 involved court hearings, mediations and expert conferencing for wind farms, airport and port expansions, highway realignments, coal mines, landfills, coastal protection works and plan appeals. He was 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.

David has completed the LEADR mediation workshop.

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.

Anne has completed the LEADR mediation workshop.

K Wilkinson

Kate Wilkinson was appointed as an Environment Commissioner in May 2015 for a five-year term. Kate holds a law degree from Canterbury University and began working as a solicitor with Harman & Co in 1979, and became a partner in 1984 until 2005, when she entered Parliament. She was involved in general practice law, corporate and commercial law, and property and trusts law.

For 15 years, Kate was a member of the New Zealand Junior Chamber Inc (Jaycees) and has been General Legal Counsel and National President for that organisation, In 2000, she was the personal assistant to the World President of Junior Chamber International and was awarded Senatorship for outstanding service.

Kate was the Deputy Chairman of the Waimakariri Community Action Group and was also Trustee of the Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson's Foundation Canterbury Inc until late 2008. She is also a former Trustee of the Christchurch Arts Festival Trust Board and maintains strong links with the arts community. She has been a seminar presenter for the Motor Trade Association, NZ Institute of Management, and the Canterbury Employers Chamber of Commerce.

Kate has completed the LEADR mediation workshop.

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.

Ruth has completed the LEADR mediation workshop.

A Gysberts

Andrew Gysberts was appointed as an Environment Commissioner in April 2019 for a five-year term. He has over 40 years’ experience in resource management and statutory planning with extensive public and private sector experience.

Andrew has managed the resource consent process for many complex development projects including water and wastewater infrastructure facilities, major highway developments and similar linear infrastructure projects.  He led the recently-completed consent authority process relating to the Central Rail Link, AMETI Stages 1 and 2, the “global” (pan-Auckland) resource consent for region-wide telecommunications facilities and the South-West Wastewater Treatment Plant project.  In addition, he has overseen a team of senior planners at Auckland Council assessing applications pursuant to the provisions of the Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas Act 2013 (HASHAA).

Andrew is now looking forward to directing his skills and experience in addressing the many matters that come before the Environment Court.  He is a great believer in a collaborative approach to problem resolution and a focus on excellent environmental outcomes.

Andrew has completed the AMINZ mediation workshop.

Dr M Mabin

Mark Mabin was appointed as an Environment Commissioner in April 2019 for a five-year term. Mark holds the degrees of BSc (Geography and Geology), MSc, PhD (Physical Geography) from the University of Canterbury. He has expertise in the natural sciences covering the hydrological and earth sciences applied in RMA contexts and extensive experience working in teams of engineers, planners, and natural scientists on large infrastructure projects.

Prior to joining the Environment Court, Mark had been a Consultant Environmental Scientist since 2002, most recently as an Associate Director at AECOM New Zealand Ltd. He held University academic appointments from 1981 to 2002 including Principal Academic Advisor for the Faculty of Science and Engineering and Senior Lecturer in the Department of Tropical Environmental Studies and Geography at James Cook University, Australia. His environmental consulting covered projects on river environments, hydrology and water resources, coastal environments, slope stability and natural hazards, landscape geomorphology and treated wastewater discharges. He has also undertaken numerous research projects in Antarctica.

Mark has completed the AMINZ mediation workshop.

J Baines

James Baines was appointed as an Environment Commissioner in December 2016 for a three year term. James holds an honours degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Canterbury. James has over 25 years experience in applied social research and social assessment practice. His experience has spanned at various times to include solid waste management, waste water treatment and disposal, gambling and casinos, harbour developments, marine farming and water-based recreation, prisons and shopping centre developments, school networks, energy infrastructure developments (wind farms and hydro-electric schemes), and urban structure planning. He has led several science-sector evaluations for the Ministry for Research, Science and Technology. He has also been contracted to provide teaching and in-service training, in New Zealand and in Asia. In 2002, he was engaged by the UNDP to assist the Federal Government of Malaysia in institutionalising Social Impact Assessment in various levels of government in that country.

Between 2000 and 2006, James was the section coordinator for the Social Impact Assessment (SIA) Section of the International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA) and remains active in the organisation. He is based in Christchurch and is a director at Taylor Baines & Associates.

James has completed the LEADR mediation workshop.

S Myers

Shona Myers was appointed as an Environment Court Commissioner in July 2020 for a five year term.  Shona holds the degrees of Bachelor of Science in botany and ecology and a Master of Science (First Class Honours) in botany and ecology from the University of Auckland.  

Shona has over 35 years experience as an ecologist, with extensive experience in resource management and biodiversity policy. Before joining the Environment Court, Shona was the Director of her own ecological consultancy company, and has worked widely in regional and central government agencies, and with non-government organisations. This has included as a senior manager with Auckland Regional Council. In 2000 she was a member of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Biodiversity on Private Land. More recently she has provided technical advice to the Department of Conservation on the development of the draft National Policy Statement on Indigenous Biodiversity. 

Shona has presented expert evidence to the Environment Court on numerous occasions. She is certified as an independent Commissioner by the Ministry for the Environment (2014-present), and has experience as a commissioner on hearings for plan changes, resource consents and special housing areas. 

Shona has undertaken ecological survey projects in many parts of New Zealand and is very familiar with our flora and fauna and ecosystems. This has included establishing state of the environment wetland monitoring in Wellington. In the 1980s she was involved with the development of the protected natural areas survey methodology and the first national wetland inventory.

 She is a past President of and an Honorary Life Member of the New Zealand Ecological Society, and the immediate Past President of the International Association for Ecology (INTECOL).

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. 

David has completed the LEADR mediation workshop.

G Paine

Glenice Paine was appointed to the Environment Court as Deputy Commissioner in 2017.  She has a background in the conservation and resource management fields and has held appointments on various Environmental Protection Authority Boards of Inquiry, including Tauhara II Geothermal Power, Transmission Gully and the Mackay’s to Peka Peka Expressway. Glenice has an extensive background in leadership and governance within Iwi/Maori organisations.

She is currently a member of the Biosecurity 2025 Steering Group, Chair of the Kahui Maori Biological Heritage – National Science Challenge and interim Chair of Te Tira Whakamataki (The Maori Biosecurity Network).  Additional roles include a Directorship on South Island whanau ora commissioning agency, Te Putahitanga o Te Waipounamu General Partner Ltd.

Glenice has completed the AMINZ mediation workshop.

M Pomare

Miria Pomare is an experienced decision maker with an extensive background in local government issues, having held various iwi representative roles and previously acting as an Independent Hearings Commissioner for resource management applications. Miria has also been appointed to a number of decision making committees for the EPA in relation to marine applications under the EEZ Act.   

Miria is strongly grounded in tikanga maori and has an in-depth knowledge of cultural issues having worked in the field of Treaty of Waitangi claims for more than a decade and through her personal involvement in iwi activities over many years. She is affiliated to a number of Iwi from various parts of the country, including Ngati Toa Rangatira, Ngati Mutunga, Ngati Whakaue, Ngati Kahungunu and Rongowhakaata.

Miria is a Director on the Wai Maori Trust and sits on a number of boards, including the Ngati Toa Runanga.  She is also Chairperson of several committees, most notably the Kapiti Island Strategic Advisory Group, which is a joint management committee comprising both DoC and Iwi representation and was established as redress for the settlement of historic Treaty claims to the island.  Miria has completed the Ministry for the Environment’s Making Good Decisions course and has also fulfilled the additional requirements for a chairing endorsement.

Miria has completed the AMINZ mediation workshop.

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 Commissioner on 3 March 2003 (5 year term) and was most recently re-appointed as a Deputy Commissioner in April 2021.

Commissioner Dunlop has over 40 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 Commissioner 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.

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