General Information

On this page you can find:


The Environment Court has protocols for all 4 COVID-19 Alert Levels. The protocol relevant to the current alert level can be found on the home page of the court's website.

If you are attending an Environment Court event, please make sure you are familiar with and understand the protocols that will be in place at that location and time.

If you are unwell, stay home. Do not attend an Environment Court event.  As soon as you can, please contact us to let us know you will be unable to attend.

Environment Court Practice Note 2014

The Environment Court Practice Note 2014 [PDF, 286 KB] is a guide to the general practice of the Environment Court. Amongst other matters, it provides information on communicating with the court, case management, alternative dispute resolution (ADR) including mediation, expert witness conferences and statements of evidence.  Where the court's directions (set out in its Minutes) differ from the Practice Note, the directions are to be followed.

Drafting guide

Unless directed otherwise by the court, evidence lodged should employ the following drafting guide:

    1. include a one-page summary of the key points;
    2. number all pages and paragraphs;
    3. use Arial font, 11 font size and line spacing not less than 1.5;
    4. evidence exceeding 20 pages will include a Table of Contents;
    5. all plans (maps) to show the North point, a scale and an accurate Key;
    6. if proposing any change, will specify the change sought with amendments or deletions to be underlined or struck through, as appropriate; and
    7. attach a complete set of track changed provisions at the end of the evidence.

IMPORTANT: Please check your documents before you lodge them with the court. If you cannot read them, the court will not be able to do so either.  Documents that are illegible will not be accepted for lodgement and will be returned.

If you are directed to file hardcopies of any documents with the court these should be printed single-sided and in colour where colour has been used in the documents. Appendices should be tabbed.

Useful templates

Generic templates for parties to use are available below. Please contact us if you have any queries.

Plan Change 1 [DOCX, 23 KB]

Plan Change 7 [DOCX, 23 KB]

Plan Change 8 [DOCX, 23 KB]

Guides to the Environment Court 

These guides are produced by the Ministry for the Environment and offer general advice that is not specifically related to the Environment Court proceedings in relation to Otago Regional Council proposed Plan Changes 1, 7 & 8.

Your Guide to the Environment Court [PDF, 2.8 MB]

You, Mediation and the Environment Court [PDF, 673 KB]


The Environment Court may order any party to proceedings before it to pay to any other party the costs and expenses (including witness expenses) incurred by the other party that the Court considers reasonable.

However, in relation to the parties to these proceeding (other than the Otago Regional Council), the court must apply a presumption that costs are not to be ordered (s 285(5) RMA).

Registry Opening Hours

The Registry is open 8.00 am to 5.00 pm Monday to Friday. It is closed on weekends and all statutory public holidays.

Christmas Opening Hours

The Environment Court and the Registry will be closed from 24 December 2020 to 8 January 2021.

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