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How to Run a Resource Management Case

NZ $35.00
Author(s): Judge Whiting, John Milligan, John Hardie
Published: 27 March, 2000
Pages: 74


This introduction (and to a large extent the rest of the booklet) assumes that the readers of it will be people with a good general grounding in the law, with perhaps some experience in other areas of litigation or dispute resolution, but with little experience in the running of a resource management case. It has been my experience, and that of a number of other resource management specialists with whom I have discussed the question, that traditional legal training does not provide a good preparation for the resource management jurisdiction. Although it is not now as common as it once was, from time to time one finds advocates with significant experience in the conventional courts making a maiden appearance in the resource management field – and coming a flat dive! Sometimes their reaction to this is the immediate complaint that the field is not really a proper one for lawyers (or if so that it is best left to broken-down conveyancers) followed by an immediate return to more familiar fields.

Some years ago, when Tony Hearn QC and I were discussing this phenomenon, he remarked upon a difference between jurisdictions, describing it in this way: “In the conventional courts facts are facts; in the planning field opinions are facts.” In my view this is very nearly right, and in the rest of this introduction I shall try to tease out Tony Hearn’s insight into some sort of coherent approach. It all has to do, I believe, with a difference in the nature of the central issues.

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