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Te Paepae Kaiwawao

Independent Hearings Panel

Independent from Auckland Council

The Independent Hearings Panel considers submissions and evidence about the proposed urban development changes for the Auckland Unitary Plan (AUP).

It also makes decisions about non-intensification plan changes and gives its recommendations to Auckland Council.

It is not a part of Auckland Council.

National Policy Statement on Urban Development (NPS-UD) hearing roles

Auckland Council submits evidence and is the owner of the AUP.

Once submissions are provided to the Independent Hearings Panel, Auckland Council ends its involvement, leaving the panel to work independently.

Hearing panel members

Message from Panel Chairperson, Matthew Casey

On behalf of the hearings panel members, I thank those of you who have submitted on the NPS-UD and Enabling Housing Supply and Other Matters Amendment Act plan changes.

We hope that you can find all the information you need to be able to participate effectively in the hearings process. If not, you can use the email npsudhearings@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz to contact us.

We have to consider over 2500 submissions and further submissions that have raised a number of points concerning possible changes to the plan provisions.

Due to the government’s ministerial direction and the subsequent extension of time, decisions on our recommendation must be made by Auckland Council no later than 31 March 2025.

Accordingly, once a decision has been made on the timing of the council’s variations on natural hazards and the Light Rail Corridor, we have a limited amount of time to complete the hearings and make our recommendations (in writing) to Auckland Council for it to fully consider.

This will be challenging, but with careful organisation, sensible procedures and a measure of goodwill from all participants, we believe we can provide our recommendations on time.

We welcome questions and feedback on the hearing process.

Panel members

Matthew Casey, KC, Chairperson

Matthew Casey is a senior barrister with over 30 years’ experience in resource management and local government. He has conducted cases at all court levels, as well as arbitrations.

He is an independent hearings commissioner with chairperson accreditation. He is also a member of the Resource Management Law Association and the Arbitrators and Mediators Institute of New Zealand.

He was appointed as Chairperson to Plan Change 78. He replaced Greg Hill effective from Monday 14 August 2023.

Juliane Chetham

Patuharakeke/Ngātiwai me Ngāpuhi

Juliane Chetham is an accredited independent hearings commissioner. She has a background in geography and environmental science.

She has 20 years' experience in resource management planning and policy, specialising in Treaty of Waitangi and kaupapa Māori matters.

She has held roles across a range of industry, government and iwi/hapū authorities.

Juliane has also served on a variety of consent, plan change, fast-track hearings and Waitangi Tribunal proceedings across the motu.

Richard Knott

Richard Knott is an accredited independent hearings commissioner. He is a planner, urban designer, heritage building, and special character specialist.

He holds postgraduate qualifications and has over 30 years of experience in all of these areas.

Richard is a member of the New Zealand Planning Institute. He is also a full member of the Royal Town Planning Institute, the Institute of Historic Building Conservation and the Institute of Highway Engineers – all of which are UK-based organisations.

Dr Stephanie Mead

Stephanie Mead is a barrister and solicitor of the High Court and an accredited independent hearings commissioner.

She is a qualified mediator with a Resolution Institute mediation accreditation and an instructor at the Institute of Professional Legal Studies.

Stephanie has over 15 years' experience in resource management, local government law, tenancy, property, environmental health and heritage management.

Sarah Shaw

Sarah Shaw is a barrister and solicitor of the High Court and an accredited independent hearings commissioner.

She has over 20 years’ experience (planning and law) in resource management, local government and public / administrative law.

She is a gambling commissioner, a hearings commissioner in Northland and Auckland and appears regularly in the Environment Court.

Sarah is a member of the New Zealand Law Society, New Zealand Bar Association/Ngā Ahorangi Motuhake o te Ture and the Resource Management Law Association (RMLA).

She is also co-chairperson of the Northland branch of RMLA.

Sarah is a member of the Plan Change 78 Hearing Panel effective from 1 August 2023. She will also sit on Plan Change 79.

Greg Hill

Greg Hill resigned as chairperson of Plan Change 78 effective from 14 August 2023.

He has remained as chairperson of plan changes:

  • 80
  • 82
  • 83.

Greg Hill has been a resource management independent hearings commissioner for 20 years and is also a resource management planning consultant.

He was Deputy Chairperson of the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan Independent Hearing Panel and General Manager of Policy and Planning at Auckland Regional Council.

He was also a principal author of the first Auckland Regional Coastal Plan.

Greg was made a Fellow of the New Zealand Planning Institute in 2021. He received the Institute’s Distinguished Service Award in 2013.

Kitt Littlejohn

Kitt Littlejohn is a barrister and solicitor of the High Court and an accredited independent hearings commissioner.

He has over 25 years' experience in resource management, property, local government and administrative law.

He is a commissioner for other territorial authorities around New Zealand and appears regularly in the Environment Court.

Kitt is a member of the New Zealand Law Society, Auckland District Law Society, New Zealand Bar Association and the Resource Management Law Association.

Kitt resigned from the Plan Change 78 Hearing Panel effective from Friday 16 June 2023.

He will remain on the panel for plan changes:

  • 80
  • 81
  • 83.

Karyn Kurzeja

Karyn Kurzeja resigned as a panel member on Plan Change 78 effective from 15 March 2024. She will remain as chairperson of Plan Change 79.

Karyn is a planning consultant and an accredited independent hearings commissioner. She has over 20 years of experience in urban planning and resource management, including policy-making and plan development.

Karyn also has experience in statutory approval for large-scale residential and rural subdivision projects, medium-density housing developments and greenfield growth projects.

She is also a full member of the New Zealand Planning Institute and a member of the Resource Management Law Association.

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