Water and wastewater


Freshwater management is one of the key issues facing New Zealand.  What was traditionally seen as an abundant resource is now a highly valued and frequently scare resource.  The multitude of social, economic, cultural and environmental interests associated with water and wastewater management make it an area where skilled legal advice can significantly reduce project risks and enhance the value of consented outcomes. 

Councils are grappling with upgrading old water and wastewater services to meet new legislative requirements and increasingly onerous environmental obligations under the Resource Management Act.

We have specialist expertise and experience established through working with an extensive client base of local authorities, as well as with private entities involved in the supply, treatment and use of water.

Work highlights

Advising Central Plains Water Trust

on its resource consents and negotiation and documentation of construction contracts for 16km canal and 150km distribution pipe network for Stage One of a water irrigation scheme for 60,000ha of Canterbury Plains. We also advised on equity raising and debt facilities, its negotiations with the Crown under the Crown irrigation fund, the procurement of land use rights and installation of water intake structures and rights to take water from the Crown river estate

Advising Creswell New Zealand, a subsidiary of Nongfu Spring

on its acquisition of a water bottling plant in Otakiri, Bay of Plenty

Advising Horowhenua District Council

on the re-consenting of the district's freshwater and wastewater assets, including the successful direct referral proceedings for the Shannon Wastewater Plant

Advising the Crown

on a range of Treaty settlement negotiations over freshwater, including the Waikato River and Whanganui River Treaty settlements

Advising Gisborne District Council

on the implications of the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2014 in relation to its draft Freshwater Plan and the Horouta Iwi Collective submission on its draft Freshwater Plan

Advising the Tukituki Catchment Proposal Board of Inquiry

(a water quality and quantity based plan change related to farm intensification and a designation and resource consents for a dam and irrigation scheme covering some 25,000ha)

Our team

David Allen

Partner, Wellington

David specialises in all aspects of resource management, environmental and natural resources law and local government law…

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David Randal

Partner, Wellington

David specialises in resource management, environmental and Māori law. He has advised clients at the heart of intensive RMA…

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Jennifer Caldwell

Partner, Auckland
National Chair

Jennifer specialises in resource management, environmental and local government law, with extensive experience as a strategic…

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Mark Odlin

Partner, Christchurch

Mark specialises in corporate and commercial law and advises on a range of financial, commercial and corporate law matters, including…

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Paul Beverley

Partner, Wellington

Paul was the National Chair of Buddle Findlay from 2017 to March 2020. Paul specialises in Māori Law, Treaty settlement negotiations…

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Thaddeus Ryan

Partner, Wellington

Thad specialises in resource management and Māori law. Thad has a particular specialty in RMA consenting and…

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Vanessa Evitt

Partner, Auckland

Vanessa specialises in resource management, infrastructure, and environmental law.…

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