The RiverLink resource consent process was recently awarded the New Zealand Planning Institute Best Practice Award for Integrated Planning and Investigations.  RiverLink is a transformational project for Lower Hutt, combining upgraded flood protection and river restoration, transport improvements and urban redevelopment of the Hutt City Centre. 
This is a significant climate adaptation project for the city and region.  Buddle Findlay was proud to have been part of the RiverLink team, advising project partners Greater Wellington Regional CouncilWaka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, and Hutt City Council.  Working closely with consultants GHD and Mana Whenua partners Taranaki Whānui ki Te Upoko o Te Ika and Ngāti Toa Rangatira meant collaboration was at the heart of this project.

The RiverLink project is complex covering substantial roading, railways, river control, infrastructure construction across the Hutt City meaning the consenting process required an approach which brought together three sub-projects into a single consent application.  We were delighted to provide legal advice to the RiverLink partners and team throughout the consenting process and also to advise on the partnership, funding and procurement agreements.

The RiverLink partnership made considerable effort to address issues raised by affected organisations and individuals throughout the consenting process by direct consultation, discussion, and where required, assisted mediation.  The parties were prepared to reconsider both the substance or what was being proposed and the methods by which those proposals could be completed.  This approach reflected the RiverLink partners' collaborative way of working and meant the resource consent process was significantly shorter, ultimately resulting in final resource consents being granted, and Notices of Requirement confirmed, in November 2022.   

Buddle Findlay congratulates all the RiverLink partners and team on this prestigious award.  The project reflects the strong partnership approach taken to achieving outcomes for all parties involved and delivering great outcomes for the community.



Pictured above: David Curtis (NZPI CEO), Kesh Keshaboina (Waka Kotahi), Kara Puketapu-Dentice (Hutt City Council), Levi Rona (Mana Whenua Steering Group), Mary O’Callaghan (GHD), Wayne O’Donnell (Greater Wellington), David Allen (Buddle Findlay), Reginald Proffit (NZPI Chair)