I have represented a wide variety of water users including dairy farmers, irrigators, the mining industry, tourism operators and hydroelectric generators.

The increased commercial demands that have been placed on New Zealand’s water resources means that obtaining water allocation is now an extremely competitive exercise. The different range of water users also means that proposals to use water can face stiff opposition.

I have a proven track record in securing approvals for water allocation, diversion and discharges.

Some of my recent work includes:

  • Advising legal counsel on answers to Supreme Court’s questions concerning transfer or water rights and priority, during appeal against High Court decision that the sale of Mighty River Power Limited was not unlawful. New Zealand Maori Council v Attorney-General [2013] NZSC 6 (SC).
  • Securing a suite of consents from the Canterbury Regional Council for the construction of a dam to provide up to 3 million cubic metres of water storage for irrigation activities.
  • Securing various water permits for Foveran and Winterberg Farms including:
    • consent to take surface water at a rate of 320 l/s for spray irrigation;
    • construct a 28 metre high dam; and
    • dam up to 5.5 million cubic metres of water by way of water harvesting.
    • The conditions of the water harvesting permits were appealed on the basis of flow sharing requirements. The appeal was successfully resolved without the need to go to court.
  • Appearing before Commissioner Skelton (former Environment Court Judge) together with Royden Somerville QC on behalf of irrigation applicants seeking priority over Meridian Energy Limited’s application for water allocation from the Waitaki River. Commissioner Skelton’s priority decision confirmed that many of the irrigation applications had priority over Meridian’s North Bank Tunnel project.