Becoming a Party to Proceedings
If someone else lodges an appeal with the Environment Court you may be able to participate in the proceedings and present submissions and evidence at the subsequent hearing.
You can become a party to the proceedings if you lodged a submission on the subject matter of the appeal at the local authority stage or if you have an interest in the proceedings greater than the public generally (but this right may be limited if you are a trade competitor or a surrogate for the trade competitor 1159 ). 1160 Those with an interest greater than the public generally will normally include neighbours, downstream resource users, iwi authorities and environmental interest groups.
How to become a party to proceedings?
To become a party to proceedings you must prepare a ‘section 274 notice’ in accordance with Form 33 of the Resource Management (Forms, Fees, and Procedure) Regulations 2003.
You must lodge the original and one copy of the section 274 notice with the Environment Court within 15 working days after the period for lodging a notice of appeal ends.
Documents need to be lodged with the appropriate Environment Court office. For proceedings in the South Island, documents are lodged at the Christchurch Office; for proceedings in the lower half of the North Island, documents are lodged in the Wellington Office; and for proceedings in the upper half of the North Island, documents are lodged at the Auckland office. If you are not sure which is the appropriate office, check with the Environment Court.
Documents can be lodged by hand, courier, post, or email. If you lodge your section 274 notice by email you should post the signed original and one full copy.
If your section 274 notice is lodged after the closing date, you can apply to the Environment Court for a waiver of the time limit.
You also need to deliver a copy of the section 274 notice to:
- The authority which made the decision you are appealing (within 15 working days after the period for lodging a notice of appeal ends)
- The appellant who commenced the proceedings (within 15 working days after the period for lodging a notice of appeal ends)
- All other section 274 parties (within 20 working days after the period for lodging a notice of appeal ends)
If you are not sure of the correct 'service' address for the other section 274 parties, contact the Environment Court for details. Documents can be served by hand, courier, post, or email.
There is a $100 fee for filing a notice to become a party to proceedings.
What are the implications of becoming a party to the proceedings?
If you become a party to the proceedings you may present submissions and evidence at the Environment Court hearing. However, you can only address issues within the scope of the appeal which has been lodged. If you became a party on the basis of lodging a submission you must also stay within the scope of your original submission.
If you are a party, you must be involved in any mediation or agreement to settle the proceedings by consent. However, you cannot oppose the withdrawal of the proceedings unless the person who lodged the appeal made a submission at the council level on the same issue as you did.
You may be subject to an award of costs against you if you are unsuccessful in the proceedings.
See sections 308A to 308I Resource Management Act 1991
Section 274 Resource Management Act 1991
Last updated at 11:07AM on January 8, 2018