The Company has built a strong track record in RMA plan making and the preparation and review of resource consents. Urban planning, infrastructure strategies and sustainable management of natural resources are also important focus areas.

  • In all of the following project areas, the Company is often called upon to bridge the strategic and operational levels, helping to identify outcomes for urban areas or activities and then to develop implementation frameworks for these objectives that are robust and defendable.

    This commonly involves community consultation, strategic analysis, vision and option development, option testing and developing implementation and actions plans.

    Peer review services, due diligence, expert evidence before the Environment Court, and acting as decision makers are also common actions associated with these processes.

    Specific capabilites include:

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    RMA Plan Making

    The HYC team has decades of collective experience with the plan making process under the RMA. We have a detailed knowledge of the steps required to develop defendable plan provisions and the specific skills required to develop policy responses to innovative initiatives not traditionally addressed within district plans.

    Topic areas have included:

    • growth management
    • natural resources
    • natural hazard management
    • housing (including affordable housing)
    • stormwater management
    • urban design
    • transport and infrastructure.

    Typical work areas can involve:

    • scoping issues and options
    • preparation of plan provisions
    • section 32 reporting
    • preparing submissions
    • summarising submissions
    • preparing section 42 A reports
    • presenting evidence
    • appeals - conferencing, mediation and expert witness



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    Notices of Requirement, Outline Plans and Public Works

    Requiring Authorities need certainty over the scope of the activity to be authorised by designations while the designation process has become much more complex. Our team is experienced in both the preparation of Notices of Requirement for designations and processing of Notices for councils. We work at the district, regional and national (EPA) levels. We also advise on the impact of designations on development potential as part of Public Works Act processes.

    Work areas have included:

    • new and upgraded roads
    • stormwater infrastructure
    • public transport  improvements
    • water storage and irrigation

    Capabilities include:

    • scoping of RMA issues and risks
    • co-ordinating and briefing of specialist input
    • preparation of Assessment of Environmental Effects
    • preparation of submissions
    • assessment of alternatives
    • assessing development potential before and after public works
    • developing conditions 


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    Resource Consents

    Our team has worked with a wide range of councils, developers, landowners and industries to successfully obtain resource consent for a range of different activities. We also help process resource consents for councils.

    Our understanding of the RMA’s principles and processes assist in the development of a consenting strategy to ensure you are aware of the options available and any associated risks before you start. Our approach to project management ensures that whether projects are large, complex and contentious or relatively straight forward, the preparation of the resource consent application(s) and the accompanying technical inputs is managed appropriately and kept on target.

    Consenting areas include:

    • industrial and trade processes
    • housing (including Special Housing Areas)
    • natural resource management
    • water allocation
    • stormwater discharges

    Capabilities include:

    • analysis of plan requirements
    • pre application meetings with Councils and potentially affected parties
    • preparation and review of AEEs
    • preparing notification decisions 
    • report writing, evidence and hearings
    • appeals


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    Urban Planning

    HYC has a depth of skills in the area of urban planning, including urban design-based assessments, research on urban issues, growth management strategies, and linkages with LGA policy development. The links between infrastructure (transport, open space, social) investments and land use responses is an area that we are often called upon to consider.

    HYC is a signatory to the Urban Design Protocol, and David Mead (Director) is on the Urban Design Panel for Auckland City.

    Urban planning projects include:

    • Spatial plans
    • Land use / transport interactions
    • Community plans

    Capabilities include:

    • analysis of land use demands and land use futures
    • development of tools and techniques
    • growth management strategy development
    • community engagement
    • structure, concept and precinct plan preparation
    • peer review. 


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    Strategy and Policy

    Our team have experience of working with councils to develop strategy that sets out what you want to achieve and how you are going to achieve it; prioritising and aligning resources and investment to achieve long‑term objectives. 

    We also have expertise in the review, development and implementation of a range of different council policies, plans and bylaws.

    Strategy and policy areas include:

    • Infrastructure strategy
    • Integrated community, cultural, economic and environmental strategy
    • Open space
    • Community, arts and culture
    • Regulatory policy, including freedom camping, dog control and parking

    Capabilities include:

    • Strategic direction setting
    • Strategy and policy development
    • Strategy, policy and plan reviews
    • Community and stakeholder engagement
    • Development of processes to support effective policy implementation
    • Development of monitoring frameworks


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    Hearing Commissioners

    Directors Mark St. Clair and David Mead and Principal Consultant Trevor Mackie are Ministry for the Environment accredited independent hearing commissioners and have sat on and chaired resource management hearings for both local and regional authorities throughout New Zealand.

    Types of hearings include:

    • Resource consents
    • Objections / review of conditions
    • Designations
    • Plan Changes
    • Special Housing Areas
    • By law dispensations
    • Development contribution reviews


  • National Level Projects

    Hill Young Cooper has assisted a range of central government agencies to review and develop policy.

    Topic areas include:

    • Bio diversity
    • Natural hazards
    • Decision making

    Capabilities include:

    • research and policy development
    • environmental scanning
    • development of guidance material
    • peer review