Joanna Beresford Partner at Beresford Law

Joanna Beresford

Partner | Environmental
+64 21 114 1277 | joanna@beresfordlaw.co.nz

Joanna has advised on all aspects of local government and resource management law including strategic planning, consenting, designations and public works, and environmental enforcement and compliance.  She is passionate about high quality urban development and the infrastructure projects needed to serve development.

Joanna works closely with her clients to devise strategies to obtain the development outcomes sought.  Her calm, strategic and pragmatic approach allows her to help her clients navigate complex legal problems.

She has acted for clients on all sides of resource management matters, including community groups, submitters, applicants, requiring authorities, local authorities and central Government to help to solve problems in relation to resource consents, designations, plan changes and enforcement and compliance matters under the RMA.  Her broad experience gives her the ability to understand other perspectives when she is guiding her clients through the process of evaluating their legal options.

Joanna is a skilled negotiator and is experienced in resolving environmental disputes (including by representing clients in mediation and appearing before local authority hearing panels, the Environment Court, Boards of Inquiry, the High Court and Select Committees).

Joanna has over 15 years’ experience as a local government and resource management lawyer.

She has a strong interest in legal education and is currently a mentor for the College of Law New Zealand mentoring programme for Auckland Law Students.

Qualifications

Joanna has a BSC in Geology and LLB (Hons) from the University of Auckland. Joanna has a BSc(Hons) with First Class Honours in Geology. She was admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand in 2005.

Experience

Joanna has:

  • Advised clients on the implications of environmental law reform including drafting submissions and appearing before Parliamentary Select Committees.
  • Developed successful strategies for managing heritage issues for clients either seeking to protect historic heritage and landowners seeking to redevelop heritage properties.
  • Negotiated settlements for applicants, submitters and requiring authorities including representing clients in mediations and preparing consent documents.
  • Acted for regulators and land and resource users on environmental compliance and enforcement matters (including in sensitive coastal environments and urban environments.
  • Assisted landowners to work with councils to ensure that neighbouring sites comply with environmental obligations).
  • Acted for applicants, submitters and requiring authorities in plan review and plan change processes (including large scale urbanisation proposals on the periphery of Auckland).
  • Acted for requiring authorities on large-scale infrastructure projects and advised on compensation issues under the Public Works Act, including obtaining authorisations Māori language immersion schools and for new water, stormwater, wastewater projects to serve new or growing communities.
  • Acted for submitters affected by large scale rail, tunnelling and roading infrastructure projects including appearing before Boards of Inquiry.
  • Prepared submissions for and attended hearings on various local government consultations including Local Board Plans, Annual Plans, Council Plans, and strategic planning and policy documents.
  • Represented clients in disputes with Councils over development and financial contributions.
  • Provided advice to local and central government entities on various aspects of compliance with environmental and local government legislation including natural hazard land use policy, landfills, contaminated sites remediation, consultation requirements, development contributions, council plans and relationships with council organisations.
  • Undertaken environmental due diligence for property and commercial clients and advised on the implications of the planning regimes affecting prospective purchases.

Core Services

  • Environmental and Resource Management advocacy.
  • Environmental public policy and law reform.
  • Environmental compliance and enforcement action.

Notable Appearances

  • Northern Land Property Limited v Thames Coromandel District Council [2021] NZEnvC 180 – successfully acted for a Coromandel landowner in securing development rights in a sensitive coastal environment.
  • Tauranga City Council v Minister of Education [2019] NZEnvC 32 (as junior) – challenging the validity of financial contributions conditions on education designations.
  • Northern Land Property Limited v Thames Coromandel District Council [2021] NZEnvC 180 – successfully acted for a Coromandel landowner in securing development rights in a sensitive coastal environment.
  • Environment Court in Tauranga City Council v Minister of Education [2019] NZEnvC 32 (as junior) – challenging the validity of financial contributions conditions on education designations.
  • Real Living (Properties) Limited v Auckland Council [2016] NZEnvC 34 – successfully acted for a residents’ group in opposing consent for the redevelopment of a retirement village.
  • Milford Centre Limited v Auckland Council [2014] NZEnvC 23 – acted for an existing supermarket affected by the proposed redevelopment of a shopping mall.
  • Kiwi Property Holdings Limited v Auckland Council [2013] NZEnvC 303 – acted for a listed property trust concerned about the effects of the Britomart redevelopment on its CBD office assets.
  • Auckland Council v Hugh Green Residential Limited [2013] NZEnvC 137 (as junior) – successfully acted for a residential developer to remove a spite strip preventing development of its land in Albany, Auckland.
  • Orakei Point Trust v Auckland Council [2012] NZEnvC 245 and ORC Limited v Auckland City Council (Environment Court, Auckland A089/ 2009) – acted for a garden centre affected by the proposed comprehensive redevelopment of Orakei Point.
  • Envirowaste Services Limited v Auckland Council [2011] NZEnvC 130 – acted for a water services provider seeking to protect the underlying aquifer on a quarry filling application.

External Publications