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Breakout Session

Back to the Future

What do prior court decisions tell us about the next 20 years of CME?


Since its commencement, the RMA has provided us with a rich resource of CME court decisions.  These decisions offer insight into past challenges, victories, and evolving trends.  Consistent with the reliance the judiciary place on prior decisions, this history provides us with a foundation upon which to build our understanding of what lies ahead.  

Through a retrospective lens, we can identify patterns, review landmark rulings, and dissect key themes, gaining invaluable insights into the trends that have shaped environmental law and enforcement over the last 20 years.  As we examine the past, we will uncover clues about the future. What trends emerge from historical decisions, and what do they tell us about what is to come?  What were the big issues for enforcement in 2024, compared to 1994?  What does that tell us about 2044?  What landmark decisions have there been since 1994 – will they still be relevant in 2044?

This seminar will give you insight into the history of court decisions relating to environment offending since 1994, and what this could mean for compliance, monitoring and enforcement from 2024 to 2044.




Stephen Quinn
Partner, DLA Piper.


Stephen is a litigation partner who specialises in environmental, infrastructure, building and local government litigation. Stephen has been at DLA Piper for over 30 years.  He specialises in a wide variety of statutory and decision-making processes, and has signifincant enforcement experience, including prosecutions under the RMA and Building Act, and all other environmental enforcement options.

Kate Rogers
Senior Associate, DLA Piper.


Kate has significant experience in compliance and enforcement for Councils, regularly appearing in the Court in relation to enforcement matters.  She has acted for Councils in relation to enforcement action under the Resource Management Act, the Building Act, the Health Act and Bylaws.  This includes providing advice on enforcement options and representing Council in hearings on enforcement matters.


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