James Palmer is the Secretary for the Environment (from 1 March 2023). Since 2017 he has been Chief Executive of the Hawke's Bay Regional Council, having previously served as the Council’s Group Manager Strategic Development, responsible for regional planning. During this time James has been involved in national policy development on freshwater and resource management reform, a member of the Forestry Ministerial Advisory Group and a board member of the Sustainable Seas and Deep South national science challenges.
Prior to working at the Council, James was Deputy Secretary Sector Strategy at the Ministry for the Environment and Director Strategy at both the Ministry for Primary Industries and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry before that. Between 2005 and 2008 James served as Chief of Staff to the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries and Biosecurity, and was an advisor in the Labour-led government between 1999 and 2003, including on resource management, climate change and energy policy.
Thursday 2nd November
Click here to download the full programme
Working Together for the Environment
Compliance and monitoring plays a vital role in achieving environmental policy outcomes. Secretary for the Environment and former Chief Executive of Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, James Palmer, will talk about recent environmental policy changes, including the adoption of the Natural and Built Environment Act and Spatial Planning Act, which replace the Resource Management Act 1991. Compliance, monitoring and enforcement officers, managers and specialists have vital roles to play in the new resource management system and in achieving environmental outcomes for Aotearoa. James will talk about what new legislation means for these roles and the support the Ministry for the Environment will provide to delivery partners. Māori have an important role to play in the new system which gives greater recognition to Te Tiriti and te ao Māori. James will talk about how the Ministry is supporting Māori to participate fully in environmental decision-making and incorporating Māori perspectives in its work. He will also share progress on work that is underway to improve Aotearoa’s environmental monitoring and reporting system, so the nation has a better evidence base to support decision making about the environment.