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Breakout Session


Liar, Liar - dealing with dishonesty


Effective CME decision-making often depends on the veracity of information supplied by key stakeholders, including consent holders, contractors, consultants, and members of the community at large.  False or inaccurate information provided to compliance officers can result in an investigation or enforcement action going off track and lead to adverse consequences to the environment/community.  In addition, with the advent of AI and other advanced technology it is becoming easier to create and disseminate misleading or even false information, and harder for compliance officers to detect it.  We will analyse some case studies of dishonesty that arise in environmental compliance context, and discuss practical methods/tools available which can be deployed to recognise, mitigate, and ideally overcome the risk.

Learning outcomes include:


  • Understand how to recognise common examples of dishonesty in CME

  • Understand potential risks and pitfalls arising from dishonesty in CME

  • Practical tips for corroborating information in accordance with applicable legal constraints

  • Understanding what tools to deploy to respond effectively and lawfully to dishonesty, including through the use of technology

  • Explore what works/doesn’t work to manage the risk, by application to relevant case studies 




David Collins
Senior Associate, Meredith Connell.


David specialises in regulatory enforcement litigation and has acted for local authorities in numerous environmental prosecutions and civil enforcement proceedings. He appears regularly in relation to enforcement proceedings in the District Court, Environment Court, High Court and Court of Appeal.  David was previously in house as the Principal Solicitor - Enforcement at Auckland Council Legal Services, where he was responsible for a large portfolio of enforcement litigation.


Brandon Watts
Senior Associate, Meredith Connell.


Brandon has specialised in environmental and planning law since 2004, representing a wide range of clients in all manner of environmental and planning matters. At Meredith Connell Brandon has held the role of a crown prosecutor since 2014. Brandon has appeared in the District Court, Environment Court and High Court many times in relation to the full range of environmental enforcement proceedings. Brandon has worked closely alongside councils in a number of major investigations.


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