The PC10 Hearings Panel

The PC10 Hearings Panel

BOPRC has appointed four commissioners for the public hearings panel:

  1. Judge Gordon Whiting (Chairperson)
  2. Rauru Kirikiri
  3. Gina Sweetman
  4. Dr Brent Cowie

This panel will  listen to arguments for and against PC10 put forward by submitters. After everyone has had a chance to speak, the hearing committee will make a recommendation back to Council.
Bios of these commissioners are summarised below:

Judge Gordon Whiting (Chairperson)
Judge Gordon Whiting was appointed to the Environment Court in 1997. As a  retired District Court and Environment Court Judge,  Gordon Whiting brings extensive judicial expertise and a wide range of experience in resource management law.

Judge Whiting has presided over a number of significant and varied resource management cases, including those related to coastal issues and sensitive landscapes. Many of the cases have not only had economic impacts, but have also involved cases with conflicting public and private interests. He chaired the Te Mihi Geothermal Power Station Board of Inquiry and the Tauhara II Geothermal Power Station Board of Inquiry (the first direct application to the EPA to be heard by a Board of Inquiry).

Rauru Kirikiri

A Wellington-based consultant specialising in a range of Māori-related issues including policy development, hui facilitation, strategic planning and cultural support, environmental issues and Treaty of Waitangi negotiations. He is a qualified and highly experienced (over 8 years) resource consents hearings commissioner under the RMA.

Mr Kirikiri is a fluent speaker and writer of Māori, and has an MA degree. His career has spanned the University of Auckland, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Department of Māori Affairs, State Services Commission and most recently Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research. He is currently a member of the Council of Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiārangi at Whakatāne; a member of the Advisory Board of the Centre for Sustainable Agriculture, Food, Energy and Environment at Otago University; and a member of the Governance Board of the Alan Wilson Centre at Massey University.

Gina Sweetman

Gina Sweetman is a practising planner, with a strong knowledge of all aspects of the Resource Management Act, local government and wider natural resources planning in New Zealand.  Her particular strengths are in policy advice, statutory planning, Māori planning issues, and her passion is training and implementing best practice into everyday practice.  She is also an accredited and experienced hearings commissioner and a Development Contributions Commissioner.  Gina works primarily for central and local government, specialising in policy development and advice.  Current clients include Te Puni Kōkiri, and Porirua, Wellington City, Hutt City and Upper Hutt City Councils and Greater Wellington Regional Council.

Gina is Director at Sweetman Planning Services.  Gina has been involved as developer, facilitator and trainer for numerous training workshops, including the Making Good Decisions Programme, “Who’s Afraid of the RMA”, and “RMA 101” training workshops to iwi organisations.

Dr Brent Cowie

Dr Cowie  has 30 years’ experience in resource management as a private consultant, a Fisheries and Wildlife Consultant in North Canterbury, Scientist for the Water and Soil Directorate of the former Ministry of Works and Development, and a Senior Analyst for the Ministry for the Environment.

Since 2001  Dr Cowie has been a resource management consultant. In that role he has undertaken numerous hearing commissioner roles including:

  • Applications for three hydro power schemes (Arnold River, Matiri River, a small scheme in 2 100034021/566253.8 Golden Bay),
  • Water conservation order applications or variations (Oreti River, Lake Ellesmere),
  • Major air discharges (Ravensdown Fertiliser at Hornby and Awatoto near Napier),
  • Wastewater discharges (e.g. Westland Milk to the Hokitika River),
  • Fonterra marine discharge at Clandeboye; Rangiora sewage, Kaikoura sewage) and other large scale developments (e.g. Stage 2 of the new Fonterra factory at Darfield).