• The court is made up of Environment Court Judges and Environment Court Commissioners. An Environment Court usually consists of at least one Judge and one or more Commissioners.
    • Commissioners have knowledge and experience in areas such as local government, resource management, environmental science, and the Treaty of Waitangi.
    • The Chief Environment Court Judge may give an Environment Court Commissioner the power to hear and decide proceedings.
    • Read more about the Judges on the Environment Court website
  • The registrar and his or her staff manage the administrative functions of the court. They may advise on the requirements for lodging appeals or other proceedings, but they do not give any legal advice. They may also provide information about proceedings that have already been lodged with the court.
  • The appellant is the person or group making an appeal. In some cases, the person who lodges the proceedings is called an applicant, depending on what the action is. The respondent is the person, group or entity whose decision or actions the appellant is appealing against.
  • The media and the public can attend hearings, but not mediation sessions or private hearings of the evidence. Sometimes the court may order not to publish the evidence.
  • Cases in the court will often involve a territorial authority or regional council (also called local authorities). The local authority could be the party that lodges the proceedings, the respondent in an appeal against one of their decisions, or a party to a project of national significance or a direct referral application. When an application is directly referred to the court, the local authority must give the court certain assistance.
  • The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) helps the Environment Court manage applications of national significance that are referred by the Minister for the Environment.

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