Appointments to the Environment Court

  • Margaret Wilson
Justice

Associate Justice Minister Margaret Wilson today announced the appointment of four new Environment Commissioners and two new Deputy Environment Commissioners.

The new Environment Commissioners are Ross Dunlop of Auckland, Robert (Bob) Priest of Hamilton, Kevin Prime MBE of Kawakawa and Sheila Watson of Hamilton.

A town planning consultant, Ross Dunlop is currently employed as Senior Planning Principal at URS New Zealand Limited. He has a post graduate qualification in town planning and extensive experience in planning and resource management as well as in mediation.

Bob Priest is Deputy Chief Executive of Environment Waikato. He has a degree in science and experience in sustainable resource management and environment issues.

Managing director of a farm and forestry company, Kevin Prime has had extensive involvement with Maori development, environmental and community organisations over many years.

Sheila Watson is Environmental Manager for Mighty River Power. She has a post-graduate qualification in planning and has specialised as an environmental planner in the management and/or development of natural resources. Sheila Watson will be based in Christchurch.

The new Deputy Commissioners are Owen Borlase of Dunedin and Bruce Gollop of Whangarei.

Owen Borlase is director of Borlase & Associates Limited, an engineering services company. He is a Registered Engineer and has expertise in hydrology, water resources and environmental engineering.

Bruce Gollop has qualifications in chemical engineering and in medicine. He combines a consultancy business in health services management with private practice as an occupational medicine specialist. Bruce Gollop is the former Chief Executive of Northland Health.
“As Minister responsible for recommending these appointments, I am required, under the Resource Management Act 1991, to ensure that the Environment Court possesses a mix of knowledge and experience in matters coming before the Court. Those matters are very wide in their scope and accordingly call for a wide variety of expertise. The new appointees bring a mix of knowledge and experience in business affairs, local government, planning, science, engineering, Treaty of Waitangi issues and kaupapa Mäori, mediation and community affairs.”

Margaret Wilson said the new appointees had been selected from a very large number of highly qualified and experienced candidates who responded when the positions were publicly advertised earlier this year.

“This is the first time these positions have been advertised and candidates formally interviewed. While interviewing does slow the process down, it ensures the process is fair and transparent. The selections have been made with a view to ensuring the Court has available to it the appropriate mix of skills and experience”.

Margaret Wilson thanked outgoing Environment Commissioners Ngaire Burley, Robert Gapes and Roger Tasker, and Deputy Environment Commissioners Frank Easdale and June Kearney.

“They have all shown a high level of dedication and professionalism in the role during the term of their appointment, and their contribution has been very much appreciated.”

For further information contact Leigh Sutton (04) 471 9337 or (021) 864 811.