|The Environment Court was established under the Resource Management Amendment Act 1996 (NZ). It has permanent judges in Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch but it sits in other parts of the country from time to time. It is a specialist court and does not have the same formalities as an ordinary court. Appeals from the Environment Court on a point of law may be heard by the High Court.
The Environment Court hears disputes arising under the Resource Management Act 1991 (NZ) and appeals from a decision to reject a resource consent application. Resource consents can include applications for land use, subdivision, coastal permits, water permits and discharge permits. The Court can authorise public works, make water classification and conservation orders, determine the environmental impact of exploration and deal with contributions such as car parking and road upgrade contributions. The Court can also make declarations and enforcement orders.|