Part of the executive department of the National Committee of the Resource Management Law Association, James Gardner-Hopkins is considered a prominent barrister who dedicates his time to the betterment of his clients. With the goal to constantly produce and promote pragmatic outcomes, he commits himself to provide legal services in New Zealand. With a special focus on resource management and environmental law, Gardner-Hopkins makes sure to go great lengths to protect the welfare of his clients.
Through his passion in the field, he has been given the Outstanding Person award in 2012. Another achievement includes authoring LexisNexis Practical Guide to Resource Management. Considered as his heart’s work, this is deemed important in the field of law. Tackling the basics of online legal research, the modules discuss environmental court proceedings, resource management laws and other relevant regional policies. He has also authored a chapter named “Hazardous Substances” in Environmental and Resource Management Law which delves on an assessment of resource content, litigation and statutory solutions and other helpful tools and resources.
Born to a British school teacher and a Niuean factory worker parents in Auckland, New Zealand, James has been exposed to the beauty and richness the country has to offer. Coupled with a prestigious education in Auckland University, with an undergraduate degree of Biological Science and a Bachelor of Laws (LLB), there is no doubt that he has been exposed to various issues within the nation. Such involvement in these conservation movements can perhaps be attributed to his education and upbringing at an early age.
A Foot in the Door
Gardner-Hopkins took his humble beginnings by having a foot in the door. Starting out as a clerk at Russel McVeagh in 1999, he quickly rose to ranks and made his career in the industry. In 2005, he was given the Senior Solicitor position in the company. In just two years, he became a senior associate and later on, became Partner at the same firm come 2009.
His time in the company was well spent in furthering the causes close to his heart. Recognised for his passion and leadership skills, he spearheaded the organisation’s Environment, Planning and Natural Resources team whilst balancing his duties on the Maori Legal Group.
With over 17 years in the industry, James has had his fair share of controversial and highly anticipated cases. Some of these cases include the following:
- Transpower Unitary Plan Appeals
- Wellington Company – Erskine College
- NZTA East-West Link and the Northern Corridor Projects
- K-Jet Appeal
- Seabed Mining Consent
- New Zealand King Salmon
- MV Rena
His impressive list of current and former clients include a host of extraordinary names in the industry. Some of these are:
- Auckland International Airport
- Department of Corrections
- Karori Sanctuary Trust
- Mr. Apple
- Mobil Oil
- The Wellington Company
Today, James presides over the Central Chapter of the New Zealand Institute of Building. He spends his time voicing the concerns and issues experienced by the construction industry in the country. As an accredited independent hearing commissioner, he also sets aside a portion of his precious time attending to problems which concern heritage and conservation management, resource management law and many others.
Author: Carrie Sze