Rachel Conner

Rachel Conner LLB BA
environmental • construction







Barrister & Solicitor of New Zealand High Court (2007)
LLB/BA Victoria University


New Zealand Law Society
Resource Management Law Association
Society of Construction Law
Wellington Women Lawyers Association


Rachel has worked at Hazelton Law for 14 years specialising in the areas of resource management, local government, and construction law. She became a Partner of the firm in January 2021.

In resource management matters Rachel has appeared in the District Court, Environment Court and High Court, before a Board of Inquiry and at Council hearings relating to consent applications, plan changes, prosecutions, declaratory proceedings and judicial reviews. She also represents clients in proceedings under the Dog Control Act, Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act and the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act.

Rachel also acts for both residential and commercial clients in all areas of construction law with a particular focus on dispute resolution. She represents clients in private mediations, judicial settlement conferences, and in Court hearings. She also has experience in adjudication under the Construction Contracts Act.

Previous work examples include:

Resource Management/Local Government

  • Representing interested parties in relation to High Court applications made under the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act.
  • Advising and representing three District Councils in relation to Environment Court appeals against the Proposed Natural Resources Plan for the Wellington Region (2019 – present).
  • Advising Council and commercial clients in relation to the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2014 (as amended 2017) and the draft replacement released in 2019.
  • Acting for a District Council in defending Judicial Review proceedings in the High Court relating to commercial developments within the district (2019 – 2020).
  • Representing large corporate clients in relation to groundwater consent renewals and appeals under the Resource Management Act (2019 – 2020).
  • Advising a District Council in relation to the drafting and implementation of a Development Contributions Policy (2016-2018).
  • Acting for applicants in relation to applications for subdivision and land use consents in Wellington City (2018).
  • Acting for commercial clients in successfully defending abatement notices issued by Greater Wellington Regional Council relating to air discharges and in relation to air discharge consent renewals (2016 - 2017).
  • Advice to Incorporated Societies on Environment Court appeal and declaratory proceedings relating to proposals of significance, including heritage issues and matters of District Plan interpretation.
  • Advising District Councils in relation to the National Environmental Standard for Assessing and Managing Contaminants in Soil to Protect Human Health (2017).
  • Acting for a District Council in relation to successful prosecutions under the Resource Management Act and Dog Control Act 1996.
  • Advising District Councils in relation to development and implementation of Local Alcohol Policies and alcohol licensing matters under the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012.
  • NZTA Proposed Basin Reserve Flyover Project – Board of Inquiry Hearing (Junior Counsel), 2013 – 2014: The Architectural Centre (upheld on appeal to High Court – New Zealand Transport Agency v Architectural Centre Incorporated Limited & Ors (CIV-2014-485-11253).
  • Private Plan Change 82 - Kapiti Coast District Plan: Zoning, 2012 - 2013: Bunnings Limited.
  • Variation 6, Waikato Regional Plan: appeals, freshwater allocation, 2011 – 2012: Horticulture New Zealand.
  • Wellington Regional Policy Statement: appeals, 2011 – 2012: Masterton District Council.
  • Wairarapa Combined District Plan: Legal advice and representation in respect of 21 appeals against the Proposed Plan, 2008 to 2010: Masterton, Carterton and South Wairarapa District Councils including Environment Court hearing in Riddiford v Masterton District Council [2010] NZEnvC 262.

Construction Law

  • Palmer v Hewitt Building Limited [2021] NZHC 1460: Representing a builder in High Court proceedings involving claims in negligence and for alleged breaches of the Building Act.
  • Acting for and advising parties in “leaky home” proceedings in the Weathertight Homes Tribunal and the High Court, including in relation to large-scale multi-unit residential developments.
  • Advising commercial clients in relation to risk associated with allegedly defective materials.
  • Acting for a contractor in relation to a prosecution for carrying out building work without consent (2018).
  • Acting for a builder in defending a complaint made under the Licensed Building Practitioners’ Scheme (2018).
  • Acting for plaintiffs in defective foundations claim (2018).
  • Advising homeowners on disputes relating to variations, workmanship and in relation to land stability issues.
  • Advice to District Councils and private landowners on Earthquake Prone Building matters under the Building Act 2004.
  • Other claims relating to construction involving a diverse range of design and construction issues.
  • Contract drafting and review for contractors, subcontractors and homeowners.


  • Interactive webinars for Registered Master Builders Association online portal:
    • Avoid Payment Drama – Set up your contract for success - October 2020;
    • Advice to Association members on matters relating to Covid-19 – May 2020.
  • Registered Master Builders Association Guidance Note on House and Land Packages – May 2020.
  • Contracts Webinar for Registered Master Builders Association online portal 2016-2018.
  • Residential Building Contract RBC 1 – Seminar Roadshow for Registered Master Builders Association – 2018.
  • Product Warranties – clearing up their aura and mystique – for Building Today June 2018.
  • Managing the Consenting Process Effectively: Amendments to the RMA Consent Process under the Resource Legislation Amendment Bill 2015 – Conferenz, 16 June 2016.
  • Update on Construction Contracts Act - NZSTCF – February 2016.