Rachel Devine

Sustainability Leader and Partner - Sustainability

Rachel Devine is one of the foremost environmental lawyers in the country. Rachel advises on all aspects of environmental law, from design through to approval; implementation and operation through to compliance, monitoring and enforcement.

Rachel advises both private and public sector clients on strategy development as well as delivery of complex projects interfacing with the environment and navigating risks relating to hazards, pollution and climate change.

Rachel has assisted government ministries with developing changes to laws, including fast tracking, urban development, special housing areas and changes to the Resource Management Act.  At present, she is helping people identify risks and opportunities associated with reform proposals affecting all parts of the resource management system.

Rachel’s lengthy experience in solving problems where people and the environment connect means she can provide practical, down-to-earth solutions in any context.

In recognition of her environmental expertise, Rachel was appointed by the Minister for the Environment to the Environmental Legal Assistance Fund, and was President of the New Zealand Resource Management Law Association during 2018 and 2019.

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Professional background

Recent work

Northland Regional Plan appeal

Advised Northpower with preparing an appeal and seeking changes to meet their operational and functional needs as an electricity distributor and broadband network provider.

Reverse sensitivity planning

Maintaining protection for one of Liquigas’ major hazard facilities from sensitive activities through a plan change process.

Archaeological sites at Ihumātao

Advising Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga on its decision to grant archaeological authority to Fletcher Residential Limited to modify or destroy archaeological sites known as Ihumātao, which was upheld by the Environment Court.

Ports of Auckland

Advising on strategic environmental aspects of the Hydrogen Demonstration Project including regulatory and legislative requirements and climate change policy implications.

Ministry of Transport on Light Rail in Auckland

Advising the Ministry of Transport on strategic environmental aspects of the procurement process for Light Rail in Auckland.

Westpac New Zealand Limited

Advising Westpac with a proposed forestry sink arrangement to offset carbon emissions as part of its work towards an Enviro-mark certification.

Climate change policy

Advising the International Association of Geophysical Contractors on the implications of the Government’s decision to ban all new offshore exploration and mining in New Zealand by way of the Crown Minerals (Petroleum) Amendment Bill.


  • 2000, England and Wales
  • 1996, New Zealand


  • Associate Environmental Auditor, IEMA & QSA
  • LLB (Hons), University of Waikato


  • Member, International Environmental Lawyers Network
  • Member, The Petroleum Exploration and Production Association of New Zealand (PEPANZ)
  • President, Resource Management Law Association (2018-2019)


  • Sustainability
  • Climate Change
  • Energy and Resources
  • Government
  • Forestry
  • Infrastructure
  • Maori and Treaty Negotiations
  • Public Law


  • Ranked as a leading Environment and Resource management lawyer, Chambers Asia-Pacific & Global
  • Recognised in The Legal 500 Asia Pacific's Hall of Fame - Projects and Resource management
  • Named Best Lawyers 'Lawyer of the Year 2022' for Environmental Law
  • Winner – Environment Lawyer of the Year New Zealand, Corporate LiveWire (2016)
  • International Who's Who Environment Lawyer (2011-2019)