Stephanie de Groot

Partner Kaiurungi


Stephanie is a specialist environmental lawyer. She provides advice on all aspects of environmental and resource management law to private and public sector clients.

Stephanie has a wealth of experience advising on a broad range of environmental issues. This includes planning, consenting, and designation issues under the Resource Management Act 1991, sustainability and regulatory compliance issues, the implications of environmental policy developments, and environmental due diligence.

She has advised some of New Zealand’s most well-regarded companies and public bodies. Her clients include property developers, infrastructure providers, government departments and ministerial offices, and businesses operating in the commercial, industrial, energy, aquaculture, and forestry sectors.

Stephanie has a strong commercial acumen and regularly undertakes environmental due diligence for large commercial transactions. Her expertise in this area includes advising on Overseas Investment Act implications, contaminated land liability, New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) interests, and drafting environmental warranties and indemnities.

In line with the Climate Change Commission’s recent call to action, Stephanie is focused on helping organisations understand and implement evolving climate change regulation and policy. She provides practical and clear advice on the operation of the ETS and the implications for business associated with a changing climate. She is sought after for her advice on this topic and regularly advises, writes, and presents to different audiences.

A specialist in environmental dispute resolution, Stephanie regularly advocates for clients in hearings before councils, the District Court, the Environment Court, and the High Court. She also assists with alternative dispute resolution processes such as mediation.

Clients seek Stephanie’s trusted advice and guidance in relation to regulatory compliance issues. She is often called on to guide clients through criminal prosecutions under environmental legislation and assist them with their engagement with affected stakeholders.

Beyond her experience and technical skills, clients appreciate Stephanie’s down-to-earth approach, strategic advice, and her commitment to delivering excellent results. Her expertise is grounded in science which enables her to provide technically excellent and insightful advice. She has a science degree, with a major in natural geography and specialisation in environmental science. Prior to practising law, she worked in the regulatory services department of Auckland Regional Council (now Auckland Council).

In recognition of her legal expertise, Stephanie received an excellence award in the Young Private Practice Lawyer of the Year category at the 2021 New Zealand Law Awards. She has recently been named by NZ Lawyer on its 2022 Rising Stars list.

Stephanie is a sustainability leader within the firm and contributes to several innovative sustainability forums and projects. She sits on the firm's SustainME Committee, that drives sustainability awareness and initiatives to assist in meeting the firm’s sustainability goals for the natural environment and regularly contributes to the firm’s regular Sustainable Impact publication.

Career highlights

Advising Z Energy on its environmental obligations and commitments for its ongoing operations and new developments. Includes advice on Z Energy’s approach to resource consenting, contaminated land and hazardous substances management, and food and water safety.

Advising the New Zealand Government on its comprehensive and transformational reform of the country’s resource management system. The work is planned over several years covering the policy development, drafting, and select committee stages of the various Bills.

Providing specialist planning and consenting advice to Southern Cross on its request for a private plan change to the Auckland Unitary Plan (PPC21), and a concurrent resource consent application, to enable the expansion of its existing Brightside Hospital.

Assisting a dairy processing company in the establishment of a new, large-scale nutritional powder manufacturing facility. The facility required significant infrastructure connections, including to a district council’s freshwater, wastewater, and roading networks.

Advising a large financial institution on its approach and the content of a new Sustainability Policy and the risks associated with various aspects of the policy.

Advising CH4 Global, a local technology and bioscience company, on its project to develop a cattle feed supplement made from Asparagopsis armata, including necessary resource consents required to farm Asparagopsis commercially in New Zealand. Early scientific studies have shown that feeding Asparagopsis to beef cows reduces their methane production by up to 90 percent.

Advising several different organisations facing criminal charges under environmental legislation for unintentional discharges of contaminants. Assisting through all stages of this difficult process including helping to manage engagement with key stakeholders.

  • Member, Resource Management Law Association of New Zealand (RMLA)
Achievements and recognition
  • Rising Star, NZ Lawyer
  • Recognised, Excellence Award, Young Private Practice Lawyer of the Year, New Zealand Law Awards, 2021
  • Tier 1 team, Projects and Resources Management, The Legal 500 Asia-Pacific