The RMA Quality Planning Resource

Affidavit – a voluntary declaration of facts which is written down and sworn before an authorised officer.

Applicant – a party who requests something, or makes an application to the Court. May also refer to the party that made a resource consent application to the council.

Case manager – The Environment Court staff member allocated to manage a case from filing, through to the matter being set down for a hearing. See also ‘Court Registrar’

Caucusing – a meeting of expert witnesses to try and reach agreement on aspects of their evidence. See also ‘Expert witness’.

Costs – when the Environment Court orders any party to pay money to another party, to help offset expenses incurred in a hearing.

Court Registrar – the Environment Court staff member allocated to manage the hearing of a matter. They will liaise between the Court/Judge and the parties, organise the hearing, administer directions in relation to the hearing, record and log the hearing for transcript purposes, swear in witnesses, and provide assistance to the Court and parties during the hearing process.

Cross examination – the questioning of a witness at a hearing by a party opposed to the party who has called the witness.

Evidence – statements of fact made by a witness. Evidence is of two kinds – evidence of fact, and evidence of opinion. Evidence of opinion may only be given by expert witnesses – someone who has qualifications and experience. See also ‘Expert witness’.

Expert evidence – evidence about a scientific, technical, professional, or other specialised issue given by a person qualified to testify because of familiarity with a subject or special training.

Mediation – a process to resolve disputes using an independent person.

Notice of motion – a written document informing the Court and other parties that you have lodged a request with the Court.

Points of law – questions (or an appeal) about how the law was interpreted or applied.

Pre-hearing conference – a conference held in Court with all relevant parties to sort out any pre-hearing matters. These matters may include the filing of evidence, attendance at mediations and caucusing, the order of parties at a hearing, and witness availability. No substantive issues are addressed at a pre-hearing conference.

Section 274 party – a party to an Environment Court proceeding who has registered their interest under section 274 of the RMA.

Submitter – person or group who has made a written submission to the council on a resource consent application.

Witness – a person called to give evidence in Court because they have knowledge or information about a relevant factual point in the case. See also ‘Expert witness’.

Written submission – a written submission made to the council on a resource consent application.