Planning and policy consultant, hearings, freshwater and development contributions commissioner

Gina Sweetman

Planning and policy consultant, hearings, freshwater and development contributions commissioner

Gina Sweetman has over twenty-nine years of management, planning and policy experience. She is an accredited and experienced RMA Hearings Commissioner (Chair endorsement), a Government appointed Development Contribution Commissioner and Freshwater Commissioner, and an independent chairperson and facilitator. A strong believer in the planning profession, Gina is a former three term councillor of the New Zealand Planning Institute, former long-term Editor of the Planning Quarterly and a recipient of its Distinguished Services Award.


Gina has been involved in many policy and consents matters where acoustic effects have been key considerations and where she has either worked with acoustic experts or considered their evidence. The work she has been involved in has included new windfarms, a review of the Te Rere Hau windfarm to address special audible characteristics, retirement villages and managing reverse sensitivity effects in respect of regionally significant infrastructure and sensitive activities.

More than numbers and rules; getting that right balance to help planners and decision makers in complex resource management matters

In this talk, Gina will draw from her extensive experience in complex resource consent and notice of requirement applications and RMA policy statements and plans. She will talk about how acoustic advice informs plan development and how acoustic experts can best work with planners to gain mutual understanding of what is required and achieve good outcomes. From a consents and notice of requirement perspective, she will cover how plans frame and influence the scope of what needs to be assessed and how this influences what acoustic specialists need to cover in their assessments. She also covers how acoustic experts and planners can improve on how they work together and provide advice to decision makers and covers some of the upcoming challenges in adapting to a recent and pending RMA changes.