Independent Hearings Panel

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    Cindy Robinson - Chair

    Cindy Robinson is a specialist resource management lawyer and an experienced Independent Hearings Commissioner with Chair endorsement. 


    Commissioner Robinson was a partner at Duncan Cotterill Lawyers from 2000 to 2009. Since that time she has been a barrister and sole practitioner specialising in decision making functions and related advisory roles under the Resource Management, Local Government and Sale and Supply of Alcohol Acts and related legislation. 


    Commissioner Robinson is a resident of Christchurch.

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    David McMahon - Deputy Chair

    David McMahon has 30 years’ experience in urban and environmental planning, representing both public and private interests. He is a founding director of RMG, established in 2001.


    Commissioner McMahon relocated to Wellington following the Christchurch earthquakes. His work in recent years has been heavily geared towards commissioner appointments at local council and EPA boards of inquiry level. Many of the former relate to plan and plan change reviews.

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    Karen Coutts

    Karen Coutts has whakapapa connections to several marae across the Ngāi Tahu rohe. She has been, and is active, in Māori and iwi governance, including within Ngāi Tahu.  


    Commissioner Coutts is a member of the HSNO Committee, Environmental Protection Authority and is a Member of the Otago Regional Council Environmental Science and Policy Committee. She brings a holistic perspective to her work to consider cultural, social, environmental and economic perspectives in the decision-making process.

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    Alan Matheson

    Alan Matheson has 40 years' planning experience in all aspects of resource management planning, primarily as consultant to local councils in the Waikato. He moved to Christchurch in 2012 following the 2011 earthquakes to take up the technical and project lead in the development of the Christchurch Replacement District Plan.


    Commissioner Matheson has worked as a RMA hearings commissioner and independent caucusing facilitator since 2021.

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    Ian Munro

    Ian Munro is an experienced planner and urban designer who has worked across the country, including Christchurch. He holds masters degrees in planning, urban design, environmental law and traffic engineering. Commissioner Munro has worked on thousands of projects ranging from small residential additions up to new neighbourhoods of several thousand new dwellings and major growth strategies.


    Commissioner Munro has also been an independent commissioner since 2007 and has made several hundred decisions. He has acted as a decisionmaker (or recommender) on many Plan Changes, including for Christchurch City, Queenstown Lakes District, Hutt City, Porirua City, Thames Coromandel District and Auckland councils. Commissioner Munro has studied, and has expertise in urban growth planning and intensification, as well as improving the sustainability of cities.