Judge L J Newhook

Freshwater Commissioners

A portrait photo of Judge Laurie Newhook.

Judge L J Newhook

Chief Freshwater Commissioner

Judge Laurie Newhook retired as Chief Environment Court Judge in July 2020, having headed the New Zealand Environment Court from August 2011 and been a Judge of the Court from 2001. Prior to that he was counsel and had over thirty years of advocacy experience to that point, with particular emphasis on environmental matters, land, property, and maritime laws. He graduated LIB (Hons) from Auckland University in 1972.

Judge Newhook was appointed by the Minister for the Environment to be Convenor of Expert Panels under the Covid-19 Recovery (Fast-track Consenting) Act 2020, for the 3-year life of the Act.

On 7 January 2022, he was appointed by the Minister for the Environment to be Chief Freshwater Commissioner for the freshwater planning processes under the Resource Management Act.

Judge Newhook has presented at many national and international conferences on the themes of environmental adjudication and the use of technology in adjudicative settings and has written multiple papers on the subjects. Judge Newhook has hosted international delegations to his Court from many parts of the World; chaired and presented at the ‘International Forum for Environment Judges’, Oslo, Norway, June 2016; and Auckland, April 2017, and chaired and addressed plenary sessions at IUCN Academy of Environmental Law Colloquia and other international conferences.