Brandon Watts

Senior Associate

Brandon has worked for a wide range of clients in a variety of sectors, including local government, government ministries, property development, industry, forestry, farming and energy.

He represents clients in court hearings, local council hearings, negotiations and mediations. His work typically relates to resource consents, designations, plans and policy statements, and environmental enforcement.

Brandon has specialised in environmental and planning law since 2004.  Before joining Meredith Connell, he worked for nine years with a boutique Auckland firm specialising in resource management law.  Prior to that, Brandon spent a brief period working as a hearing manager for the Environment Court, where he gained familiarity with and insight into its processes.

At Meredith Connell, Brandon has held the role of a crown prosecutor since 2014 and is frequently involved in matters related to environmental offending.  He advises councils and other clients around the country about environmental enforcement issues and has often provided training to council enforcement officers. 

Successful litigation in the Environment Court regarding the original ground level on a building site.  Key issues included the reconciliation of a multitude of plans and photographs of the site across time, interpretation of geological evidence and the impact of ground-level findings on the building's compliance with planning controls.

Assisted the successful defence of resource consents for a wind farm in an Environment Court appeal.  The issues included the proposal's effects on landscape values, cultural impacts and the effect of wind turbulence on a neighbouring wind farm.

Provided legal assistance to a major council investigation resulting in enforcement orders being issued for nine sites and subsequent prosecutions.  The investigation involved multiple inspections, interviews and search warrants as well as production orders to obtain financial records implicating the offenders.  Brandon represented the council at six Environment Court hearings, a trial in the District Court and three High Court appeals. 

Obtained an enforcement order from the Environment Court stopping unlawful activities by a client’s neighbour, when the local council was reluctant to take any action

LLB (Hons)/BA, University of Auckland