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Emma Manohar LLB/BSc

she/herSpecial Counsel
In a fast-paced project environment, Emma Manohar provides sound RMA advice, brings clarity, pays meticulous attention to detail, is personable and easy to deal with.
Legal 500 - 2021

Emma Manohar is a leading legal practitioner with a wide range of experience, specialising in resource management consenting and environmental policy.

She acts for local and central government, and private developers on a range of development projects and planning matters from project inception, through to Environment Court and High Court appeals and proceedings.

Her main areas of focus are environmental policy and major projects. 


General resource management

Providing advice and related representation at the Council, Environment Court and High Court level on a range of plan changes, resource consent applications and related proceedings, in Wellington, Nelson, Marlborough, Waikato,  Auckland, Queenstown and Christchurch. Experienced in alternative dispute resolutions, particularly mediation. 

Providing on-going advice to local authorities (both regional and territorial) on a range of matters under the Resource Management Act 1991, including plan implementation, interpretation and consenting issues. 

Plan Policy

Emma was a key member in developing the Wellington Regional Plan; a significant process involving over a year of Council hearings, 30 different appeals before the Environment Court, and over a year of Court assisted mediation. Relevant issues include the regulation of activities in the coastal environment, impacts on water quality, quantity and indigenous biodiversity, matters related to climate change and natural hazard management and response.

Requiring Authorities

Advising a range of clients on proposed development projects, including notices of requirement for both applicants, Councils and opponents. In addition to local authorities, key clients have included the Department of Corrections, KiwiRail, Air New Zealand, Transpower and Vector.

Emma was a key team member in successfully obtaining the environmental approvals, via direct referral, for the (then) billion dollar development of Waikeria Prison for the Department of Corrections. 

Environmental due diligence

Undertaking environmental due diligence reviews for large scale commercial transactions in a range of sectors including waste management, renewable energy and forestry.

Local government

Advising local government clients on a range of matters under the Local Government Act 2002 and related legislation. This includes official information, parking, bylaws and building issues. 

Emma also has experience acting for local authorities in civil claims before the District Court, High Court and Court of Appeal on a range of civil disputes including judicial reviews.

Certain of the above matters were handled by Emma prior to joining DLA Piper New Zealand.

Emma has also lectured a construction law paper (300 level) at Victoria University of Wellington's School of Architecture and Design in 2020 and 2021.  
  • Victoria University of Wellington, BSc (Environmental Studies and Geography), 2009
  • Victoria University of Wellington, LLB, 2009


  • Rising Star - The Legal 500 Asia Pacific (2023, 2022, 2021, 2020)
  • NZ Lawyer Rising Star List – 2022
  • Excellence Award for Young Private Practice Lawyer of the Year (35 or under) – New Zealand Law Awards 2020
  • NZ Law Awards 2020 Young Private Practice Lawyer of the Year Excellence Awardee
  • Legal 500 Asia-Pacific Ranked Rising Star (2020, 2021, 2022, 2023)
  • Legal 500 Asia-Pacific Ranked Next Generation Lawyer (2019)


  • Emma has also lectured a construction law paper (300 level) at Victoria University of Wellington's School of Architecture and Design since 2020.

Prior Experience

  • 2010-2015, graduate, solicitor, senior solicitor at a different large NZ law firm.

Memberships And Affiliations

  • New Zealand Law Society
  • Resource Management Law Association (including as Chair of the Wellington Branch in 2020-2021)



+64 4 918 3016
(Work, Wellington)
+64 21 151 2292
(Mobile, Wellington)