Stephen Christensen

Partner, Dunedin

LLB (Hons), BA, MEntr, University of Otago


d: +64 3 471 5430

m: +64 27 448 2325


Stephen is recognised nationally for his expertise in energy, mining, infrastructure, water and industry. He has practised law at Anderson Lloyd since 1989, and his clients include some of New Zealand’s largest energy and primary industry corporates. Stephen enjoys acting as strategic advisor to clients, working with their management teams to come up with solutions to difficult problems and achieve their business objectives. He also works as an advocate and represents clients in hearings and court processes.

Stephen has been involved in the OceanaGold Macraes, Reefton and Waihi gold mines, and the consenting and enhancement of major renewable power projects for Meridian Energy. He has worked with Dunedin City Council to re-consent its wastewater, stormwater and water systems, and works with corporate clients in the fertiliser, dairy and meat processing industries on significant environmental consenting projects and compliance issues.

Stephen’s approach is highly collaborative. He works with clients and other advisors to create and refine proposals while consulting and negotiating with government, iwi and community stakeholders.

Stephen’s expertise centres on building consensus, common understanding and acceptance of what a client is doing to improve the chances of success. This approach leads to less time in hearings and court proceedings and greater certainty of a positive outcome. Stephen provides strategic advice to shape sustainable proposals, ensuring that the benefits a client’s activity brings are not outweighed by the environmental costs.

Recently, Stephen served as a decision-maker appointed by the Environmental Protection Authority to decide on the first application for seabed mining in the Exclusive Economic Zone. Stephen is also involved in corporate governance and international development work.

Stephen wrote the mining chapter in Forest and Bird’s Environment Handbook and is the author of the New Zealand chapters of The Mining Law Review (2013) and Getting the Deal Through – Mining (2009).

Stephen has presented seminars on environmental topics for the New Zealand Law Society, the Auckland District Law Society, Lexis Nexis and at various industry and professional conferences including the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy and the New Zealand Planning Institute.

Stephen is recommended as an environment and projects and resource management lawyer in the Legal 500 (Asia Pacific).