Emma’s practice at DLA Piper focuses on environmental litigation and advice, primarily in the areas of environmental policy, resource consents and major projects.



Emma Manohar is a leading legal practitioner with a wide range of experience, specialising in resource management consenting and planning issues.   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 plan policy and major projects.

Emma is part of the Leadership Alliance for Women Committee at DLA Piper and a past Chair of the Wellington branch of the Resource Management Law Association.   Emma has also lectured a construction law paper (300 level) at Victoria University of Wellington’s School of Architecture and Design in 2020, 2021 and 2023.



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, New Plymouth, Waikato,  Auckland, Queenstown and Christchurch. Emma is 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.


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.


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 development of Waikeria Prison for the Department of Corrections.


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.


  • 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)


Degrees: LLB, BSc (Environmental Studies and Geography)
Admission to High Court: 2010


DLA Piper Wellington
Level 4, Deloitte Building
20 Customhouse Quay
Wellington Central
Wellington, 6011

Email: emma.manohar@dlapiper.com
Phone: 04 918 3016
Mobile: 021 151 2292
Website | LinkedIn

Areas of practice

Environment and resource management, Local government 

Languages spoken