The doyen of town planning and resource management law, Tony Hearn QC died on 10 June 2002 in Christchurch just months after celebrating 50 years in practice.
Born in Christchurch on 24 February 1926, Tony Hearn studied at Victoria University and Canterbury University, and graduated with an LLB in 1952. After being admitted to the bar in 1952, he worked with Weston Ward Lascelles in Christchurch before joining Brockett Cameron & Co in 1970. He set up as a barrister sole in 1978 and was appointed a Queen’s Counsel in 1981.
Mr Hearn was president of the Canterbury Law Students Society in 1950-51 and of the Canterbury District Law Society from 1975 to 1976. He served on the New Zealand Law Society Council in 1973, 1974 and 1975 and on the Executive Committee (subsequently the New Zealand Law Society Board) in 1975. He chaired the New Zealand Law Society Legal Aid Committee for 6 years (1975-1980), served on the Public Relations Committee from 1972 to 1974, the Legislation Committee in 1970 and 1971, and was the New Zealand Law Society representative on the New Zealand Council of Law Reporting from 1975 to 1980.
Tony Hearn initiated the improved design of the Canterbury District Law Society Library and the purchase of its premises in Christchurch, was active in establishing the duty solicitor scheme and served on the Legal Aid Board.
The Resource Management Act 1991 owed much to his 1987 report, which had been commissioned by the government.
As the recipient of a donated kidney, he was a driving force behind the National Kidney Foundation as well as the Coringa Golf Club. His services were recognised in 1985 when he was awarded an OBE.
This obituary was published in LawTalk 586, 15 July 2002, page 4.