Professor Barry Barton

Professor, Research Centre Director - CEREL (Law)

Qualifications: BA LLB (Hons) Auckland LLM British Columbia

About Me

Barry Barton’s field of research is energy and natural resources law, and his interests extend into environmental law and property law. His specific research interests at the present are in the law concerning mining, innovative uses of the subsurface (carbon capture and storage, geothermal minerals), energy usage (demand side management, efficiency, housing, transport), and climate change mitigation.

He studied law and geography at the University of Auckland, practised law in Auckland, and went to Canada for postgraduate studies at the University of British Columbia. He went on to the Canadian Institute of Resources Law, before moving back to New Zealand to join the new School of Law at Waikato in 1991. He is a member of the International Bar Association Section on Energy, Environment, Natural Resources and Infrastructure Law, and a director of the Environmental Defence Society.

Papers I Teach

Research Supervised

Research Interests

  1. Environmental Law
  2. Natural Resources Law
  3. Energy Law

Professor Barton welcomes applications for doctoral and graduate supervision for any subject within these areas.


Climate; Environmental Law; Environmental Politics; Law; Natural Resources

Recent Publications

  • Barton, B. (2022). Energy and natural resources law in New Zealand: an eventful forty years. Journal of Energy & Natural Resources Law, 1-8. doi:10.1080/02646811.2021.2010967

  • Barton, B. (2022). Building resilience from the ground up: local supply and demand management with renewables, prosumers, energy efficiency, critical minerals, and the circular economy. In C. Banet, H. Mostert, L. Paddock, M. F. Montoya, & I. del Guayo (Eds.), Resilience in Energy, Infrastructure, and Natural Resources Law Examining Legal Pathways for Sustainability in Times of Disruption (pp. 327-341). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/oso/9780192864574.003.0020

  • Barton, B. (2021). Fossil fuel mineral wealth and climate change law: expectations of coal mine development in a time of decarbonisation. Journal of Energy and Natural Resources Law. doi:10.1080/02646811.2020.1866275 Open Access version:

  • Giles, H., & Barton, B. (2020). Adaptive management under the RMA: the tension between finality and flexibility. New Zealand Journal of Environmental Law, 24, 1-33.

Find more research publications by Barry Barton