There is a lot of change happening in our world right now, from Three Waters reform, RM reform, a housing crisis, to fast-track consenting. Rest assured! We have rummaged up a pool of experts to tell you all you need to know.

Join Emerging Planners Wellington for a 'quickfire' update from four professionals in various arms of Government about what they having been working on.


  • Dr Emma Fergusson, Kainga Ora

    Dr Emma Fergusson (MNZPI) is a planner, public servant and former academic. She has predominantly worked in roles focussed on strategy, research and evaluation in local and central government, but spent a few enjoyable years lecturing in the Planning Programme at Massey University. She is currently Manager Evaluation and Research at Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities, leading a new team whose purpose is to build the organisation’s evidence base and evaluative maturity.

  • Elliott Thornton, Environmental Protection Agency

    Elliott is a planner with over 15 years’ experience. He spent his first 10 years at Brisbane City Council, Australia, before moving onn to a role as Senior Planner at Wellington City Counci. He then became Team Leader at the Environmental Protection Authority, responsible for supporting the fast-track consenting process which provides an alternative consenting pathway for projects that promote employment to support New Zealand's recovery from the economic and social impacts of COVID-19. During this time, Elliott worked closely with the Ministry for the Environment, the Panel Convener, Judge Newhook, and the expert consenting panels he appoints supporting decision making on a range of eligible fast-track projects including housing, clean energy and major infrastructure projects.

  • Greg Underwood, Ministry for the Environment

    Greg is an analyst working on the resource management reform at MfE. Prior to this, he worked at the Kāpiti Coast District Council as a planner processing resource consents, supporting the district planning team, and implementing the National Planning Standards.

  • Susan Freeman-Greene, Chief Executive of Local Government New Zealand

    Susan leads LGNZ after nearly six years as Chief Executive of Engineering New Zealand where she led the transformation of the organisation into a modern inclusive outward-facing organisation dedicated to engineering better lives for New Zealanders. This LGNZ role excites her as local government is at the heart of our communities, and she’s clear that when local government is strong our communities thrive - and so does Aotearoa.

Event Queries

This event was organised by the NZPI Emerging Planners, Wellington Representatives. If you have any questions about the event, please email Alicia Todd,

If you have any questions about registrations, please email

Registrations Close

Friday 26 November.

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Zoom Link

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