Director - Pou Arataki, WSP Opus International Consultant

I am honoured and privileged to take up the role of Chair of the New Zealand Planning Institute – Te Kokiringa Taumata. NZPI has a critical role to ensure we as a planning profession are best placed to continue to deliver and improve the service we provide as a profession through our work to our respective communities. As such I am humbled by the confidence shown in me by the NZPI Board, both current and past, and the many messages of support received from NZPI and Papa Pounamu members, friends and whanau in taking up this role.

This is a pivotal time for the Board and the profession, where we need to face the challenges and opportunities with the significant work programme for RM legislative change. It is critical that we the planning profession bring to the fore our value and experience as implementers to the RM reform, a once in a generation reform, a reform that must provide for an Aotearoa New Zealand planning framework.

To this end, I am pleased with the changes effected under the previous Board, including constitutional change and a Te Ao Māori Board position, aligning and strengthening NZPI membership core competencies and the positive response from Tertiary Institutions through the Tertiary Accreditation Panel. More change and improvement is needed to increase our capacity and capability and that of Iwi/Māori in this space. As a profession we need to recognise this, grow and embrace this an Aotearoa New Zealand planning framework.

Given these challenging times, as a profession, we also need to take care of the wellbeing of ourselves, our peers and the membership. We must hold ourselves to account for our wellbeing, look for improvement in the service we deliver and in so doing be proud of the service and work we provide our communities.

As we commit to the task at hand, let the words of this whakatauki strengthen our back,

Whaia te iti kahurangi, ki te tuohu koe me he maunga teitei

Pursue excellence not to be deterred by anything less than a lofty mountain

Mauri ora!