NZPI Conference opened with a buzz last night in Ōtautahi Christchurch. For the first time since 2021, hundreds of planners from across Aotearoa came together and celebrated the best in planning at our Planz Consultants sponsored Welcome Event and the 2023 NZPI Awards and Scholarships Ceremony. 

Following an exceptional calibre of nominations from across the motu, NZPI chair Reg Proffit was honoured to present awards in eight categories, and award two scholarships to support future planners as they continue to strive for excellence.

The annual awards are an opportunity to pause and reflect on advancements in the planning profession and to showcase thought leadership that comes through collaborative projects and the sharing of ideas. We know it’s a critical time for planning and the recipients of this year’s awards leave us excited about the mahi happening across Aotearoa. The winner of our supreme award, the Nancy Northcroft Planning Practice Award), will be announced at our Gala Dinner at #NZPIC23 on Friday night. Until then, we celebrate our award winners for 2023.

Lance Leikis Emerging Planners Award

Stephanie Styles spoke on behalf of Boffa Miskell, sponsor of the Lance Leikis Emerging Planners Award. This award, which recognises a significant contribution to the planning profession by a Graduate planner, which was presented last night to Georgia Tremeer. Georgia is an active member of the Emerging Planners SIG and worked as an intern in the public and private sector while she completed her Bachelor of Urban Planning (Honours) programme at the University of Auckland.

Best Practice Awards

NZPI Awards for Best Practice were awarded in all four categories, with additional recognition of other highly commended nominations at the awards ceremony.

The NZPI Best Practice Award for Strategic Planning & Guidance was awarded to Boffa Miskell and the Ministry for the Environment for the National Medium Density Design Guide. This guide is intended to support small-scale property owners or those with limited experience in more complex residential developments. Produced by our award winners with support from the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, and Māori design practitioners, the judges agreed that this guide leads the way on weaving Te Ao Māori principles into medium density housing processes and outcomes. This is an essential part of fostering an Aotearoa New Zealand urbanism that could influence the redevelopment of thousands of suburban sites around the country.

See Citation Here

The NZPI Best Practice Award for Integrated Planning and Investigations was awarded to GHD Ltd, Greater Wellington Regional Council, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, Hutt City Council, Taranaki Whānui ki Te Upoko o Te Ika, Ngāti Toa Rangatira and Buddle Findlay. This award was for the RiverLink: Transformation of Te Awa Kairangi and Lower Hutt project.

Te Awa Kairangi/Hutt River is a vital resource to the Greater Wellington community, supporting the economy, lifestyle, & culture of the Hutt Valley. The river is identified as a taonga, a sacred treasure, and serves as an attraction to locals and tourists. Riverlink has 3 special objectives being Ora Tāngata, Ora Taiao & Ora Wairua. RiverLink combines flood protection & river restoration work with transport improvements to the SH2 Melling Interchange and urban revitalisation of the Lower Hutt City Centre.

See Citation Here

Highly Commended - Integrated Planning & Investigations

In this Best Practice Category, the Awards Panel also acknowledged Te Tupu Ngātahi (Supporting Growth) Alliance as a Highly Commended project. The panel commended Te Tupu Ngātahi Alliance Participants, comprising of: Auckland Transport, Waka Kotahi, AECOM, Beca, Bell Gully, Buddle Findlay, and the Alliance Partners comprising of: Auckland Council, Manawhenua and KiwiRail.

See More About Te Tupu Ngātahi here

NZPI Best Practice Award for Consultation and Participation Strategies and/or Processes was awarded to Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Waewae, Te Rūnanga o Makaawhio, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu and the West Coast Regional Council.

This award was for the Paetae Kotahitanga ki Te Tai Poutini - Partnership Protocol and Mana Whakahono ā Rohe - Resource Management Act Iwi Participation project. The Mana Whakahono ā Rohe - Iwi Participation Agreement, with an overarching Paetae Kotahitanga ki Te Tai Poutini - Partnership Protocol, is a collaboration between representatives from Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Waewae, Te Rūnanga o Makaawhio, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, and West Coast Regional Council, formally acknowledging the strong partnership and relationship between Council and Ngāi Tahu on the West Coast. The outcome has been the clear understanding by all parties on issues and processes related to the RMA and settlement legislation. It also provides a stronger pathway for Iwi involvement in RMA processes, tailored to local needs. It has influenced the shape and recognition of Poutini Ngāi Tahu values within combined district plans and our future.

See Citation Here

NZPI’s Best Practice Award for Non-Statutory Planning was awarded to Ngāti Pikiao Environmental Society, Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Whakaue ki Maketū , Whakaue Marae Trustees, and Conroy and Donald Consultants. The team were chosen for this award for the He Toka Tū Moana Mō Maketū (Maketū Climate Change Adaptation Plan). Following multiple flood events, the Maketu Iwi Collective brought together the community to build a common understanding and awareness about the potential impacts of a changing climate on their homes, cultural infrastructure, food supplies, livelihoods and surrounding environment. He Toka Tū Moana Mō Maketū is the result - an Iwi-led community-involved plan which outlines local solutions to an increasingly evident problem.

In the words of the Maketu Iwi Collective, “we will be resilient like the anchor stone Takaparore – strong and steadfast against the elements and tides of change and uncertainty. Regardless of what happens as a result of a changing environment, we will remain standing”.

See Citation Here

Rodney Davies Project Award

The Rodney Davies Project Award is made annually in recognition of innovative and creative excellence in the undertaking and completion of a project involving a physical work or development. The Rodney Davies Award was presented last night to Maree Drury (WSP), Bridget Robinson (HEB Construction), Craig Redmond (Jacobs), Hamish Matthews (Fulton Hogan), Adam Blackie (HEB Construction), Simon Paton ( Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency) for the Northern Corridor Improvements project.

This project is the last link in the Western Ring Route in Auckland, connecting the SH1 with SH18. It was delivered by an Alliance compromising Waka Kotahi, WSP, Jacobs, Fulton Hogan and Heb. The Alliance placed the customers, mana whenua, stakeholders and the local community at the heart of all decision-making. The project involved eight new bridges, cycling and walking paths and the widening of two bridges, two underpasses, a bus station, and 1 million m3 of earthworks. But this was more than a transport project, it also included the construction of an International Hockey Stadium, a BMX facility and a Pony Club.

See Citation Here

NZPI / Wallace Ross Graduate Research Award

The NZPI / Wallace Ross Graduate Research Award recognises and celebrate members who are undertaking research that advances planning practice, process and theory. This year’s winner is Matthew Campbell for his highly regarded dissertation; “Can Precinct Planning Assist in the Reactivation of Urban Cores? Lessons from Ōtautahi-Christchurch”.

Alfred O. Glasse Award

The Alfred O. Glasse Award is made in recognition of outstanding services to planning by non-planners. This year’s winner is Josy Peita, who is doing exceptional work as a non-planner in the planning field, in her role as Te Kaiārahi o te Whai Wāhi ki te Māori (Manawhenua Integration Manager) at the Te Tupu Ngātahi (Supporting Growth) Alliance. Josie has helped Te Tupu Ngātahi deliver more effective and successful partner engagement with Manawhenua by building awareness and capacity of Manawhenua engagement within Te Tupu Ngātahi. She champions the recognition and importance of tikanga Māori (cultural values) in decision making processes.

NZPI / Reginald Hammond Scholarship

The NZPI / Reginald Hammond Scholarship is awarded to students in their final year of study for an accredited planning degree (NZ). The winner of this year’s Scholarship is Michael Sharp who is currently working as an intern at BECA. Michael describes himself as “a graduate urban planner with a passion for sustainable communities” and has an exciting future ahead in planning.

Papa Pounamu Whakatutukitanga Scholarship

Supported by WSP and NZPI, the Papa Pounamu Whakatutukitanga Scholarship is awarded annually to a student studying an NZPI accredited planning degree and recognises excellence and attainment by a student planner involved in Māori planning in an environmental framework.

This years’ recipient of the Papa Pounamu Whakatutukitanga Scholarship is Jasmine Donald (Orimupiko pā, Taranaki). Jasmine is currently studying toward an Environmental Policy and Planning Degree (hons) at Lincoln University. Described as “a bright and engaged student with a deep commitment to Māori planning and environmental management”, Jasmine’s win includes a highly valued ten-week summer internship at WSP.

WSP has a long history of supporting Māori planners at the outset of their careers. They are our platinum sponsor of NZPIC23 and NZPI appreciate their continued support for the planning profession.

Hannah Staines collecting certificate on behalf of Jasmine Donald