New Zealand has an urgent need to consider where, when and how jobs can be planned for in our cities and towns. Businesses in growth markets are seeking clear opportunities to invest in new facilities that can accommodate their evolving needs.

With an emphasis towards planning for higher density jobs around transit-enabled sites, and working with a combination of landowners, shareholders, Iwi, local government, and central agencies, there is opportunity for spatial planning to play a critical role in shaping New Zealand’s future.

Panellists will bring a variety of experience, having been involved locally and internationally in projects such as the Southern Auckland Economic Masterplan, which is an example of where spatial planning is working to deliver long-term change. Taking a top-down macro assessment of key growth markets in Southern Auckland, matched with bottom-up spatial planning principles for enabling planned growth, this economic masterplan proposed a series of short, medium, and long-term investment options to enable the growth of more integrated housing and job spatial plans for 350,000 people across 5 economic hubs in the Southern Auckland region. Hear also about spatial planning work undertaken by the Queenstown Lakes District Council and Waka Kotahi.

Panellists presenting will be:

  • Kate Hardwick (Advisory and insights Leader, Arup)
  • Greer Oliver (New Zealand Planning and Design Team Lead, Arup)
  • Katie Mayes (National Manager System Planning, Waka Kotahi)
  • Mike Theelen (CEO, Queenstown Lakes District Council)


Kate Hardwick - Advisory and Insights Leader, Arup

Kate is a leader of multi-discipline project teams, delivering city shaping/precinct redevelopment projects, strategies, and destination masterplans in complex urban environments.

She has more than 20 years’ experience working across Australia, Southeast Asia, the United Kingdom and Canada. Most notably this includes working as a Transit Oriented Development (TOD) specialist to the World Bank relating the TOD and land value capture potential for the transport operators in Yangon; and also as Integration Lead for the New Indonesian Capital Feasibility and Masterplan delivering the spatial plan, master plan and technical strategy work streams for Indonesia's wide ranging economic and development study for their new capital city.

Helping communities to transition has been a consistent theme of Kate’s delivery career.  Most recently this has included economic transformation; whether that be by using tourism as an economic driver (as Program Director for the $310m Tourism Infrastructure delivery program for the Victorian Government) or by helping government and the private sector work together to transform existing industries (Southern Auckland Economic Masterplan).  



Greer Oliver – New Zealand Planning and Design Team Lead, Arup

Greer is passionate about working at the intersection of people, places and the future with a focus on how we shape place and space to respond to the changing needs of humans and the environment within our cities.

Greer’s work is grounded in a passion for building better cities and exploring how insights derived from engagement, data and futures thinking can shape solutions that prioritise socially equitable outcomes and deliver innovative and sustainable solutions for the clients and communities that are involved.

She has worked on a range of urban planning, transport, aviation and urban design projects from large scale transport infrastructure and spatial planning through to masterplanning and smaller placemaking projects. Greer enjoys working to solve complex problems alongside clients and collaborators and has shaped thinking and outcomes on projects such as Hamilton Spatial Planning, Queenstown and Wanaka Airport, Palmerston North Movement and Place Framework and Sport NZ Community Play Systems Framework.



Katie Mayes, National Manager, System Planning, NZ Transport Agency

Katie has worked at the NZ Transport Agency for five years and is responsible for the planning of the land transport system and investment beyond the current political cycle. Katie has extensive experience developing cross-sector partnerships in the forestry sector and in central and local government, including through the Waikato Plan and the Urban Growth Agenda partnerships’ spatial plans.




Mike Theelen, CEO, Queenstown Lakes District Council

Mike is the Chief Executive of Queenstown Lakes District Council, a position that he has held for 8 years. Mike will provide a wealth of insights into work behind the development of the Queenstown Lakes Spatial Plan. This plan is a vision and framework for how and where the communities of the wider Wakatipu and Upper Clutha can grow well in a city surrounded by outstanding natural beauty, and develop to ensure social, cultural, environmental and economic prosperity in the region.






Join us in a review of what good spatial planning (and the bad) looks like here and abroad, followed by an open panel discussion on what new opportunities and approaches are emerging across the market.

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Hope you can join us!



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Registrations Close:

Wednesday 28 February at 4pm.

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