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March 27th, 2014
New Zealand Planners Grapple with Land Use and Water Quality

New Zealand Planning Institute (NZPI) CEO Susan Houston says the way this country manages its water and land use planning will be the focus of the conference and those issues are at the heart of this country’s aspirational 100% Pure image.

The NZPI Conference is themed ‘Mountains to the Sea’ to incorporate the major issues of freshwater, land use and adaption.

“As professional planners our members are grappling with these issues every day,” Ms Houston says. “We know only too well the country’s freshwater quality is threatened by the impact of land use on our water resources, whether from the quantity of water extracted or the pollution discharged into our waterways.”

She says with change afoot, including the work of The Land and Water Forum, freshwater reforms, more efficient irrigation practices and farm management plans, the time is right to look closely at the real issues and what fresh approaches will help remediate our waterways before it is too late.

“As the professional organisation representing New Zealand’s planners, the NZPI needs to be providing thought leadership and good practice regarding our freshwater management and land use planning to achieve the environmental outcomes we seek for both present and future generations. That’s what this conference is about.”

Ms Houston says as well as speakers and case studies from around New Zealand, the conference includes a range of overseas keynote speakers, selected to challenge thinking in New Zealand.

“The conference will be an opportunity for our members to focus on water management whilst

gaining a global perspective and examples of innovative planning practice.”

Conference keynote speakers include the following.

  • Dr Scott T McCreary – Principal of CONCUR Incorporated, an environmental conflict resolution consultancy based in San Francisco, who has led some of the most complex environmental policy negotiations in the United States.
  • Professor Peter Newman – Professor of Sustainability at Curtain University in Perth, Australia who not only led the development of Western Australia’s Sustainability Strategy but is also credited with saving, reviving and extending Perth’s rail system.
  • Rohan Hamden – Director of Sustainability and Industry Partnerships at Australia’s Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources, whose main focus is on the implementation of South Australia’s Climate Change Adaptation Framework.
  • Brent Toderian – Former Chief Planner of Vancouver, British Columbia where his accomplishments included 2010 Winter Olympics related planning and design, the EcoDensity and Greenest City initiatives, as well as new waterfront and skyline shaping strategies.
  • Emeritus Professor Sir Alan Mark – One of New Zealand’s leading ecologists, knighted in 2010 for his scientific contribution to conservation in New Zealand.
  • New Zealand’s Minister for the Environment, Hon Amy Adams, and Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Dr Jan Wright, will also address the conference.

More details on the conference are available at www.planning.org.nz.