Award Categories

The NZPI Awards celebrate the important role of the planning profession in the community and highlight the best of the best from around the country. They are presented annually at the NZPI Conference. Award categories are:





Nancy Northcroft Planning Practice Award (Supreme Practice Award)


The Nancy Northcroft Planning Practice Award is the Institutes supreme award for excellence in planning practice. It shall be made annually to any member or organisation, group or body, provided that such organisation, group or body has amongst its number a member of the New Zealand Planning Institute.

The award will recognise excellence in planning practice and shall recognise: -

  • Creativity and innovation in the methods involved,
  • The quality and innovation of presentation of any report or material,

The extent to which best-practice planning process and practice, including sustainable management is promoted. The Nancy Northcroft Award will be selected by the Awards Committee from the winners of the Best Practice Award across all categories and the Project Award.





Institute Gold Medal (Premier Individual Award)

The Gold Medal Award is the NZPIs premier individual award and supports NZPIs strategic intent to foster excellence and the highest standards of professionalism and ethics. The Award shall be made from time to time, but not more than annually, to any individual member of the Institute.

Candidates will be evaluated on how well they meet the following criteria:

  • The candidate shall have demonstrated great depth of experience and knowledge, having a cumulative and constructive effect on the profession of planning in New Zealand over at least a twenty year period.
  • The candidate shall have demonstrated great breadth of experience and knowledge, having influenced either the practice, research or teaching of planning over at least a twenty year period.
  • The candidate shall be widely known by the quality of his or her work nationally; by those
    • who practice planning;
    • who teach or research planning; and/or
    • by those in the wider community
  • The candidate will be able to demonstrate outstanding service to the planning profession.




John Mawson Award of Merit

The New Zealand Planning Institute John Mawson Award of Merit may be made from time to time to any organisation, group, person, or other body and recognises: -

  • A meritorious individual or one-off contribution to the theory or practice of planning.

John Mawson - from 1928 the Director of Town Planning. With few resources advocated with local authorities to take up their town planning responsibilities and promoted the concept of regional planning. He created the first Town Planning Institute in the 1930 and edited its journal Community Planning. He was one of the founders of what is now the NZPI and assisted a number of New Zealanders to complete their TPI exams, being the only way to qualify as a planner until the Auckland planning course was established. He was town planning?s greatest advocate and for most of his career he worked with the minimum of resources .




NZPI Best Practice Award

The New Zealand Planning Institute Best Practice Award may be made annually in the following five categories:

  1. Strategic planning & guidance (inclusive of professional evidence)
  2. District / Regional planning
  3. Integrated planning and investigations (inclusive of AEE reports, monitoring processes and reports)
  4. Consultation and participation strategies and/or processes
  5. Non-statutory planning

The award will be made to any individual, organisation, group, or body who/which has amongst its number a member of the New Zealand Planning Institute, and will recognise outstanding creativity, innovation, and service. Plans and processes eligible for this award include:

  • the development of a LTCCP, Iwi Management Plan, district or regional plans, structure plan, national policy statement or standard, guidance and practice notes
  • advice and service to the community
  • the use or development of a natural or physical resource, or
  • the protection or conservation of a natural or physical resource, or
  • a significant improvement in the amenity or quality of the community and/or the environment in any area.




NZPI Rodney Davies Project Award

The New Zealand Planning Institute Rodney Davies Project Award shall be made annually to any member or organisation, group, or body which has amongst its number a member of the New Zealand Planning Institute, and shall recognise innovative and creative excellence in the undertaking and completion of a project involving a physical work or development.

The award will recognise excellence in:-

  • The processes which lead to the identification of the need for or justification of the project,
  • The planning processes undertaken in formulating the project including research, consultation,
  • The evaluation of alternatives and decision making, and
  • Any physical, economic, cultural or social change which has been result of the project.

Rodney Davies - had extensive involvement with the NZPI over its life including holding the position of President. He was elected our first Life Fellow in 2009.




Distinguished Service Award

The New Zealand Planning Institute Distinguished Service Award shall be made from time to time, but not more often than annually, to any member(s) and shall recognise: -

  • A significant contribution over many years to the image and practice of planning; or
  • Original research which has advanced the theory and practice of planning in New Zealand and overseas; or
  • A major contribution in the field of planning and to the affairs of the Institute; or
  • National or international recognition as a leader in the planning profession.




Alfred O. Glasse Award

The Alfred O. Glasse Award shall be made annually by the Institute in recognition of outstanding services to planning by non-planners.




Lance Leikis NZPI Young Planner Award

The Lance Leikis NZPI Young Planner Award shall be made from time to time to a Graduate Member of the New Zealand Planning Institute.

The award shall comprise a certificate and a financial contribution, and shall recognise: -

  • A significant contribution by a Graduate planner from an NZPI accredited course with up to 5 years work experience in the planning field.




Wallace Ross Graduate Research Award

The New Zealand Planning Institute Wallace Ross Graduate Research Award shall be made from time to time to any member(s) of the Institute undertaking research that advances planning practice, process and theory. The award will recognise excellence in research.

The criteria are:

  • research which adds to the canon of scholarship on planning in New Zealand; and/or
  • demonstrates or investigates improvements and enhancements in the practice of planning.


Applicants for this award must supply three copies of the research report, thesis or other evidence of scholarship and a statement demonstrating how and in what way their work meets the criteria. The award is a monetary award of $1500.00.

Wallace Ross - was a planner who worked at Wanganui City Council and the Wellington Regional Council. He has been an NZPI President and councillor but his greatest contribution was as the author of the first planning history of New Zealand. His pioneer work included a brief history of the NZPI and was reprinted to be distributed to members.




NZPI Community Awareness Awards

The NZPI Community Awareness Award shall be made from time to time, but not more often than annually to any non-professional member of the public or community organisation actively involved in planning. This award will recognise via active engagement with the media to encourage community awareness on the value of planning.




NZPI Media Award

The NZPI Media Award shall be made annually to an individual to recognise excellence in coverage of planning and/or environmental issues in any type of media. The award will be judged on the basis of a portfolio provided by applicants that contains their three best items addressing planning and/or environmental issues. The award will carry a cash prize of $2000.




Should you have any queries regarding the NZPI Awards then please contact the office on 09 520 6277 or admin@planning.org.nz