From the CEOs Desk

Since my appointment as CEO in 2010 I have made it a priority to reach out to our branches and members throughout the county through an annual roadshow. My recent visits to NZPI's five accredited universities and to the following branches: Central Otago (Queenstown), Southland (Invercargill), Otago (Dunedin), Canterbury (Christchurch),Westland, Nelson, Wellington, Central North Island (Palmerston North), Central North Island (Taranaki) , Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Auckland. These visits proved an invaluable insight into local on a number of topics, as were the one on one discussions I was privileged to engage in throughout the well attended meetings across the country.

Whilst there was a standard agenda for each of the branch visits, with the current review of membership categories as the lead item, members also added their own informal agenda with topics ranging from the definition of planning and the mana of the profession through to strategies for increasing membership. In short, all the ingredients for a stimulating and thought provoking discussion.

Survey on Membership Category Review

Your collective thoughts on the membership category review have now been collated and used to inform and focus the promised survey that has been drafted by the Membership Working Party (the MWP). The survey will enable the MWP to gather hard evidence on the issues raised throughout the review discussion. The survey can be accessed here:

New Zealand Planning Membership Category Review

The results of the survey will be presented to the NZPI Board in late September 2014 and will be a fundamental element in its decision making around the membership categories review. Even if you were unable to attend the branch meeting, I encourage you to participate in this important survey which, in my view, will set the future direction of NZPI for some years to come. As an added incentive to participate in the survey we have allocated a number of CPD points which members can attract upon completion of the survey.

As I said earlier, the discussions with members throughout the roadshow and the universities proved to be stimulating with the potential for lots of initiatives to emerge. Some of those initiatives will be raised at the upcoming Planning Advisory Committee meeting before going to the Board for a decision. Those initiatives include opportunities for:

  • promoting the planning profession,
  • mechanisms for strengthening the relationship between the Institute and universities,
  • growing the celebration of planning through the World Town Planning Day

Thank You

A warm thanks to all of you who participated in the branch visits, your contribution to the various topics discussed was impressive!

Thanks also to the Universities for their hospitality. Most importantly thank you to those who took the time out of your day job to organise the branch meetings and finally, thanks to Christina Kaiser and Dr. John Benseman who took time out of their busy schedule to join me for some of the meetings and share with members some of the exciting initiatives they are engaged in as Senior Policy Officer and Learning Centre Manager of NZPI.

Warm regards

Susan Houston