MEDIA RELEASE: Young Planners and Maori Focused Projects Shine at NZPI's "Back to the Future" Conference

18 April 2015

NZPI’s Young Planners and those involved with Maori focused projects were the big winners at the 2015 New Zealand Planning Institute (NZPI) Awards, presented in Auckland last night, picking up seven of the 11 awards and a Hamilton based planning consultancy picking up the Supreme Award.

The Gala Awards Dinner was the culmination of the NZPI’s national conference and recognised winners from Christchurch, Auckland, Waikato, Waitomo and the Bay of Plenty.

NZPI Awards Chair, Andrew Willis says the awards celebrate the important role of the planning profession in the community and highlight the best of the best from around the country.

“Planners are grappling with some of the most complex issues facing our communities today and the winners have all triumphed in their areas of expertise and made a positive impact on New Zealand communities,” Mr Willis says.

Hamilton based Bloxam, Burnett and Olliver and the New Zealand Transport Agency won both the Nancy Northcroft Supreme Best Practice Award and the Best Practice Award for District and Regional Planning for its work on the Huntly Section of the Waikato Expressway. Judges described the project as demonstrating outstanding creativity and innovation in an example of best practice planning for a culturally sensitive environment.

Young Planners recognised this year included Perri Duffy, who scooped up the Lance Leikis Young Planners Award, Sarah Anne Burgess who received the Reginald Hammond Scholarship and Mark Davey who was presented with the Wallace Ross Graduate Award for his PhD on the Auckland Unitary Plan.

NZPI 2015 Awards winners are:

Reginald Hammond Scholarship

The Reginald Hammond Memorial Scholarship Commemorates the first New Zealander to complete a Town Planning qualification which led to him being appointed the first Director of Town Planning in 1926. The scholarship is awarded annually to a worthy recipient in their final year of study for an accredited planning degree at the undergraduate or post-graduate level in New Zealand.

This year’s deserved recipient has not only excelled academically whilst supporting herself through University, no small achievement, but she has also recognised the intrinsic rewards of contributing to the wider planning profession.

  • Winner: Sarah Anne Burgess

Rodney Davis Project Award

  • PLANZ Consultants, Christchurch City Council and Patterson Associates for the Christchurch Botanic Gardens Visitor Information Centre.

Lance Leikis Graduate Award

  • Perri Duffy (Auckland) for significant contribution to the profession of planning, including her dedication to forging relationships with other professional organisations and assisting students of planning at Auckland University.

Wallace Ross Graduate Research Award

  • Mark Davey for his PhD thesis which explored the Auckland Unitary Plan.

Best Practice Award for Excellence in Consultation and Participation Processes

  • Chorus for the Mana Whenua Fibred project.

Best Practice Award for Excellence in Integrated Planning

  • The Auckland Harbour Bridge Alliance for The Auckland Harbour Bridge Adaptive Framework.

Best Practice Award for Excellence in Strategic Planning and Guidance

  • Waikato – Tainui Te Kauhanganui Inc for the Tai Tumu, Tai Pari, Tai Ao Management Plan.

Best Practice Award for Excellence in Non Statutory Planning

  • Tapuika Iwi Authority Trust and Conroy and Donald Consultants Ltd for the Tapuika Environmental Management Plan

    - Tere Waitomo Community Trust and Beca received a commendation for their work on the Waitomo Caves Village Structure Plan

Best Practice Award for Excellence in District and Regional Planning

  • Bloxam Burnett and Olliver and the NZTA for its work on the Huntly Section of the Waikato Expressway.

    - Barker and Associates, Boffa Miskell and Ngati Whataue Orakei also received a commendation for Best Practice District/Regional Planning for their Kainga Tuatahi project.

Nancy Northcroft Supreme Best Practice Award

  • Bloxam Burnett and Olliver and the NZTA for its work on the Huntly Section of the Waikato Expressway.

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New Zealand Planning Institute (NZPI)

The NZPI is the voice of planning in New Zealand. It is the professional organisation representing this country’s planners, resource managers, urban designers, and environmental practitioners. Planners have a critical role in shaping New Zealand’s future by helping to develop solutions to key issues, such as population growth, infrastructure needs, pressure on natural resources and environments, demographic change and transport. For more information visit

Note to media: Full citations for all NZPI Award winners are available on request from Susan Houston (09 5206277) or

Media Contact: Andrew Willis , Chair of NZPI Awards Panel Email: