Changes to NZPI's Membership Categories

Over recent months the New Zealand Planning Institute has sought the views of members on a raft of proposed changes to the NZPI membership structure. That consultation culminated recently when Full members of the Institute were invited to vote on the proposed changes. The ballot has now concluded with a comprehensive 91% of those who voted indicating their support for the proposed changes. As a result of that overwhelming result NZPI is pleased to advise of a number of changes to membership categories that will come into effect on 1 January, 2016.

The headline changes are as follows:

  1. Technician Category

    The Technician Category has just two members within it and membership of this category is contingent upon a qualification that no longer exists. This category has been removed from the Constitution effective 1 January 2016. Existing members of this category will continue to be recognised as Technician members, but no new applications for Technician category will be accepted.

  2. Graduate and Intermediate Members

    1. There will now be just two classes for those who are graduates of accredited planning degrees. The two classes of membership will be known as “Graduate” for graduates in their first two years of professional experience, and “Intermediate” for graduates with 3 to 6 years’ professional experience.
    2. All Graduate and Intermediate members will be required to undertake Continuing Professional Development (CPD). It is anticipated that Graduate members will be required to undertake 15 hours of CPD per annum, and Intermediate members will be required to undertake 20 hours of CPD per annum.
    3. All Graduates and Intermediates will be encouraged and supported in their journey towards full membership via mentoring and CPD. All Intermediate members will be required to apply for full membership of the Institute after six years of full time equivalent work within the planning profession as a Graduate/Intermediate, unless an extension of up to two years has been sought and granted. Such extensions shall be for special or exceptional circumstances. The provisions for an extension will be detailed in the regulations to enable the Board to ensure that the criteria and process for an extension can be modified or refined as necessary to support intermediate members in gaining full membership. If this requirement has not been met then the individual’s membership of the Institute shall be deemed to have been terminated.

  3. Non- Active and Retired Membership
    The non-active and retired membership categories will be moved to the regulations. This has two significant benefits, a) it reduces the overall number of current membership categories and b) provides the Board with the opportunity to review and revise both categories as required without needing to amend the constitution. For example, there has been throughout the consultative process a request to make the non-active category more flexible. A review of the regulations will occur within 2015 that will take the above into consideration.

  4. Removal of Hon Fellow and Life Fellow
    Both of the above categories will be removed from the Constitution and the categories of Hon Member and Fellow will be used to recognise those who have excelled. Existing Life Fellows and Hon Fellows will continue to be recognised as such, but no new Life or Hon Fellows memberships will be conferred.

  5. Associates of the Institute
    Associate membership will be updated so that Associates will no longer be titled ‘members’ but simply ‘Associate’. It is considered that this change is necessary to address the current situation where many professional planners are using the Associate Member category as a default professional membership.

  6. Free membership
    The only members exempt from paying a subscription fee to NZPI will be students, existing Life Fellows and Honorary member

When will the changes come into effect?

The changes will come into effect on 1 January 2016, although applications for removed categories of membership will not be accepted after 1 May 2015. In the interim the Board will make the required changes to the NZPI Regulations and officers will be working hard to ensure that the transition to the new category framework is as smooth as possible. An updated constitution is attached for your information.


Over the coming months those members affected by the change will receive regular communication and advice on the fine detail of the changes and how they will be implemented.

Thank you

On behalf of the Board of NZPI, I thank all members for their patience and engagement throughout the review of the Membership Categories. The review has been challenging and has generated much healthy debate within the profession, especially around the issue of registration of the profession. For those of you who have supported the notion of a Chartered Category, please be reassured that the Board will review this issue within the next two years but at this point, there is insufficient support to progress the concept.

Click here to download an updated copy of the NZPI Constitution