Update on NZPI Mentoring Programme

NZPI’s Mentoring programme is steadily rolling out throughout the country. Since its inception, the programme has been launched in the Wellington and Auckland branches and more recently in the Bay of Plenty and Waikato. Canterbury/Westland and Nelson/Marlborough are scheduled to begin in a few months time once the current heavy workload of Christchurch members has eased. The remaining branches will be catered for with a slightly modified version of the roll-out to accommodate the smaller numbers and geographical isolation of members in these branches.

The recent launches in Tauranga and Hamilton were a notable success for the programme. In Tauranga 20 members participated and 28 in Hamilton. Participants had previously registered for the programme and completed a brief questionnaire to indicate their professional background, current roles and areas of interest. Each evening started with some social mixing, an address by a local speaker and then round-table ‘greet and meet’ sessions for the participants to meet and get to know potential mentors/mentees. Keynote speakers, Christine Ralph in Tauranga and Vaughan Payne in Hamilton both spoke about their own mentoring experiences and its value in their professional careers. Preferences recorded on the night were used in consultation with the questionnaires to finalise the pairings.

Emma Howie, the National YP Representative and driving force behind the programme says that “the programme launches to date have been really enjoyable and it is fantastic to see so many planners getting involved in the programme.”

In the smaller branches, participants will be paired up by completing their questionnaires and then ‘round-robin’ introductions via emails. With these participants, it is expected that a lot of the mentoring sessions will happen via the Internet or phone, but hopefully also a few face-to-face sessions.


“The important thing is that people commit themselves to the programme and meet regularly up by whatever means suits them, whether it’s over a coffee in a café or via Skype” says John Benseman, the NZPI Learning Manager who is working with Emma on the programme.

Participants commit to the programme for one year and will complete a questionnaire in the final months to provide feedback to shape follow-on programmes. At present it is aimed at Full and GradPlus members, although it could also be extended in the future to include other members.

For further enquiries, contact John Benseman at john.benseman@planning.org.nz