Fellowship Citation for Ivan Thomson

PHOTO: Ivan Thomson receiving his fellowship certificate from former NZPI Board deputy chair Andrew Willis

During a career that has spanned some four decades, Ivan has made a significant contribution to urban and regional planning in Canterbury. From his beginnings at the Canterbury Regional Planning Authority through to his current team leadership role in the Christchurch City Council, Ivan has played a significant role in promoting planning as a discipline. Through his City Plan review work in the 1990s, and subsequent establishment of the Council's Area Plans programme, Ivan took on the challenges and expectations of the Resource Management Act, particularly during its formative years when planning issues were taking a back seat to the more market led academic debates of the time.

In particular, Ivan played a crucial role in the development of policy that not only set a framework for the distinctive form and growth of the City, but also pragmatically balanced this against the needs of the City to grow and adapt to innovative forms of urban growth. The hallmarks of Ivan’s professional approach are his inclusive style, and the integration and thoughtful analysis of all aspects of planning issues. Ivan’s professional contribution to planning was recognised by the NZPI through a Distinguished Service Award in 2006. His social contribution has been recognised by two Beaumont trophy awards at conferences!

Through his various team leadership roles and guest lectures at Lincoln University Ivan has regularly mentored and acted as a role model for many planners at all levels of experience, and in doing so Ivan has made an outstanding contribution to their professional development. Ivan’s key strength lies in in his ability to develop the capabilities of those within his tutelage, through education, mentoring and reasoned and balanced expert opinion.

In relation to the planning institute, Ivan has been a Chairperson of the Canterbury / Westland Branch of the NZPI, had 5 years on the National Council, and has been on three conference organising committees, including Chair of the 2010 Joint NZPI-PIA Congress. He has spent a considerable period as the Education Convenor for the NZPI, overseeing accreditation of Waikato, Otago, Lincoln, Massey and Auckland Universities. During this time he re-drafted the NZPI National Education Policy. Ivan has also been a convenor and member of the regional NZPI Interviewing panel for new members. His rigorous approach to interviews has had many interviewees studiously re-exploring the broad theory of town planning prior to his many inquisitions.

Ivan has been a leader of the Canterbury planning community, providing long and conspicuous service to the planning profession. The planning profession would like to recognise this by awarding him a fellowship of the NZPI. Congratulations Ivan!