MEDIA RELEASE: New Zealand to take major role in Pacific Island Planners Association

October 25, 2016

Key New Zealand and global experts attending 'The Planning for Sustainable Development' conference in Fiji will address central issues facing planners and local and central government practitioners around the world, with a particular focus on the Pacific.

Many Pacific nations are in the forefront of the challenges associated with climate change, rapid urbanization, housing shortages and water shortages.

The Conference is being held near Nadi from November 7-10 and will discuss these topics and the need to help build a professional network to support the profession and practitioners in the Pacific.

The New Zealand Planning Institute (NZPI), in collaboration with the Commonwealth Association of Planners (CAP) and supported by the Planning Institute of Australia, is organising the annual conference for the first time in the Pacific. All three organisations support the idea of setting up a Pacific Association. NZPI and CAP are being assisted by a Task force of Fiji Government officials and a Government representative will open the Conference proceedings.

Chair of the New Zealand Planning Institute, Bryce Julyan says this event will be of real interest to planners, policy makers and others involved in national and local government, economic, environmental and social development.

“The Pacific region is one of the largest areas in the world and faces some of the biggest planning challenges that are also shared by other nations. The conference is about planning for the future through mutual learning, sharing ideas and identifying tools and practical actions through real life case studies from the Pacific,” says Julyan.

He says a Pacific Planners Association will help professionals in the region to have a collective voice and take another step towards better planning for sustainable development in the region.

Former President of the Republic of Kiribati, His Excellency Anote Tong will give a keynote address on climate change adaptation. Other speakers include Arghya Sinha Roy from the Asian Development Bank, Dr Netatua Pelesikoti Director of Climate Change SPREP, Dr Asad Mohammed, University of the West Indies and Lai Yandall-Alma, Samoan Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. The Conference is warmly supported by Commonwealth Secretary General Baroness Scotland who is providing a video message of support.

A special feature at the conference is the launch of a new project on rapid urbanization and climate change by the Prince's Foundation for Building Community. The foundation, works to transform lives by building resilient, beautiful places and supporting others to do the same.

The Conference is timed to follow on from Habitat 111 which was held in Equador last week (17 - 20 October) to adopt the New Urban Agenda, which, with the agreed Sustainable development Goals (2015) and Climate Change Agreement (Paris) will guide development programmes of nations, cities and regions and government and international funding agencies.

In 2015, New Zealand along with 192 other countries signed up to the United Nations new sustainable development agenda - a set of goals designed to end poverty, protect the environment and ensure prosperity for all as part of a new sustainable development agenda.

The conference will produce a formal declaration or call for practical action from governments, corporates and NGO sectors" says Julyan.

The Commonwealth Association of Planners is a major global institution in planning playing an increasingly significant role in the worldwide promotion of planning as fundamental to sustainable development.

For more information contact Communications Advisor, Sandra Kailahi +64 21 441 443 or