From the NZPI Chairs Desk

03 May 2018




It is an honour and a privilege to be elected Chair of the NZ Planning Institute for this three-year term. Our industry is constantly facing challenges and I am proud to be leading a forward facing Board who can help prepare us for these changes. I would like to acknowledge the outgoing members of the Board, Keith Hovell, Julie Bevan, Todd Whittaker and Gary Rae, all of who were wonderful to work with, including many spirited discussions through our three-year term together. I would especially like to acknowledge Bryce Julyan who has been a very dedicated Chair for the first two terms of the new Board structure.

As planners we face a very interesting future. The Tauranga conference managed to highlight many of those challenges in a short space of time, with clarity and persuasion. Our electronic future was highlighted by the Nancy Norcroft Supreme Award being presented to New Plymouth District Council and Isovist for their wonderful electronic district plan – if you haven’t had a chance to have a look at it I recommend it.

At our first Board meeting we quickly identified a number to common themes to what we wanted to achieve in the next three years. Changes to the constitution are necessary to address issues that have arisen such as Maori representation. Looking to the future and ensuring the NZPI is able to respond quickly and appropriately, including the changing face of planning, is an issue we need to work on to ensure the sustainability of the profession.

The growing influence of artificial intelligence will necessitate some tough conversations in the near future. A key challenge for the Board, as volunteers, is to improve our relationship with planners across the country, building on the previous Board’s initiative to be in Christchurch for a Branch event which coincided with the regular Board meeting. We want to ensure that we are the voice of planners and planning in New Zealand and to do that we must ensure we can articulate the concerns and aspiration of planners from Southland to Northland, urban and rural, natural and physical. The Board will have its first full meeting in May and set its agenda for the three years, and I am grateful for the energy and diversity that we have, and with them I am sure we can continue the upward trajectory that I sense Planning as a profession is on.


Karyn Sinclair
NZPI Chair


NZPI Board members will be introduced in our Planning Focus e-bulletin over the next few weeks, in the meantime contact details can be found here.