E-planning council project recognised in national planning awards


A joint initiative to make district plans more accessible to the public as well as planners has achieved the supreme accolade at this year’s New Zealand Planning Institute (NZPI) awards

The New Plymouth District Council’s Draft Digital District Plan – developed in conjunction with Isovist Planning – won both the award for Best Practice District/ Regional Planning Guidance and the NZPI’s supreme award, the Nancy Northcroft Award.

The Draft Digital District Plan, which was compiled directly into an e-plan, is the first of its kind in New Zealand and paves the way for other local district councils to go digital.

NZPI Chief Executive David Curtis says the judges drew attention to how the project “displayed innovative and creative excellence in planning and tapped into cutting-edge digital technologies in order to facilitate easier access.

“The project demonstrates a commitment to emerging technologies and how it can be used to positively impact the way planners and homeowners interact with Council.

“The project teams’ commitment to finding a relevant and useful solution promotes continued public interest and participation.”

Other key awards related to infrastructure planning in Curio Bay, a toolkit designed to help Maori landowners and a project plan for the Onehunga regeneration led by the Auckland Council.

Commenting at the end of NZPI’s conference in Tauranga, Curtis said the top three planning issues addressed were water quality and allocation, rapid urbanisation and the effects of growth on housing, infrastructure, and social equity, and the impact of natural hazards and climate change.

Agri-food disruption, housing supply, biodiversity offsetting, new technologies and the implications of the National Policy Statement on Urban Development Capacity were also on the agenda.

More than 500 delegates attended the conference.

In addition to planners and resource management practitioners, this included industry leaders, iwi, designers, scientists, members of the legal profession and judiciary, and local and central government representatives.

The NZPI conference, which has been held annually since 1964, tapped into the considerable learnings of international speakers who shared their insights and best-practice approaches to key issues.


Nancy Northcroft Supreme Planning Practice Award and Best Practice District/ Regional Planning

PROJECT: Building a Digital District Plan
AWARD WINNERS: New Plymouth District Council
______ ______.__._____Isovist Ltd

Best Practice District or Regional Plan

PROJECT: Na Unlock Avondale High Level Project Plan
AWARD WINNER: Panuku Development Auckland

Best Practice Integrated Planning and Investigations

PROJECT: Curio Bay Tumu Toka Infrastructure Collaboration
AWARD WINNERS: Opus International Consultants Ltd
______ _____.____.____Southland District Council
______ _____.____.____South Catlins Charitable Trust
______ _____.____.____Department of Conservation

Best Practice Consultation and Participation Strategies and/or Processes

PROJECT: Manurewa Takanini Papakura integrated area plan
AWARD WINNER: Auckland Council

Best Practice Non-Statutory Planning

PROJECT: Te Tai Tokerau Papakainga Toolkit
AWARD WINNERS: Barker & Associates
______ ___._____._____Far North District Council
______ ____.____._____Kaipara District Council
______ _____.___._____Northland Regional Council
______ _____.___._____Whangarei District Council

Rodney Davies Project Award

PROJECT: Ponsonby Countdown & Mixed-use Development (Vinegar Lane)
AWARD WINNERS: Zomac Planning Solutions Ltd
______ _____.____.____Progressive Enterprises Ltd
______ _____.____.____Isthmus Group
______ _____.____.____Russell McVeagh

Distinguished Service Award

AWARD WINNER: William Thomas (Bill) Wasley

Lance Leikis NZPI Young Planner Award


John Mawson Award of Merit

AWARD WINNERS: Associate Professor Caroline Miller
______ ________.._____Dr Lee Beattie