Regional News – December 2011

Auckland – Rachel Devine

Merry Christmas to all.  The Auckland branch has recently held two sessions which have had more than usual positive feedback.  The first was a panel discussion about experiences of different participants in Board of Inquiry processes.  Suffice to say, there was full and frank discussion by all who attended.  We celebrated the end of year with a change of venue.  In a private bar bands from RMLA members of Marshall Day, Kensington Swan and Russell McVeagh performed as well as RMLA members.  The informal, relaxed, fun atmosphere was enjoyed by those who attended.  Best wishes to all for a restful summer break.

Waikato – Dr Joan Forret

2011 has been a busy year for the Waikato Branch.  We were thrilled with the way that this year’s conference came together and enjoyed the opportunity to showcase Hamilton and the Waikato for the large number of ‘out of town’ delegates.  It was a bonus that we also had excellent weather.

As with any significant event there is a lot of organization that happens in the weeks and months preceding.  We had an enthusiastic and capable organizing committee that was able to pull together the various presentations, workshops, fieldtrips and social functions.  My thanks go to all members of that committee and particularly to Blair Dickie, who was instrumental in securing some high quality keynote and plenary session speakers.  It was ironic that the conference coincided with Blair’s overseas study leave so he was unable to enjoy the fruits of his hard work towards the conference.  However, best wishes go to Blair in his new role as National President of the RMLA.

The Branch is clearly still recovering from the conference and we have abandoned any attempt at a further social event or seminar for 2011.  Next year, I am handing over the role of Branch Chair to Lachlan Muldowney and his team.  I wish them every success in continuing regular Branch functions and look forward to our first event which will hopefully take place early in the New Year.

Finally, I wish to thank the team at Harkness Henry that has ably assisted during the time I have been Branch Chair, and also a big thank you to Karol Helmink, who ensures that all aspects of Branch and National functions run efficiently.

Bay of Plenty – Brad Coombs

The RMLA, together with the New Zealand Coastal Society, held a special end of year event focussing on the NZ Coastal Policy Statement and its implications for local planning in the Bay of Plenty.  The evening was a great success with about 60 turning out to enjoy the seminar and socialise at the xmas drinks that followed.  Thanks to those involved in presenting and organising, and I wish all our members a very Merry Xmas and Happy New Year.

Taranaki – Lauren Wallace

The Taranaki branch celebrated the end of 2011 in style with a bus trip out to Mike’s Organic Brewery in Urenui. Mike was entertaining and passionate and gave us a great tour of the brewery. We were treated to good beer, good food, a warm, sunny evening and some fantastic live music by Jacob Hechter.  

Thanks also need to go to Ken Tremaine for his thoroughly entertaining “Spatial Planning” seminar on 3 November 2011 at Govett Quilliam. Ken’s knowledge and experience in planning in New Zealand impressed all.  

We now look forward to the Christmas and New Year break and a long, hot Taranaki summer. In the New Year, Cameron Twigley will be taking over as regional chairperson while Lauren Wallace is on maternity leave.

The Taranaki branch committee would like to thank our Taranaki members for their continued support throughout 2011 and we wish them all a safe and happy festive season.

Wellington – Angela Rego

It has been a steady year for Wellington branch who has hosted a number of successful social events and seminars on a wide variety of topics including our popular pre-election resource management seminar with politicians, a strategic transport seminar and a wine tasting event.

This is all thanks to the work of the committee: Carolyn Hintz, David Allen, Helen Anderson, James Gardner-Hopkins, Jo Mooar, Lindsay Daysh, Louise Sinclair, Mark St Clair, Nicky McIndoe, Rebecca Lloyd, Richard Hills, Matthew Booth and Jill Gregory.  We have farwelled Graham Miller who after several years on the Committee has retired.  A special thank-you to those involved in organising and hosting these events, in particular to Karol Helmink for her support.

Angela Rego can be contacted on:

Email: angela.rego@justice.govt.nz

Phone: (04) 494 1083

Canterbury – David Caldwell

As an interesting year comes to a close for Christchurch practitioners, I don’t believe there will be many of us who are not pleased to have the year behind us.  It has obviously been a difficult year in many ways as we have all adjusted to a new working and legislative environment. 

The Environment Court has been particularly busy this year, hearing some particularly large cases.  This is not withstanding that a number of plan changes have been implemented through the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act and bypassed the Environment Court.

We held the Tony Hearn Memorial Lecture in October, after its earlier date was vacated due to snow.  It was great to catch up with a large number of practitioners from Christchurch and further afield.  We held our annual Christmas get-together in a combined function with NZPI.  It was well attended and very successful.

We are all looking forward to a break over the Christmas period and wish you all a safe and happy holiday.

Nelson/Marlborough – Shoshona Goodall

The Nelson/Marlborough Branch is celebrating Christmas this year with drinks and nibbles at Founder Park Cafe on 8 December 2011.  This will follow the AGM which starts at 4:30pm.  We look forward to seeing you there.

On behalf of the committee, I would like to thank our Nelson/Marlborough members for their continued support throughout 2011.  I take this opportunity to wish you all a great Christmas and a relaxing summer break.

Otago/Southland – Chris Thomsen

Departing from our usual practice of hosting seminars, the Branch ran a very successful field trip to Harbour Cone last month.  The focus of the field trip was obtaining an understanding of the Dunedin City Council’s motivation for purchasing Harbour Cone and its planning vision for what is an important part of the Peninsula.  All seemed to enjoy the opportunity to be in the fresh air for the sake of professional development.  We were pleased to receive the input of Council staff and consultants working on the project.  All attendees appreciated the time and insights contributed by His Worship the Mayor Dave Cull.

We now look forward to 2012 and are planning further seminars and functions for the first half of the new year.  Planning for a discussion about the policy implications for earthquake strengthening of heritage buildings is underway.  Any suggestions for locally focussed seminars from Branch members are always welcome.  We are also hopeful that there will be an opportunity to host suitable national road shows as the year progresses.

I take this opportunity to wish all our members a safe and happy festive season.