President’s Report – February 2012

The year has well and truly started, and the National Committee held its first face-to-face meeting of the year earlier this month.  In order to be as efficient as we can with Association funds the National Committee is continuing the practice of only meeting in person every second meeting.  This year, the Association’s 20th year, is shaping up to be a very full one, especially with potential work for the Legislation Committee as a result of the Central Government’s stated reform’s and other resource management initiatives.

We will be looking towards the membership of the various Special Interest Groups (SIGs), and to members who are interested in particular topics, to assist the work of the Legislation Committee this year, especially in relation to the preparation of submissions.  The Association has a very valuable role to play, and as a non-aligned lobby, we are well placed to take an interdisciplinary perspective and concentrate on those matters that relate to the practicality and the workability of legislative proposals.  I recognise that many of you will be busy this year preparing submissions on the policy content of Central Government initiatives; this is not the role of the Association.  Submissions prepared by the Association’s Legislation Committee will focus on achieving excellence in resource management legislation and implementation in line with our objective.  If in the course of your work you have views on the workability of proposed legislation, the SIG or Legislation Committee would value your contributions.  Contact can be made through the relevant SIG convenor or the Legislation Committee on the Association’s website or through Karol Helmink (Executive Officer).

Membership is currently around the 1050 mark a bit down on the peak of a few years ago.  It is the aim of this year’s committee to bring up the membership back to 1200 and it is anticipated that this year’s programme targeting new resource management professionals, while also maintaining relevance to current members, will contribute towards this goal.  I note the very positive activities that are occurring in the Auckland region to encourage young resource management professionals by developing a series of customised events for those new to the work.  Membership of the RMLA and attendance at branch meetings can provide opportunities for new professionals to meet with others outside the bounds of their respective disciplines to break down the invisible barriers to finding real world solutions.  It is hoped that employers will recognise the benefits that our Association can contribute to their staff development as it provides the ability to network and meet other young people who are interested in finding solutions to multi-dimensional issues.

The Association is in good heart financially with the 2011 Hamilton Conference positively contributing to the Association’s balance sheet.  In recognition, the National Committee has decided to make special contributions to the 2012 Queenstown conference by providing a discount to encourage new resource management professionals to attend the conference, and making a contribution towards securing the highest possible calibre of speakers to address the theme and to make the conference a fitting tribute to the success of the Association in its 20th year.  More details on this can be found in the Conference advertisement later on in this newsletter.  We are conscious that the location and timing of this year’s conference may prompt some of you to combine the event with some family time so are making as many of the details available early on to allow you to book discount fares ahead of time. 

The Roadshow Programme looks exciting this year with topical events being prepared as a result of consultation by Phil Gurnsey with regional branch chairs.  In addition to topics that have been requested by branches, this year’s theme of risk and resilience will be incorporated into the programme in support and as a lead up to the Queenstown conference.  The first roadshow is shaping up as a session on expert conferencing which will be run jointly with the Environment Court.  In recognition of the important role the Roadshow Programme plays in support of branch activities and recruitment, Maree Baker will now be working with Phil in the development and implementation of this year’s programme.  This will allow Martin Williams to concentrate on working with Kate Barry-Piceno to provide National Committee support to the 2012 Conference committee. 

I hope you enjoy reading this month’s newsletter in the new web based format.

Blair Dickie

RMLA President