From the President

Kia ora ki ngā mema katoa,

During unsettling times I am always comforted by the natural order of things – the repetitive processes of the sun rising and falling, the tides ebbing and flowing, the cicadas buzzing in blissful ignorance of the challenges of being a human being.

This week’s President’s report is somewhat philosophical, but the key point I wish to make is how privileged we are to practice in a profession that causes us to observe the natural environment.

This brings me to the Randerson Report. An impressive and considered body of work, which from most accounts is widely supported. This is not surprising given the diversity of expertise on the Panel and the wide-ranging consultation undertaken in the time available. Importantly, and despite some misreporting, the principal legislation recommended to replace the RMA would deal with both the natural and built environment in an integrated way.

The lighter side of reform for our organisation might be a name change. A few ideas so far: Natural and Built Environment Association; Association of Environment and Planning Practitioners, or perhaps a tweak to our existing Te Reo name (which some members may be unaware of) – Te Kahui Ture Taiao. Please send all serious and amusing suggestions to Karol Helmink (karol.helmink@rmla.org.nz). The winner gets a prize.

COVID-related events updates: Our political panel with EDS scheduled for this Monday has been postponed. We are making arrangements to reschedule either an in-person and/or live stream event. The Salmon Lecture on 25 August is proceeding at this stage, with Simon Upton sharing his thoughts on the Randerson Report.

If an in-person event is not possible we will look to live-stream this topical presentation.  Our mini-conference is still on track for September. We have secured Hon Tony Randerson QC to discuss his report, and we’re planning a panel discussion on Māori rights and interests in freshwater. Our annual awards will also be presented. While the timing and venue are yet to be confirmed, we hope the content will pique your interest.

Mā te rā e kawe mai te ngoi ia rā ia rā

Mā te marama e whaka ora i a koutou i waenga pō

Mā te ua e horoi o koutou māharahara

May the sun bring you energy by day, may the moon restore you by night, may the rain wash away your worries