Positive planners win national Distinguished Service Awards

By Wright Communications

Auckland Council planner Hayes Perkins joins Christchurch's Bob Nixon, Wellington's Gina Sweetman and Waikanae-based Stuart Kinnear in being recognised as leaders in their field in the 2014 awards.


The NZPI Distinguished Service Awards recognise individuals who have made as a significant contribution to planning over many years, have undertaken original research which has advanced planning in New Zealand and overseas, have made a major contribution to the affairs of the NZPI, or have achieved national or international recognition as a leader in the planning profession.


The awards are presented annually in the first week of November to coincide with World Town Planning Day, founded in Argentina in 1949 by Professor Carlos Mara della Paolera to advance public and professional interest in planning, and commemorated by many thousands of planners in New Zealand and around the world on 8 November.


NZPI CEO Susan Houston says all four 2014 Award recipients are not only among planning's leading lights but have made immense contributions over many years and their careers are stellar examples of positive planning in action.


"Planners in New Zealand have a critical and often thankless role in shaping our communities so it is important to recognise and celebrate their work. They are often at the forefront of solutions to some of our most complicated issues, from infrastructure development and transport requirements to protecting natural environments and resources," Ms Houston says.

"This year's award winners showcase what dedicated planners with a positive approach to planning can contribute to communities in New Zealand and internationally. Congratulations to all of them."

2014 NZPI Distinguished Service Award winners




Robert (Bob) Nixon

Throughout his career Bob Nixon has made a significant contribution to planning practice with his leading role in the cutting edge Christchurch City Plan in 1991 and his vigorous defence of planning in the late 1990s. He also spent time on a work exchange at Norwich City Council in England and served on Ministerial Working Parties dealing with the RMA Amendment Bill and on the NZPI's National Council.


Hayes Perkins

Hayes Perkins has worked in planning for a range of high profile organisations including BP (NZ) Ltd, Ministry of Works and Development, Lion Corporation Ltd, Railways Corporation Ltd, Telecom Auckland Ltd, and, more recently, Auckland City Council and Auckland Council. In 1990 he was the principal consultant in a study for the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation, relating to an industrial project in Honiara in the Solomon Islands. The Distinguished Service Award also acknowledges Hayes' outstanding mentoring of planners over many years.


Gina Sweetman

Gina Sweetman is both professionally and personally passionate about the planning issues facing New Zealand today. With roles across central and local government and in private practice, as an NZPI Councillor (2006-2012) and as Editor of Planning Quarterly, Gina's contribution to the planning profession has been and continues to be wide ranging. Her technical expertise has seen her involved in developing amendments to the RMA and her strengths in communication and training have led to her designing and delivering RMA training courses to many audiences.


Stuart Kinnear

Stuart Kinnear began his planning career 46 years ago and continues to make a highly respected contribution to planning practice today. Stuart has 18 years experience as a Hearings Commissioner and has dealt with nearly 70 hearings covering a wide variety of topics. His strengths include what has been described as an encyclopaedic knowledge of planning, plans, case law, legislation and developments and his surveying and land development background is widely regarded as bringing an extra dimension to his work as a planner.


For further information on the 2013 Distinguished Service Award winners visit www.planning.org.nz.


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