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Thread: Planning in New Zealand

  1. #1
    Cyburbian JNL's avatar
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    Planning in New Zealand

    I've just got back from 2 days of the New Zealand Planning Institute's Annual Conference (I guess the equivalent of APA) and 3 days of holidaying in the far north of New Zealand's North Island The conference was interesting for me, not having a planning background, to hear what the current issues are for planners in NZ (that was the idea as I'm working on a project that affects planners' work). I wonder if they're the same where you are... I'm pretty sure these are issues in Australia as well.

    One big issue is recruiting and retention. It seems that many young people are not even aware that planning is a career option. This was true when I was at high school - career advice did not even mention planning as far as I can remember. And then those that do study planning often head overseas - as many young Kiwis from all professions do. I chatted with one recruitment shark who was circling at the conference, and he admitted that due to the shortage of planners, he basically just recruits people to switch organisations.

    For those who do stay, and work as planners in NZ, there is an issue that planning is not generally a well-respected career. It is low profile.

    Planning roles are usually split into consents and policy planning. Only a few councils have decided that its better to have these roles combined and have merged these departments so that some people do all of these things, or at least work alongside each other.

    However, central govt policy which was hands-off, market driven, minimal planning in the 80s and 90s has changed and there is much better recognition of the importance of resource conservation and sustainable development, with the result of a lot of strategic planning happening at central or regional level, for implementation at the local level. Councils are banding together to look at water supply, provision of parks and green spaces, and transport options at the regional level.

    As far as I can tell, the planners I met seemed to be reasonably happy in their roles, and I didn't hear anyone say that they need to be paid more. Not saying that they are super well-paid, but I didn't hear any complaints.

    These are just the observations of a non-planner at a planning conference
    Last edited by JNL; 03 May 2005 at 1:06 AM.

  2. #2
    Sounds pretty much like what we are dealing with, except the recruitment/retention issues.

    I need a brief lesson in New Zealand civics. Do you have regional governments with real power? Do you know if there is an equivalent in the US? I hate to confess my ignorance
    On pitching to Stan Musial:
    "Once he timed your fastball, your infielders were in jeopardy."
    Warren Spahn

  3. #3
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    With the continued planner shortage in Australia and New Zealand, I wonder why more isn't being done to recruit young planners from the United States, where there always seems to be a surplus.. I know immigration is an issue, but with the point-based system Australia and NZ use, it wouldn't be that much of a barrier. Are planning agencies there doing more with less? Are they hiring those without a planning background to work as planners? Are they hoping to snap up Poms in search of better weather and South Africans fleeing their guarded communities?

    When I was first getting started in the profession -- late 1980s and early 1990s -- many APA JobMart ads included positions in the Caribbean and the Middle East. I worked with one planner who left for a job in the Grand Cayman Islands a few months after I was hired. With many Americans still muttering about leaving the country, I wonder why others haven't looked to this side of the pond to help staff their agencies.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  4. #4
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Yeah....

    Great, now about that job you were going to get me in New Zealand??? Remember, it needs to pay at least $100,000NZ for it to be worth my time Just dial 1-800-ESCAPED and you'll get me

    (har har har har......but seriously, if you find the job PM me..... )
    Skilled Adoxographer

  5. #5
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    What is the general cost of housing/living compared to median Planner income?

    I did a quick real estate search in the Marlborough (sp) area and saw some interesting real estate.

    This might be the adventure my wife and I are looking for.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

    Six seasons and a movie!

  6. #6
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Hey...

    Quote Originally posted by mendelman
    What is the general cost of housing/living compared to median Planner income?

    I did a quick real estate search in the Marlborough (sp) area and saw some interesting real estate.

    This might be the adventure my wife and I are looking for.
    HEY HEY HEY......ME FIRST.....I got Dibbs......I called shotgun FIRST If anyone goes to New Zealand.....it should be me first.....Right JNL????
    Pllleeeeeaaaassseee
    Skilled Adoxographer

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Off Width's avatar
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    Sign Me up!

    When I looked into the points based system into NZ I noticed that Planners were not on the list of "needed" professions....that and being "an old fart" put me pretty low on the list - I'd go in a minute. I understand some parts of NZ are like Southern California in the 1930-1940's back when it was paradise...not ruined like it is now...

    NATURE WASTES SPACE
    PAVEMENT IS OUR SALVATION


    Zeroxed signs found along Pacific Coast Highway in 1990. Proudly hanging in my office ever since... ;)

  8. #8
    Cyburbian JNL's avatar
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    Re the framework for planning in NZ: http://www.nzplanning.co.nz/job_description.html explains:
    The Resource Management Act 1991 provides for planning at three levels - national, regional and district. The Act provides for "national policy statements" to be prepared on a range of matters, such as coastal planning. At the regional and district level, plans are prepared to guide the use and management of resources in the area.

    The types of plans are:

    Regional Policy Statements. These set out the main resource issues in the region, and state how they should be managed in the future.

    Regional Plans. These relate to an area such as the coast, or a resource such as water or soil, or an activity such as transport or forestry. They set out policies and rules to govern activities, so that sustainable management can be achieved.

    District Plans. These control activities and the use, development and conservation of resources. They set out policies and rules for the management of land resources.

    All plans must consider the effects of activities on natural and physical resources. These effects may include water and air pollution, traffic impacts, noise, economic and social impacts, and so on.
    Here's some info on quality of life in our 8 largest cities: http://www.bigcities.govt.nz/index.htm

    I found some salary info here http://www.kiwicareers.govt.nz/jobs/15a_gov/j21320h.htm, which says that planners usually earn between NZ$33,000 and NZ$70,000 per year - equivalent to US$24,000 to US$51,000.

    Heeeyyy I could start my own recruiting business!

  9. #9
    Cyburbian thestip's avatar
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    Shortage of planners you say... Hmmm... I'm going to have to look into this come the winter. I've always put NZ on the list of places I could move to from Buffalo.
    'Planning Rockstar in training';-)

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