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Building a better New Zealand

Building a better New Zealand

Innovative ways to create better communities and improve the performance of existing buildings will be discussed by national and overseas speakers at the Building a Better New Zealand conference in September.

Registrations are now open for the conference from 3 to 5 September in Auckland.

“Building a Better New Zealand will feature a wide range of industry speakers and researchers from here and overseas and provides a forum to share knowledge and insights about the latest building innovations,” says Lois Easton, from the conference organising committee.

Success stories and case studies from New Zealand and internationally will show effective ways to build better cities and communities, improve the performance of existing buildings, meet the housing needs of New Zealanders and improve productivity within the wider building sector.

The keynote speaker is Richard Blakeway, Deputy Mayor of London, with responsibility for overseeing the City’s housing strategy. This focuses on increasing the supply of housing to better support London’s continued economic success.

“Richard is widely recognised as one of the UK’s most prominent authorities on housing and regeneration. He has been a particularly strong advocate for high quality urban development and planning, arguing the case for new and improved housing conditions in one of the world’s leading global cities. “

Another overseas expert is Dr Tim Williams, Chief Executive of the Committee for Sydney, an independent think tank that develops ‘big city’ long-term and visionary thinking. Tim is one of the leading urban renewal thinkers and practitioners at work in the field, with an international reputation.

Johnny McFarlane, BECA project manager for the Shigeru Ban designed Christchurch Transitional (Cardboard) Cathedral, is another speaker at Building a Better New Zealand.

Johnny is an entertaining speaker and specialises in complex projects requiring excellent management of technical risk and communication of issues - all skills that were used to great effect on the construction of the Transitional Cathedral.

Included in the line-up of speakers is Professor Diane Brand from the University of Auckland whose research specialises in the urban history of colonial cities in Australia, New Zealand and Brazil. Jerome Partington is chairperson of Living Future NZ, a not-for-profit aimed at accelerating the transition towards restorative communities and built environments, and recently facilitated the Te Wharehau O Tuhoe, the first Living Building project in New Zealand.

Other speakers at the conference include Professor Jules Moloney, Head of the Victoria University School of Architecture; Andrew Crisp, Deputy Chief Executive Infrastructure and Resource Markets, Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment; Chelydra Percy, Chief Executive of BRANZ; and Mahi Paurini, Chief Maori Advisor, Housing, Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment.

As part of the conference, there will also be an opportunity to hear about and provide input into the ‘Research Strategy for the Building and Construction Sector’.

To register for Building a Better New Zealand, visit


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