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A glimpse into NZ’s future at planning conference launch


4 August 2014

A glimpse into NZ’s future at planning conference launch

Insights into a world first for planning are to be delivered on Wednesday at the award winning Auckland Art Gallery, with proceedings set to be a precursor for the New Zealand Planning Institute’s (NZPI) 2015 Conference.

The Auckland based 2015 conference will challenge planners to reflect on the lessons from the past and consider how they can use technology to help shape the future of the profession and the communities they work with. The 2015 conference is open to a wide audience in a bid to engage all communities interested in planning for our future.

The launch has a line up of speakers reflecting the conference theme “Back to the Future” and includes Mayor Len Brown, ‘AK2: The Coming of Age of a New Auckland’ author James Hurman, Adrienne Young Cooper, involved in some of NZ most controversial planning projects including as deputy chair of Housing New Zealand and Waterfront Auckland and chair of Hobsonville Land Company, and Kiwi innovation expert Roger Dennis, who founded Christchurch’s Sensing City project.

Mr Dennis will provide insights into the future of planning when he discusses the Sensing City project, which he describes as New Zealand’s largest ever infrastructure project with the potential to directly impact planning futures.

“As the heart of Christchurch is rebuilt we are integrating a network of digital sensors into every piece of physical infrastructure. The sensors will be able to measure anything in real time – traffic flow, water and air pollution, resource use – and we will be able to understand how a city works using real time data,” he says.

NZPI CEO Susan Houston says presentations from Mr Dennis and the other speakers at this week’s launch event will be a taste of things to come at the national conference in April 2015.

“Planning is at a new threshold and Back to the Future in Auckland in 2015 will bring together the brightest of minds from across the spectrum in an international forum,” she says.

Ms Houston says the 2015 conference will focus on the legacies and lessons learned from past generations, while seeking a better understanding of the opportunities offered by technology into the future.

“It is fitting that in 2015, when we commemorate the struggles that helped shape our nation, the national planning conference will offer a timely opportunity to reflect on planning conversations occurring around New Zealand and the globe and what the future offers,” she says.

The conference will take place in Auckland from 14-17 April 2015 and is expected to attract more than 800 national and international delegates.

NZPI is inviting members and non-members alike to get involved in the conference by attending the launch. Industry leaders, representatives of iwi, business managers, technical specialists, planners, peers from allied professions, those working in local government, environmental advocates, scientists, researchers, academics and tertiary students are all invited to attend Back to the Future 2015.

NZPI is also calling for papers for its 2015 conference. For more information please visit


New Zealand Planning Institute (NZPI)

The NZPI is the voice of planning in New Zealand. It is the professional organisation representing this country’s planners, resource managers, urban designers, and environmental practitioners. Planners have a critical role in shaping New Zealand’s future by helping to develop solutions to key issues, such as population growth, infrastructure needs, pressure on natural resources and environments, demographic change and transport. For more information visit

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