More than 500 delegates from around New Zealand and Australia
will attend the 2014 conference of the New Zealand Planning
Institute, hosted by the Central Otago branch in Queenstown
The theme this year is ''Mountains to the Sea'', which
incorporates the issues of freshwater, land use and
Institute chief executive Susan Houston said the way New
Zealand manages its water and land use planning will be the
focus of the conference and those issues are at the heart of
the country's ''100% Pure'' image.
About 460 planners, resource managers, urban designers and
environmental practitioners, plus 40 speakers and organisers,
will attend seminars and hear speeches. They will stay in the
Millennium Hotel and nearby Copthorne Hotel and Resort from
April 2 to 5.
Co-convener Carey Vivian, of Queenstown, said highlights of
the conference included the attendance of internationally
known speakers and the opportunity for Queenstown planners to
showcase district issues by taking delegates on a choice of
nine field trips.
Speakers include Emeritus Prof Sir Alan Mark, one of New
Zealand's leading ecologists, knighted in 2010 for his
scientific contribution to conservation.
Prof Peter Newman, professor of sustainability at Curtain
University, Perth, who led the development of Western
Australia's Sustainability Strategy will speak. He is
credited with saving, reviving and extending Perth's rail
Brent Toderian is the former chief planner of Vancouver,
where his credits include 2010 Winter Olympics-related
planning and design, the EcoDensity and Greenest City
initiatives, plus waterfront and skyline strategies.
New Zealand's Minister for the Environment, Amy Adams, and
Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment Dr Jan Wright
will also speak.
''Part of the theme of the conference is about resilience and
we thought the most resilient person in our district is
[professional skydiver, base jumper and stunt man] Chuck
Berry, someone who can face fear and come out smiling every
time, so he's our motivational speaker and that will be
really interesting too,'' Mr Vivian said.
The field trips include a Queenstown Bike Trail Tour and
visits with the themes of affordable housing, ''Queenstown
Growth'' and ''Grapes, Gold and Gasoline: A short history of
development in Central Otago''.
Mr Vivian said the conference would benefit Queenstown
planners by being able to share ideas and experiences and
increase their knowledge.
''Any planner in the country will gain something out of the
conference,'' he said.