Master of Ceremonies


Keynote Speakers



Groundbreaking YPs



Julie Anne Genter

We are delighted to have Julie Anne Genter as our Master of Ceremonies. Julie Anne is a Green Party MP, and her party’s spokesperson for Health, Transport, Youth, Auckland Issues, and Sport and Recreation.

Julie Anne holds a Masters of Planning Practice with First Class Honours from the University of Auckland, and has worked as a transport consultant undertaking ground-breaking research in transport economics and urban design.

As a Member of Parliament, Julie Anne brings a vital planning perspective to policy discussions and leads the calls for policy that gives people transport choices and embraces the principles of efficient and resilient towns and cities.

Dr Philippa Howden-Chapman
Director, New Zealand Centre for Sustainable Cities

Philippa Howden-Chapman is a professor of public health at the University of Otago, Wellington, New Zealand, where she teaches public policy.

She is director of He Kainga Oranga/ Housing and Health Research Programme and the New Zealand Centre for Sustainable Cities. Philippa has led extensive research programmes with local communities, which have had major influence on housing, health and energy policy.

She has a strong interest in reducing inequalities in the determinants of health and has published widely in this area, receiving a number of awards for her work including being the first woman research leader and the first social scientist to receive the prestigious Prime Minister’s Science Prize in 2014.

Justin Lester
Mayor of Wellington

Justin Lester was elected Mayor in 2016. He joined Wellington City Council as a Northern Ward Councillor in 2010 and then served as Deputy Mayor from 2013 until 2016.


During his time as a Councillor, Justin championed the living wage, prioritised good quality local services and supported local businesses. He feels strongly that good local government services make a huge difference in people’s lives.


Justin’s priorities as Mayor include kick-starting the economy, making housing affordable, improving Wellington’s transport, replacing outdated bylaws and prioritising arts funding. He also wants to establish the country’s first wet house, provide a rates rebate for first-home builders and create the world’s first predator-free capital.

Dr Ryan Reynolds
Gap filler Trust

Dr Ryan Reynolds is the Strategic Director and one of the co-founders of the Gap Filler Trust. As a consultant he travels widely, speaking to councils, universities and other organisations about adaptive urbanism.

Drew Williams
Ministry for the Environment: Senior Analyst

Drew has over 20 years’ experience as a Planner. Prior to moving to NZ he worked on a variety of property projects in Belgium, Bulgaria and for the City of Copenhagen.

He has also worked directly or as a consultant to over 60 councils in the UK, within all aspects planning from consenting and policy, enforcement and as public prosecutor up to the Court of Appeal. In recent years Drew assisted in new planning legislation for the UK Government and the implementation of e-planning tools, such as the Planning Portal.

Finbar Kiddle and Susan Rawles

Susan and Finn studied their Bachelor (Hon) in Resource and Environmental Planning degrees at Massey University. Finn went on to complete a Masters in Development Studies at Victoria University of Wellington, with a thesis on the rule of law in Solomon Islands.

Prior to them both heading to the Solomon Islands, Susan gained experience at the NZ Transport Agency and Jacobs NZ, while Finn worked at the Ministry for the Environment. They both gained planning positions with Volunteer Service Abroad in Honiara working as Urban Planning Advisers. Susan’s position was with the Honiara City Council and Finn’s with the Guadalcanal Provincial Government. These roles focused on assisting local counterparts set up and maintain planning processes and frameworks for decision making. This included reviews of the planning legislation for both Honiara City and the wider Solomon Islands.

Now back in Wellington, Susan is a private contractor at the Transport Agency and Finn is the Planner for the Central Region of Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga.

Megan Couture

Megan started her career at MWH, now part of Stantec, in November 2013 after completing the Masters of Urban Planning programme with honours at the University of Auckland. Megan has been highly active with the Planning and Young Professional communities as a former member of the Auckland Young Planners Group, and as the current Global Leader of the Young Professional Group at work. In 2016, Megan received the Lance Leikis Young Planner Award, having been recognised for her contribution to a number of regionally significant projects. At present, she is part of a team of Young Planners that are developing a business case for the establishment of a volunteer-based organisation (think Planning Aid or Planners without Borders) where planners can provide planning advice, guidance and knowledge to individuals and communities here in New Zealand.

Maiki Andersen

Maiki has been working as a Planning Advisor for central government in the Christchurch Recovery since finishing her studies in late 2013. Maiki began working at the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) as a graduate, and transitioned to the Greater Christchurch Group (GCG) of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet when CERA was disestablished where she now works as a senior advisor.


During her time at CERA and GCG Maiki was part of the core project team which coordinated the Crown response to the Christchurch Replacement District Plan and was involved in the entire plan review process from start to finish, taking on various roles. Maiki has also been involved in the use of recovery and regeneration Act powers to make amendments to the operative district plans, development of recovery and regeneration plans and amendments to Orders in Council’s.   


Maiki is a graduate of the Bachelor of Science (Geology and Geography) from Otago University, and Master of Resource Studies from Lincoln University.

Nardia Yozin

Nardia is currently working for the Department of Conservation as an RMA Planner. Her work is mainly Plan and Policy Statement reviews throughout the South Island, focusing on the department’s interests around biodiversity, pest management, coastal environment, coastal hazards, and heritage. Nardia began her career working for the Department of Conservation processing mining access arrangements on the West Coast. She then shifted to Christchurch to work for Opus International Consultants, followed by the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) and then MWH Global before returning to the Department of Conservation late 2016.


During her time at CERA, Nardia worked on hazardous substances management, contaminated land management, NESCS (Assessing and Managing Contaminants in Soil to Protect Human Health) implementation, the ongoing management of the Burwood Resource Recovery Park, the Christchurch Replacement District Plan, and amendments to the operative District and Regional Plans relating to land with increased liquefaction vulnerability. Nardia also lead the Crown case for, and appeared as an expert witness on behalf of the Crown, on various topics at the hearings for the Christchurch Replacement District Plan.


Nardia is a graduate of the Bachelor of Planning (now Bachelor of Urban Planning), and Master of Professional Studies (International Relations and Humans Rights), both from the University of Auckland.

Courtney Bennett

Courtney is a graduate of The University of Auckland, and gained her BPlan(hons) in 2014. She then moved to Christchurch where she began her professional life working for Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu as a junior environmental advisor within their environmental team – Te Ao Tūroa. This team has a wide variety of work streams, with Courtney gaining experience in the Christchurch District Plan Review process, working with the Department of Conservation on developing National Park Management Plans, and various other consent and submission work within the Ngāi Tahu takiwā. Courtney is passionate about engaging with whānau, integrating Ngāi Tahu stories and values into planning processes, and papakāinga planning.


 New Zealand Planning Institute | +64 9 520 6277 | admin@planning.org.nz | www.planning.org.nz