Judges Panel

Thank you to our Judges

Diane Menzies

Dr Diane Menzies, ONZM, Rongowhakaata, Aitanga a Mahaki - Judging Panel Chair
Diane is a past president and honorary member of the International Federation of Landscape Architects, and life member and past president of NZILA. She has worked in local and central government, was also an elected local government representative, and a member of the New Zealand judiciary for eleven years. She returned to academia and consulting in 2012, focusing research on cultural justice, cultural landscapes, heritage and housing. A member of the Landscape Foundation, the ICOMOS IFLA International Scientific Committee on Cultural Landscape, and a Kahui Whetu member of Ngā Aho (Māori designers network), she lives in central Tāmaki Makaurau.

Michael Hawes

Michael Hawes

Michael brings an in-depth understanding of how places can shape our experiences and interactions to create social, environmental and economic value.

“Placemaking is a collaborative and creative endeavour. By first understanding the wider systems within which a place exists, we enable opportunities for our landscapes and public spaces to support collective identity and aspirations for people, our natural environment and culture”.         

Having led a number of transformational and award-winning projects, such as Auckland’s Fort Street Area and Napier’s Marine Parade, Michael understands how landscape is often at the convergence of multiple interests.

“Collaboration, respect and creative expression can unlock opportunities and a deeper understanding of the qualities of a place,” says Michael.  “We must be able to navigate, innovate and ultimately be integrators across a broad range of considerations including the big challenges of climate change, biodiversity loss, cultural identity, social and economic vibrancy that our communities face”.

A registered Landscape Architect with over 25 years’ experience, Michael is recognised as a leading public realm and landscape designer with a track record of leading projects from masterplanning through to delivery.  He draws on a broad range of experience across sectors from transportation and active modes to retail, commercial and entertainment through to recreation, educational and heritage landscapes to provide integrated and holistic solutions.

Matt Lester

Matt Lester
Matt is an NZILA Registered landscape architect working with RMM in Otautahi/Christchurch. He joined the team at RMM from his previous practice of Earthwork in 2021.

A passionate advocate for the landscape, Matt is committed to focusing on logical and thorough site planning in a multi-disciplinary environment and exploring landscape identity in a way that brings places to life for our clients and the public.

Over his varied career, Matt has worked around the country, focusing on the upper South Island, as well as overseas, with projects in the Pacific Islands and Vietnam.

Matt is a committee member for the Canterbury Westland branch of the NZILA, having recently retired as chair, is a committee member for Waimakariri Biodiversity Trust and has contributed to publications such as ‘Native by Design’ and has been a judge of the NZIA Canterbury Architecture Awards.

Kara Scott

Kara Scott
Kara is an ecologist and registered landscape architect of 18 years with a particular interest in mātauranga Māori, landscape ecology and indigenous cultural craft. This has led her to various roles within landscape architecture including landscape design, planning, restoration, policy, cultural enhancement and fair trade through economic development. Throughout her career, Kara has been a proud member of the Isthmus whānau, and currently Trade Aid and Taupō District council whānau. Outside of mahi, Kara, her husband Fraser and son Brodie enjoy outdoor adventures; mountain biking, hiking, water sports, and music – with ukulele, she’s always keen to waiata.

Anne Wilkins

Anne Wilkins

Anne is an NZILA Registered Landscape Architect, and the Principal Landscape Architect at Novo Group based in Ōtautahi Christchurch. While Annes expertise spans across the full landscape architecture spectrum, she specializes in Landscape Planning, providing design advice, assessment, and Expert Evidence for environmental management processes for a variety of complex projects, from Plan Changes and masterplans to electricity and solar panel developments, transport projects, and rural subdivisions. Anne has a proficiency in rural planning, ecological and biophysical effects assessments, and landscape site analysis framed in sound resource and kaitiakitanga principles.

Anne is on a number of Landscape Assessment Review Panels across NZ, guided by her practiced knowledge of Te Tangi a te Manu to promote sustainable environmental management for protecting and enhancing our environments in Aotearoa. She has contributed publications to LA Aotearoa, is a member of the Visual Representation Guidelines Group NZ, is a contributing member for Registration Mentoring, and has established and managed numerous landscape teams in professional practice.

Haley Hooper

Haley Hooper - Guest Judge
Haley is a strategic, socially engaged urban designer and strategist at WSP. Originally from Whangarei, (of Ngāpuhi whakapapa) she now spends her time predominantly across the North Island, between Kāpiti Coast/Wellington, Tāmaki Makaurau and Northland. Haley has diverse experience in Aotearoa and Australia across leading urban strategy, urban design and architecture, with broad-ranging skills gained in urban design, spatial planning, place-making, visioning and strategy, regenerative design and major mixed-use masterplanning. She is also a flâneuse of creative arts, culture and languages, and a design writer contributing to various industry publications, advocacy groups and events.

Haley has a particular passion for the development of public, residential, social and civic spaces that promote community, culture, economy and interaction and has strong association and working history with Landscape Architecture. She values comprehensive and integrated outcomes that stand the test of time and support the evolution of place. She grounds herself in ideas that relate to people, to community, to environment and to a feeling of comfort, beauty, inclusiveness and joy. In her everyday Haley loves good kai, nature, philosophy and dance.