Image: View over Wellington from Mt Victoria

2022 NZILA Firth Conference

Tāmaki Makaurau | 11-13 October

the conference reflected on the past 5 decades

2022 NZILA Firth Conference

Thank you to all delegates who attended the conference.

To view photos click here.

To view conference programme click here.

To view Speaker Videos click here.

View highlights from the Welcome Function.

View highlights from the Conference.



Theme: Ka Mua, Ka Muri 

‘Kia whakatōmuri te haere whakamua’
Walking backwards into the future with eyes fixed on the past

In November 1972, an application to register the New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architects was lodged by fifteen passionate and dedicated members. The NZILA was born.

In the 50 years since then, what Aotearoa New Zealand has needed and expected of landscape architects has changed and evolved. The profession has transitioned from being site specific and strongly associated with land and landscape to an increasingly influential  group with interests in social, environmental, cultural and economic aspects of New Zealand society.

Landscape architects have become visionaries for how cities, towns, urban centres and communities can be shaped as well as delivering and acting on policies and practices for how peri-urban and rural landscapes can and should be planned, designed and managed.
Aotearoa NZ has evolved over those 50 years too. And as NZ has evolved, so have the skills and contributions of landscape architects. As actors in an integrative profession, landscape architects have learnt to weave together the social and environmental fabric of our nation thus imbuing our spaces and places with the narrative of Aotearoa.

As a professional body, over the past 50 years, the NZILA has grown in its appreciation of the essential role that Mana Whenua and Te Ao Māori play in shaping the nation. This is increasingly reflected in the embedding of Mātauranga Māori design principles into the work of practitioners and teachers, as exemplified in the recently-approved Te Tangi a te Manu Aotearoa New Zealand Landscape Assessment Guidelines.

And in 2017 the NZILA adopted the name Tuia Pito Ora as the Te Reo Māori name for the Institute embracing concepts of connection, nurturing and well-being.

There is much for Tuia Pito Ora to be proud of in its last 50 years, and as expressed through the whakataukīabove this is a time to look back in order to look forward with excitement and confidence.

Our remit has expanded little by little, based on a catalogue of achievements gained by the collective work of so many dedicated and passionate landscape architects over the last 50 years.
We must understand and appreciate the lessons learnt, identify opportunities missed, but most importantly, we must look at the strengths of our journey thus far - the changing social, environmental, cultural and economic priorities for Aotearoa, and just like those daring 15 landscape architects in 1972, we must be visionaries regarding what the future might look like for our profession.

The conference programme included the following four subthemes:

Whaiwhakaaro / Reflections:
A historical review of each of the past five decades of NZILA.

Kawatau / Expectations:
How will the social/cultural, economic, environmental, and technological changes affect Aotearoa over the next 50 years?

Ake / Directions:
How do we as landscape professionals inform and respond to these changes? What will be the relevance, nature, and shape of Tuia Pito Ora in the future?

Whakatakataka / Actions:
What are the actions we might take to respond to the challenges and opportunities ahead?