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President's Update

Posted 27 02 2020

in News

Image: uploads/2020_02/BradCoombs_IsthmusProfilePortraits2016_DSG5371.jpg

February 2020

Tēnā koutou ki te whanau,

Nga mihi o te ra. 

No doubt the Christmas break seems like a distant memory now.  Most of our members and allied professionals that I have spoken to recently have reported a busy start to the year.  I hope it has been the same for you. 

The Executive Committee had a meeting in Tāmaki Makaurau on 14 February.  It was a ‘fly in fly out’ meeting, so we didn’t get the chance to catch up with the local Branch, as has become tradition in recent years.  But the whole day meeting had a very packed agenda and we got through a lot of mahi.  Highlights from the meeting agenda include (some aren’t really highlights, but noteworthy all the same): 

  • The short turn around between the 2019 NZILA Tuia Pito Ora Conference in Ōtautahi, and our next planned conference in Tauranga in May 2020 was always going to be challenge.  With the Christmas break in between, we came back in the New Year and realised that there wasn’t sufficient time to organise a conference in Tauranga in May up to the standard that we have set ourselves over the last few years for our membership.  Therefore, we have decided to CANCEL the conference in Tauranga in May 2020.  We are planning on holding it in Tauranga in 2021.  The NZILA Tuia Pito Ora AGM and the President's Function will still be held on 7 May, now in Tāmaki Makaurau.  We will be in touch with the membership about a replacement CPD event for the conference for our members some time in 2020.
  • 2022 marks the 50th year of the NZILA Tuia Pito Ora.  We have started to plan for events for this important milestone in landscape architecture in Aotearoa. 
  • At the start of the Conference in Ōtautahi I followed the lead of IFLA and AILA and declared a Climate Change and Biodiversity disaster.  I explained that the declaration would come with immediate action from NZILA Tuia Pito Ora.  And it has.   After the conference we calculated the carbon that was consumed in the running of the event.  That figure came in at 59 tonnes (we calculated the direct carbon footprint of the conference event, including the venue, food, keynote speakers accommodation and travel and the event organisers.  We did not calculate the carbon footprint of the delegates that attended). We have applied the international cost of carbon ($25 per tonne) to the footprint of the Conference and made a donation of $1,475 to the Styx Living Laboratory Trust in Ōtautahi. The donation came out of the profit of the Conference and will be used for valuable carbon sequestration work in the location where we held the conference.  My challenge to all of those who attended the conference is to take responsibility for your own carbon footprint, by donating to a carbon sequestration project or by getting out and planting trees yourself.  I will have more information soon on the details of the declaration of the Climate Change and Biodiversity disaster and what we are intending to do in the future.  Look out for further details as we look to set up a working group. Please let me know if you would like to get involved. 
  • The authors of the Landscape Assessment Guidelines have been working productively with a small group from Te Tau-a-Nuku who have generously offered valuable indigenous knowledge to help to make the guidelines specific to our Aotearoa context. I am looking forward to seeing the next draft myself and to seeing it shared with the membership.  As always, thank you to Gavin Lister, Rachel de Lambert (the authors) and to the group from Te Tau-a-Nuku who have all given selflessly of your time and experience on this valuable project. 
  • The Governance Working Group met on 5 December last year.  The recommendations of the working group have been reviewed by the Executive Committee and we are starting to prepare for a roadshow around the Branches.  I will be visiting a Branch near you in the next few months to introduce the Governance Review work that is underway and to get your feedback on any proposed changes to how the Executive Committee and the NZILA Tuia Pito Ora will function in the future. 

As well as the highlights noted above, there were a number of other topics covered, including budget setting for 2020, graduate membership initiatives and our recent round of Registration interviews.   It was a very busy meeting.  Thanks for all of your hard work to our Executive Committee. 

As always, if you have anything you want to share with me, then please drop me a line,  

Mā te wā,