News, Events and Culture

Planning students offer hope for people and planet

Tuesday May 16 2017

Developing affordable housing and finding solutions for conservation and hazard planning are among the special interests of four top students from Massey University’s Bachelor of Resource and Environmental Planning programme, recently awarded prizes by Palmerston North City Council.

Photo shows this year's planning prizewinners with their award certificates.

Deputy Mayor Tangi Utikere, students Hannah van Haren-Giles, Kim Wölper, Kendyll Harper and Kerry Wynne, PNCC City Planning Manager David Murphy and Associate Professor Imran Muhammad, Planning Programme Coordinator in Massey’s School of People, Environment and Planning.

A ceremony to present the awards at the Palmerston North Conference and Function Centre during graduation week marked 28 years of collaboration between Council and the university’s planning programme.

Named after significant figures in Palmerston North’s planning history, the $1,000 prizes are awarded to students with the highest overall achievement in each year of the degree. Prizes were presented by Deputy Mayor Tangi Utikere, who said the awards reinforce the value Council places on its relationship with Massey University.

“We, along with other local authorities, are very fortunate in being on the receiving end of the high calibre of graduates who are not only prepared but are also well-equipped to meet the technological, social, economic and environmental planning challenges of a changing world,” he said.

Kerry Wynne, recipient of the Bernard J Forde Planning Prize (fourth year) said she has always had an interest in the different ways people shape, and are shaped by, the world around them so studying planning was a natural choice. Now graduated, she recently started a new job as a Resource Consents Planner at Hutt City Council.

Kendyll Harper, recipient of the JT Stewart Planning Prize (third year) began her degree with a strong interest in agriculture and its impacts on the environment. Her focus has since turned to urban design and planning.

Hannah van Haren-Giles is the recipient of the Ken Nairn Planning Prize (second year). Her long-term goal is to design affordable, durable, and sustainable housing developments which meet the needs of a growing New Zealand population.

Kim Wölper, recipient of the David Spring Planning Prize (first year) was attracted to the interdisciplinary degree because it allows her to collaborate with people to solve environmental problems and to build well-connected, safe communities.