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New Zealand

Opportunities for planners

Historically there has been a shortage of qualified and experienced planners in New Zealand - planners were on the official 'shortage' list for immigration but like most places during the recent global recession it became more difficult to find permanent work. 

Many chartered planners have moved to New Zealand and found work as their skills and experience have proven valuable. 

Advice from RTPI Members

Read the latest article from an RTPI Member who emigrated to New Zealand here

Some Members have provided the following advice:

  • Get a basic understanding of the planning process in NZ, particularly the Resource Management Act (RMA). The RMA is the comprehensive legislation directing the planning system. It will be crucial to show you know about it when job-hunting. See below for our suggestions on ways to do this.
  • If you are looking for work in Auckland (a good choice in terms of the job market), understand the recent planning context. Auckland Council was created in 2010 following the merging of 7 District Council and the Auckland Regional Council.  The Council has since  gone from seven District Plans and several Regional Plans to create a single Unitary Plan. A proposed Unitary Plan has been notified with some of the rules within the plan now taking effect.  Auckland Council's website now contains the District, Regional Plans and the proposed Unitary Plan.
  • Work status: employers may not be aware that planners are on the Long Term Skill Shortage list so it is important to make this clear in your applications. Once a job is offered it it easy to apply for a work visa and then the resident's visa.

Useful services and websites

Jobs in Planning lists current vacancies. Click on the "Browse Jobs" tab. On request, JiP sends out a weekly e-mail bulletin dedicated to communicating employment opportunities in professional planning disciplines: Town/Urban, Statutory, Regional, Transport, Social, Environmental, Economic. The service began in Australia, but now extends to New Zealand. There is no subscription cost for job-seekers as employers pay a moderate charge to advertise. The weekly bulletin is in the form of a plain text message without attachments listing employment opportunities according to location.

A New Zealand planner has set up a service to help match UK planners with NZ vacancies, with a website for Professionals Down Under. Read more

Local authority jobs are advertised on the dedicated website for Local Government Careers

RTPI Members recommend these web-sites for further information about NZ planning: Auckland Council as mentioned above, the Ministry for Environment, Quality Planning (a government site promoting best practice in development of plans under New Zealand's Resource Management Act (RMA) and including updates on recent changes), and the EDS Guide to the RMA.  


Implementing Sustainability: The New Zealand Experience by Caroline Miller, a book about the RMA in the RTPI Library series, is highly recommended. Read more.

Contact the New Zealand Planning Institute:
E-mail   Web-site