The ethos is still alive and well, and is nurtured in the hearts of New Zealand's planning profession. They've been emboldened by how the Resource Management Act and the Local Government Act have given them broad powers while tying up the rest of us, so excited and emboldened in fact that they've just finished a conference called 'Pushing the Boundaries' about which they say:
This conference is about ‘pushing the boundaries’. The role and scope of planning in New Zealand is expanding. We can now be concerned with assisting communities to plan for a better society, not just a better environment, using mechanisms such as the Local Government Act (LGA), strategic and social planning economic development planning and other statutory and non statutory processes to give effect to community values.Does anyone really want the role of planners expanding? As one observer says: "The Local Government Act has released the planners from their chains and they are now able to plan every aspect of our lives."
We need to take these new opportunities by the scruff of the neck and look at what planning is, what it can be, and how it can provide New Zealand with the best possible future for its diverse people. The conference is about improving and moving past established resource management practices – looking at how we can further push the boundaries, both within and outside the RMA.
I'd like to say about the LGA and the RMA 'I told you so,' and I can, here and here. Perhaps you'd like to tell the Planning Institute what you think of their members 'pushing the boundaries.' Email the Executive Director here, email@example.com, and tell him.