Our latest on developments, innovations and methodologies in planning, design, landscape planning, sciences, cultural heritage. graphics and mapping.


The Business Case for Public Space: Valuing the Urban Realm Toolkit >

When it comes to justifying investment in public sector infrastructure, it’s relatively easy to measure and assign an economic benefit to factors such as improved journey times and increased safety. But how do you measure and monetise the economic benefits of the public realm?

1 November 2017

The far-reaching benefits of ‘co-design’ >

Collaborative ‘co-design’ helps clients, communities and other stakeholders to actively engage and forge constructive relationships – relationships that endure in the ongoing sense of empowerment, belonging and pride in the places created.

26 July 2017

Memorial garden begins journey to Passchendaele >

At a dawn ceremony, components of the New Zealand Memorial Garden were farewelled on their journey to the Passchendaele Museum in Zonnebeke, Belgium.

10 April 2017

What’s in a playground? >

Children are hard-wired to play. So why are designed play spaces needed?

22 December 2016

Beaumont Quarter medium-density housing revisited >

Ten years’ on, a medium-density mixed-use housing area in central Auckland is upheld as a good example of housing due to its architectural diversity and strong landscape design.

10 November 2016

Building enduring, functional neighbourhoods by involving the community >

Housing shortage is an urgent issue – yet, urgency should not over-ride community engagement for long-term, high quality design outcomes.

17 August 2016

Ecology Walking Tours with the Auckland Office >

Boffa Miskell’s staff have been holding internal walk and talk sessions to explore local urban environment ecology to understand New Zealand’s plants better.

31 March 2016

Boyden revisits Mt Victoria >

From 2007 – 2016, how has Mt. Victoria changed?

11 March 2016

Design enhances work life balance >

Business parks should be places where businesses want to be and where people want to work. But what happens after work? Will everyone leave or will people stay on to enjoy the area in other ways?

9 December 2015

Quality outcomes for expressway urban design  >

As construction of the M2PP expressway on the Kapiti Coast progresses towards its early-2017 completion, the project’s urban design components are being implemented – but not without challenges.

23 July 2015

Small town futures >

A precarious future, arising from a perfect storm of social and economic change, is confronting many small New Zealand towns. Should they be left to decline and die, or are these places worth fighting for?

18 May 2015

Public realm design adds value  >

How do we know economic benefit flows on from improving public urban spaces?

10 March 2015

Bold directions for inner city transport >

How are bold decisions made for future transport needs in already congested city centre streets? – By recognising the need for decisive action, creative thinking, stakeholder involvement and rigorous analysis.

7 July 2014

Christchurch rebuild: Transforming the residential red zone >

Clearing residential red zone areas unsuitable for rebuilding and providing for the retention of amenity and ecological values until decisions are made about the lands future.

10 June 2014

Design and art - creative synergy? >

Without doubt, artworks can enrich public places in myriad ways. Yet, context is everything, and one must ask, ‘How well integrated is the art with its setting? To what extent does it inspire people to respond to the unique quality of each place?”

25 March 2014

Being active in recreation >

Parks, reserves and recreational facilities are widely recognised for enabling people to be active, maintain good health and enjoy their leisure time. Yet, these places are under pressure to meet increasingly complex demands.

13 November 2013

Public benefit >

Boffa Miskell designed the clean-lined public plaza that fronts the ANZ Centre

22 October 2013

Working together >

Like many smaller local authorities, the Manawatu District Council runs an efficient ship - it has to, given the heat on local government to be both efficient and effective.

31 July 2013

American Study tour - medium-density housing >

Like us, pacific rim cities in America face seismic challenges, have ageing populations and have shortages of affordable housing, what can learn from them?

31 July 2013

New life for Te Puke >

Communities working towards a shared vision

3 April 2013

Palmerston North City Centre Framework >

Helping Palmerston North City Council develop a cohesive framework for its city centre.

3 April 2013

Creating resilient local communities >

Assisting the Christchurch City Council to prepare master plans under the Suburban Centres Programme.

3 April 2013

New village hub >

Helping to translate a community’s wishes into a tangible, though flexible, plan.

1 November 2012

Graphics & Mapping

New certification could lead to future drone imagery on projects >

Boffa Miskell is working towards becoming a certified Part 102 RPAS operator for drone piloting.

31 March 2016

AIMS Games on the map >

For the third year, our Tauranga office is supporting the New Zealand Community Trust’s AIMS Games International Sporting Championships by providing GIS services to upgrade the sports venue and venue location maps.

15 August 2014

Adding data adds value >

A request to make GIS river data more accessible for stakeholders led to a further field data tool being added, with considerable benefits.

10 June 2014

Census mapping delivered! >

8000 maps delivered on time to the Department of Statistics for the 2013 Census

3 April 2013


Meet the Boffa Miskell ecology team: Tessa Roberts

In her role at Boffa Miskell, Wellington-based ecologist Tessa Roberts blends a passion for the environment with keen analytical skills. She has been part of the on-going environmental assessment and monitoring teams on major infrastructure projects, including Transmission Gully and the MacKay’s to Peka Peka Expressway.

20 April 2018

Opinion: Dr Sharon de Luca on the value of mangroves

The values of mangroves in New Zealand are often misrepresented and misunderstood, and this has led, in some cases, to mismanagement and unanticipated adverse ecological outcomes. 

20 April 2018

Opinion: Ecologist Sarah Flynn on the question of non-native plants

Are we being too precious about native vs. exotic plantings?

27 March 2018

Stakeholders put words into action at Mangawhai >

Agreeing on a strategy for Fairy Tern recovery

5 April 2018

Opinion: do cats have a future in New Zealand? >

From Gareth Morgan’s call for more responsible cat ownership, to a recent news item that the Auckland Council plans to put down any stray cats that have not been micro-chipped, it’s been a tough year for felines. Much is made of the impacts that cats can have on our indigenous wildlife, and this has driven debate on where cats might fit into any strategy to reduce or eradicate predators from New Zealand.

18 January 2018

Is your project near fresh water? Here’s what you need to know >

Many of New Zealand’s plant and animal species are protected by various legislation, including the Resource Management Act 1991, Conservation Act 1987, Wildlife Act 1953, and Freshwater Fisheries Regulations 1983. What this means is that generally it’s illegal to destroy, harm, or kill many of New Zealand’s species and their habitat. This issue will focus on freshwater fishes and what you need to know when working in and near waterways. Following issues will tell you what you need to know about lizards, bats, and other indigenous fauna.

18 January 2018

Meet the Boffa Miskell ecology team: Georgia Cummings >

Since joining Boffa Miskell five years ago, ecologist Georgia Cummings has surveyed and monitored flora and fauna in forest, coastal, wetland and agricultural systems, and worked on projects as diverse as wind farms, wetland restoration, residential subdivisions, large infrastructure projects and urban parks.

18 January 2018

Electric fishing: rescuing precious taonga >

Electric fishing is a harmless technique used to survey freshwater fish populations. What exactly is involved?

3 March 2017

Special permits needed for aquatic work  >

Our aquatic environments are increasingly in the public gaze: people want to know whether or not water quality and aquatic life is being adequately protected.

26 September 2016

Ecology Walking Tours with the Auckland Office >

Boffa Miskell’s staff have been holding internal walk and talk sessions to explore local urban environment ecology to understand New Zealand’s plants better.

31 March 2016

Ecology en route in Wellington >

Our ecologists are assisting the NZ Transport Agency with the ecological assessments of two important transport projects in Wellington.

15 December 2015

Swale trial seeks better solutions >

What is the most effective method for establishing stormwater wetland vegetation?

24 August 2015

Manu the drone tackles biosecurity >

A new drone, used by Boffa Miskell and LINZ for biosecurity work and recently demonstrated in a virtual field trip, has been named 'Manu’ – the winning name in a nation-wide schools competition.

22 July 2015

Planning for Auckland’s streams >

How are changes to the classification and management of rivers and streams in the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan likely to affect landowners and developers?

14 April 2015

Search and Rescue >

When looking for a vulnerable wetland to protect, where does one start?

11 July 2014

Auckland view shafts through another lens >

When contentious landscape planning issues come up for debate, robust assessment methodology helps inform stakeholders and decision-makers alike.

10 June 2014

Ecological baseline informs the future >

Surveying macroinvertebrate and fish communities as well as the in-stream and riparian habitat conditions at sites destined for rehabilitation works in Christchurch.

10 June 2014

Riparian plant selection made easy >

Landowners in the Waikato and Waipa River catchments can now easily plan riparian planting along their waterways, using a new Boffa Miskell-designed plant selection tool.

1 August 2013

Wind farm knowledge expanded >

For the first time in New Zealand, the results of a long-term avian monitoring programme at an operating wind farm have been published: the results substantiating our ecologist’s predictions about how the working turbines would affect birdlife at the site.

3 April 2013

Is offsetting sustainable? >

How, under the RMA, to offset biodiversity values lost during source development projects?

3 April 2013

Moving fish out of harm's way >

Native fish mortality - is it an inevitable consequence of construction works in watercourses?

3 April 2013

Island ecology under care >

Just 210 metres offshore in the Taputeranga Marine Reserve on Wellington’s south coast, Tapu Te Ranga Island is a well-known natural and landscape feature with recognised conservation value.

1 November 2012

Long-term monitoring provides powerful data >

Data from a long-term native fish monitoring project in Waitakere, Auckland, illustrates the benefits of longterm monitoring and the limitations of one-off sampling.

1 November 2012

The secret lives of lizards >

For many years lizard populations have been destroyed without anyone realising that it’s been happening or understanding the consequences.

1 April 2008

Landscape planning

Art in the landscape >

We talk to one of our board members, John Goodwin, about what’s involved in helping to organise a popular sculpture trail on Waiheke Island.

6 March 2017

Coastal Natural Character Assessment methodologies >

Implementation of Policy 13 of the NZCPS 2010 in light of recent assessment techniques. Prepared for Department of Conservation Natural Character Workshop No. 3

11 December 2015

Landscape: Debunking the 'absolute' protection myth >

Exploring the implications relating to the identification and management of outstanding natural features and landscapes

23 June 2015

Natural character assessments >

Developing Natural Character Assessment methodologies

1 May 2012


Special Housing Areas on fast track >

With the first Special Housing Areas in the Bay of Plenty approved, Boffa Miskell is assisting several landowners and developers through the consenting process, to enable construction as soon as possible.

16 April 2015

Independent Commissioners >

Sharon De Luca, Leigh Bull and Craig Pauling have completed their ‘Making Good Decisions’ training, adding them to the group of Boffa Miskell people qualified to be appointed as independent RMA hearings commissioners.

2 March 2015

A Chatham Islander’s solution >

When asked to carry out a feasibility study for developing a learning centre and housing on the Chatham Islands, Boffa Miskell and Design Tribe Architects knew that creative thinking would be required.

25 March 2014

Careful planning for retail development >

How would Rotorua’s central business district be affected if trade activities were developed nearby?

1 August 2013

Wind farm approved >

Permission is granted for Meridian Energy to build and run Hurunui Wind in North Canterbury.

1 August 2013

Complex projects - the planner's role >

Our planners are frequently involved in large projects that require multi-disciplinary input and the resolution of complex environmental planning issues. The recent NZ King Salmon Board of Inquiry case was one such instance, as Sarah Dawson explains.

3 April 2013

Cultural heritage

Seeing the cultural landscape >

When Auckland Transport consulted iwi at the outset of planning its proposed $40 million Dominion Road upgrade, a collaborative design process evolved that saw the area’s rich cultural heritage woven into the project design.

25 March 2014

Reflecting the rohe: Ra-paki Marae >

Long ago, Ngāi Tahu Chief Te Rakiwhakaputa claimed the settlement at Rāpaki for himself by laying his rāpaki (waist mat) on the shores of the bay. Since then the small Ngāi Tahu settlement, also known as Rāpaki o Te Rakiwhakaputa, has been home to his descendants, ngā uri o Te Hapū o Ngāti Wheke.

1 November 2012