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


Two consultants join Urban Design Forum leadership

The Urban Design Forum promotes cross-disciplinary understanding of urban design and provides a forum for discussion of design-based approaches that are relevant to the development and management of New Zealand towns and cities.

9 October 2018

Changing our city streets: reframing the debate

In print and on-line, the discussion around changes to our city and suburban streets continues. Landscape architect John Potter considers the situation from a design- and people-based perspective.

13 August 2018

Boffa Miskell delivers with BIM

Embracing innovative technologies is nothing new for Boffa Miskell – and the company initiative to advance its design team’s capability in Building Information Modelling (BIM) is moving at a rapid pace.

10 August 2018

A Landscape Architect’s Approach to Waterplay

Sarah Collins presented "A Landscape Architect's Approach to Waterplay" at the 2018 Green Pavlova Conference. The event showcases thought leadership and best-practice in recreation, sport and play.

2 August 2018

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

What’s in a playground?

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

22 December 2016

How can we provide for population growth whilst improving water quality?

Water quality in rural areas is currently a hot topic but, as urban populations grow, will the spotlight soon turn to the problem of maintaining urban water quality?

11 November 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

Te Ara Mua Future Streets

Studying the effects of new cycleways on health in Māngere

9 August 2016

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

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

Field work goes digital

Real time access, recording and updating of digital data including spatial (GIS) data while working remotely in the field.

1 August 2013

Census mapping delivered!

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

3 April 2013


Opinion: The Annual Whitebait Run

Every year, sometime between August to November, various articles are published about the state of our whitebait fishery. These usually begin with a reference to the “good old days” when whitebait were so plentiful that they were used as fertiliser in gardens and chicken feed.

30 October 2018

Meet the Boffa Miskell ecology team: Dr Sharon De Luca

When Sharon De Luca started university, she expected she’d end up with a degree in law or accounting. She clearly had some inkling of her future, because although she discovered a passion for marine science that changed her career path, you’re now as likely to find Sharon in a courtroom as out in the field.

30 October 2018

What you need to know about the 2018 EIANZ Guidelines

In May of this year, the Environmental Institute of Australia and New Zealand (EIANZ) issued the second edition of their guidelines for ecological impact assessment.

30 October 2018

Meet the Boffa Miskell ecology team: Scott Hooson

In his role at Boffa Miskell, Scott Hooson's natural habitat spans the South Island wetlands, estuaries, lakes, streams, grasslands, shrublands and forests from coastal sites to the alpine zone.

2 August 2018

Is your project near bat habitat? Here’s what you need to know

New Zealand has two species of native bat, both of which are of conservation concern. The long-tailed bat is classified as ‘Nationally Critical’ and the lesser short-tailed bat has three sub-species, all classified as ‘At Risk’ or ‘Threatened’.

2 August 2018

Lagarosiphon: the journey from home aquariums to our lakes and waterways

Lagarosiphon major may not be a name you know, but once you have seen a photo you’ll probably recognise it as the oxygen weed that you had in your fish pond or aquarium when you were a kid.

2 August 2018

Revised threatened plant classification – what does it mean for you?

Last month, the Department of Conservation re-classified a number of New Zealand plants as 'threatened' (402) or 'at-risk' (851). Ecologist Ian Boothroyd, a senior principal and technical leader in our Auckland Office, examines how this change might affect Councils and developers.

9 July 2018

Strategies and success against invasive aquatic plants

The words 'predator-free' and 'pest-control' usually bring to mind animals like possums and rodents; but for New Zealand lakes and rivers, biosecurity threats are more likely to involve weeds and plants.

4 May 2018

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

Does your project involve native lizards? Here’s what you need to know.

New Zealand's native lizards are all protected under various legislation. If your project site is near their habitat, you'll need to follow the required protocols.

20 April 2018

Landscape planning

Waikato District Landscape Study

Boffa Miskell was engaged by Waikato District Council to undertake a review of the existing landscape characterisation and classifications, and to re-evaluate the landscapes for the Council’s District Plan Review.

5 September 2018

Consultation is the key: the Hurunui District Plan

When the Hurunui District Plan became operative, there was a greater-than-usual level of satisfaction at the District Council Offices in Amberley because the plan had been approved with no appeals received from the public.

6 August 2018

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


Small Town Forums: sharing ideas and finding solutions

Bringing local government officials together, starting conversations and helping regional communities find new vitality

13 November 2018

Opinion: Planner Sharon Dines on the new Freshwater policies

On 9 October, the government announced the next steps to improve New Zealand’s waterways. The proposed changes are seeking to deliver visible improvements in water quality within five years and longer term improvements within a generation.

11 October 2018

Improving Freshwater Quality: what do the new policies mean for you?

The government has announced the next steps to improve New Zealand’s waterways, seeking to deliver better water quality within five years.

9 October 2018

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. What was the nature and outcome of the NZ King Salmon application? NZ King Salmon wished to establish …

3 April 2013

Cultural heritage

Rangitahi Kawe & Te Pio Kawe: two generations

The dictionary defines a generation as "the period during which children are born and grow up, become adults". In kinship terminology, it designates the parent-child relationship; and as a verb, ‘generation’ is also known as bio-genesis: “life-beginning”.

10 December 2018

Opinion: Can cultural attributes help guide us as we restore degraded waterways back to health?

Norm Hill, Kaiarataki in Boffa Miskell's Te Hihiri discipline discusses the intersection between indigenous beliefs and colonial regulations on New Zealand’s environment. Incorporating Maori cultural values to legislative frameworks highlights mana whenua’s spiritual connection with, and stewardship of, New Zealand’s freshwater rivers, lakes and wetlands.

16 October 2018

Our business cards: what does the whakataukī mean?

You've probably seen our new business cards, which include a whakataukī (or proverb) on the back. Craig Pauling, Kaiarataki - Te Hihiri, explains the origin and meaning.

31 August 2018

Cultural Impact Assessments – insights and observations

Cultural impact assessments provide opportunities for resource management practitioners and Māori to work together to develop confidence in understanding Māori perspectives and articulating values in order to drive solutions and decisions to meet our aspirations into the future. 

10 April 2018

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