Our people on the move: from Wellington to the Waikato

Landscape architects Helen and Frazer Baggaley have joined the growing team in Boffa Miskell's Hamilton office.

During their seven years in Wellington, Helen and Frazer Baggaley worked (together and separately) on projects as varied as a wildlife centre, a major expressway, urban infrastructure and town centre upgrades. Along the way they earned a reputation as passionate advocates for innovative and robust design outcomes, whatever the scale or location of the project.

Although their day-to-day workplace has moved over 500 kilometres, Frazer says it’s been business-as-usual.

“The move has been fairly seamless. Helen and I were already (virtually) working on projects alongside people from other offices. As COVID-19 has shown, working remotely is not a barrier to collaboration.”

“The ‘one company’ approach of Boffa Miskell is based on sharing knowledge and resources across offices,” Helen says. “We adapt really quickly to working across regions and are always excited and intrigued by the change in context and new set of challenges; and the ability to work with a diverse range of people, with a wide variety of skills and knowledge.”

Since joining the company in 2013, Helen and Frazer have collaborated with clients, project partners, technical experts and communities in places like Wellington, Kapiti Coast, Nelson and Masterton to bring a social perspective to design outcomes in strategies and streetscapes.

Managing principal Dave Moule says that with a fast-growing city like Hamilton, the wider Waikato region is poised for change; and revitalising small town centres will become increasingly important.

“Boffa Miskell is well-placed to assist local authorities and private clients in ensuring that as growth continues in the Waikato Region we can still achieve sustainable and community focused development outcomes.

“Helen and Frazer’s experience in assisting Councils throughout the North Island with design-led public space improvement, streetscape enhancement, and town centre revitalisation initiatives, strengthens our local service offering in the Hamilton Office.”

These skills are underpinned by a breadth of New Zealand and international experience. Frazer and Helen’s knowledge runs to both strategic-scale thinking about towns and their spatial configuration, right through to the necessary technical details that sit within a design and make it implementable on the ground.

Frazer has worked with large-scale infrastructure projects as well as town centre strategy and revitalisation; and Helen has great experience in streetscape and public realm design, particularly in working closely with communities and elected members.

“Our town centres need to be positive social places where people spend time and take part in public life,” says Helen. “Conceptually, we see the centre as being a lot like your ‘town lounge’ — a place where you know that you will bump into a friend, and a place that is authentically reflective of its people.”

“It should be somewhere you will experience new things, you know that fun events happen there; and it is a welcoming, comfortable and safe place for everyone.”

Helen and Frazer complement the Hamilton team’s capabilities in the infrastructure and housing development space, and their track record with the public sector in particular strengthens Boffa Miskell’s ability to service local government clients in the Waikato.

Additionally, both Helen and Frazer have  technical leadership roles within the wider Landscape Architecture discipline and will be working closely with Jo Soanes in her team manager role to support the internal professional development of the Hamilton team.

23 June 2020