Flying colours for Beca at NZPI ‘Over the Rainbow’ awards

The New Zealand Planning Institute (NZPI) 'Over the Rainbow' Conference gala awards took place in Dunedin on Friday night. Beca came away with two Best Practice Awards for our work on the YMCA Camp Adair Wastewater Management Strategy, and for the Waterview playground as part of the Well Connected Alliance. Ying Liu, Planner in our Auckland Environments team was also elected as the National Young Planners' representative role for NZPI.

NZPI Best Practice Awards recognise members of NZPI, who have shown outstanding creativity, innovation, and service.

The YMCA Camp Adair Wastewater Management Strategy won NZPI's Best Practice Award for Integrated Planning and Investigations. Camp Adair is located in the foothills of the Hunua Ranges and is well away from the reticulated wastewater network and therefore wastewater has been managed by an on-site wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). With existing council consents expiring, alternatives were needed to manage discharges from the WWTP. Beca was engaged to provide a solution to gain a long-term consent to manage wastewater.

Raymond Chang, Beca Associate Environmental Science, says, "In order to best address the scope we developed an integrated, multidisciplinary team of planners, scientists, engineers and operations staff to identify the best practicable option." The project team included Beca, Boffa Miskell and the Institute of Environmental Science and Research, who undertook an 18 month programme of intensive environmental and plant performance monitoring, coupled with assessments to review the effects of discharge on the aquatic ecology and on public health. The camp now has flexibility of conditions of consent for a two year period, but will ultimately lead to a twenty year consent that enables discharges to continue into the Wairoa River.

The Waterview playground was awarded NZPI's Best Practice Award for Consultation and Participation Strategies and Processes for the community engagement and design process. Beca, as part of the Well-Connected Alliance, alongside Auckland Council and the Albert-Eden Local Board won the award by working together to deliver a facility that represented much than just a playground, but a play space that reflected the spirit of the community. As part of the Alliance, Beca led the planning, consultation and engagement, civil design and construction compliance for the playground.

Upon accepting the award, Lesley Hopkins, Auckland Environments Planner, made special mention to all the individuals involved in the design and delivery of the playground and other community facilities on the Waterview Connection Project. "The collaborative design process has actively engaged the community and meant that the playground has delivered more than just social mitigation for the motorway, but also a play space that reflects the spirit of the Waterview community." The playground was opened to the public in December 2015.

The evening was topped off when Ying Liu, from Auckland Environments team, was elected by her peers to be the new NZPI National Young Planners' representative. This role has a two year term and builds on Ying's last four years as a member of the Auckland Young Planners committee and two years as its Chairperson. Her role as the National Young Planners' representative will include sitting on the Planning Advisory Committee and being the mouthpiece for the young planners at an NZPI National level, as well as the implementation of the NZPI Young Planners Strategic Plan 2015-2018.