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A selection of our current and recent work. Contact us for more information on any of the planning, strategy and policy projects below.
Waikato District Council 2 - Hautapu int

Hamilton-Waikato Metropolitan Spatial Plan

GMD consultants were part of the core project team working on behalf of a multi-stakeholder partnership to develop the Hamilton-Waikato Metropolitan Spatial Plan, the first joint Crown-Iwi-Council spatial plan developed under the government’s Urban Growth Agenda. GMD provided both project management services and technical plan writing services as part of the core project team. The Metro Spatial Plan sets out a framework to respond to the current and future challenges of growth in the metro area and will shape urban development in the long term. For further information on this project please contact Megan Kettle at


Cultural Impact Assessment - Watercare Wastewater Discharge Consent

GMD Consultants has provided ongoing support to Te Taniwha o Waikato, in relation to the Watercare Wastewater Discharge at Parker Lane Stream. The CIA has resulted in significant improvements to the discharge quality, through the use of technology that is superior to any used in New Zealand. This multi-year project has seen a greater understanding of all parties' concerns and drivers, in particular, the values and uses that Te Taniwha o Waikato deem important when protecting the Waikato River. For further information on this project, contact Gavin Donald at

Hamilton City

Waikato Regional Land Transport Plan

GMD Consultants provided policy development support to Waikato Regional Council in the development of the Draft Waikato Regional Land Transport Plan 2021-2051. This Plan sets out how the region's transport system will be developed over the next 30 years, and puts forward a regional programme of transport activities seeking funding. GMD was involved in reviewing the strategic context for transport in the region, engaging with stakeholders and the Regional Transport Committee, and drafting the Plan for public consultation. For further information on this project contact Emily Auton at

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Waikato Regional Policy Statement Alignment with the National Planning Standards

GMD Consultants were engaged by Waikato Regional Council to review the Regional Policy Statement against the National Planning Standards. Specifically, GMD assessed the degree to which the RPS aligns with the directions under the Structure Standard. We identified areas that could be easily transferred into the new structure as well as provisions that require re-working. For further information on this project please contact Emily Auton on

Te Rapa

Te Rapa Wastewater Discharge Consent - Cultural Impact Assessment

GMD Consultants is currently providing support to Turangawaewae Marae, in relation to the Fonterra Wastewater Discharge Consent at Te Rapa. The Cultural Impact Assessment being developed focuses on the ability of the proposal to meet its statutory obligations but more importantly how the proposal affects the values and uses of Tūrangawaewae Marae members. For further information on this project, contact Gavin Donald at

Construction of the new highway, Hamilto

Land Use Development Assessments - Waka Kotahi | New Zealand Transport Agency

GMD Consultants provided resource consent advice to Waka Kotahi | New Zealand Transport Agency. Following reviews of proposed land use developments (LUDs), GMD planners assessed the applications against relevant planning documents such as the Resource Management Act, Government Roading Powers Act, district plans, and the Transport Agency’s Planning Policy Manual. Discussions were also required between the planner and network/safety engineers and where applicable, local government, to determine the best way forward for each proposal. We provided recommendations to best maintain the integrity of the state highway network. For further information please contact Tish Dixon at

Waikato River, Hamilton

Urban Growth Planning - Hamilton City Council

GMD Consultants supported Hamilton City Council in the development of growth scenarios for the 2018-28 Long Term Plan. This work included preparation of multiple growth scenarios, working with a multi-discipline team at Hamilton City Council, and preparing reports to Council. GMD continues to provide advice to Hamilton City Council on urban growth issues including urban growth planning and sub-regional growth planning. For further information please contact us at


Indigenous Biodiversity Management Guidance - Waikato Regional Council

GMD Consultants are working with Waikato Regional Council to develop guidance on how the indigenous biodiversity chapter of the Waikato Regional Policy Statement can be given effect to through district plans. The guidance will have a particular focus on the no net loss and offsetting directives in the Waikato Regional Policy Statement. A key part of developing the guidance is to engage with a variety of stakeholders and to review national direction and guidance. For further information please contact Gavin Donald at

Oroua River, Iron Gates Gorge ManawatuNZ

Service Delivery Review of Economic Development Activity - Palmerston North City and Manawatū District Councils

GMD Consultants were engaged by

Palmerston North City Council and Manawatū District Council to undertake a service delivery review under Section 17A of the Local Government Act, in relation to the economic development activities being delivered by the Central Economic Development Agency (CEDA). The purpose of the review was to determine whether the current arrangements for the governance, funding and delivery of the economic development activities were the most cost-effective when compared to a range of other options under S17A. The review included interviewing a range of internal and external stakeholders and conducting a high-level comparison to other practicable options for governance, funding and delivery of the services undertaken by CEDA. For further information on this project, contact the team at


Hopuhopu Special Purpose Zone - Waikato-Tainui

GMD Consultants were privileged to assist Waikato-Tainui with the review of the Waikato District Plan, including the rezoning of the Hopuhopu Special Purpose Zone. The Hopuhopu site is located to the north of Ngāruawāhia and is a former army base which returned to Waikato-Tainui in 1993. This site is home to the Waikato-Tainui Endowed College, along with residential, business, and sporting activities. Waikato-Tainui wish to continue to develop the site into a tribal hub. Through the Waikato District Plan process GMD assisted Waikato-Tainui to develop a Special Purpose Zone for Hopuhopu, reflecting the unique nature of the site. This will make the master-planning of the site a more streamlined process and enable Waikato-Tainui to achieve their aspirations for the site. For further information on this project please contact Gavin Donald at

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Vibrant Safe Waitomo Strategy and Action Plan

GMD Consultants were engaged by Waitomo District Council to support the development and implementation of a strategy and action plan on behalf of the Vibrant Safe Waitomo Regional Coalition. It is a community-led collaboration that provides leadership and direction, with everyone working in partnership to create a more connected and vibrant community for all. The development of these plans also involved incorporating feedback from the Coalition members, key stakeholders and service providers in the community to ensure the strategy and actions were meaningful and actionable for the Waitomo community. Since the strategy's adoption in 2019, GMD has led strategic planning workshops with the coalition to support the implementation and review of the strategy, cumulating in an impact report in 2021 and an upcoming strategy refresh in 2023. For further information please contact Emma Wright McHardie at

Hamilton Gardens - Waikato River

Department of Conservation - Conservation Management Planning

GMD Consultants provided support to the Department of Conservation in the development of a Conservation Management Strategy and Conservation Management Plan in the Bay of Plenty region. The purpose of conservation management planning is to establish objectives, policies and outcomes for the integrated management of natural and historic resources, including any species managed by the Department, and for recreation, tourism and other conservation purposes. GMD was involved in the drafting of the strategy and planning documents. For further information please contact Susan Henderson on

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Waikato Regional Council, Plan Change 1 - Healthy Rivers | Wai Ora

GMD Consultants supported Waikato Regional Council with the RMA Schedule 1 process. Specifically, GMD assisted with summarising and reviewing submissions and providing technical assistance with iwi consultation. For further information please contact Gavin Donald at

New Plymouth

Bylaw Development - New Plymouth and Stratford District Councils

GMD Consultants were engaged jointly by New Plymouth and Stratford District Councils to develop a bylaw for each council to address issues relating to health and hygiene concerns within the beauty therapy, body piercing and tattoo industries. A significant amount of engagement with local businesses, environmental health officers, and industry leaders occurred in the development of the bylaws. For further information please contact Emma Wright McHardie at


Policy Review - Thames-Coromandel District Council

GMD Consultants were engaged to undertake a review of Thames-Coromandel District Council's Class 4 Gambling and Board Venues policies. This involved research into literature-based, quantitative data sources and insights from Council staff regarding the social impact of gambling in Thames-Coromandel communities since the last review of the policies, and evaluating current policy effectiveness with regard to this information. The result of this review and recommendations were then prepared for presentation to elected members. For further information please contact Emma Wright McHardie on

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