A selection of our current and recent work. Contact us for more information on any of the planning, strategy and policy projects below.

Hamilton-Waikato Metropolitan Spatial Plan

GMD consultants was 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 Susan Henderson on or Megan Kettle on

Watercare Wastewater Discharge Consent - Cultural Impact Assessment

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 multiyear project has seen 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 on

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 which require re-working. For further information on this project please contact Emily Auton on

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

Long Term Plan preparation for Waikato Regional Council

As part of Waikato Regional Council's preparation for the 2021-31 Long Term Plan, GMD Consultants conducted a review of WRC's Signficance and Engagement Policy, including providing recommendations for improvements in the SEP's implementation. GMD also conducted a review of the key regional forecasting assumptions for the LTP, and drafted the new set of assumptions to be considered and used throughout LTP development. For further information please contact Emma Wright McHardie on or Mary Rinaldi on

Construction of the new highway, Hamilto

New Zealand Transport Agency, Land Use Development assessments

GMD Consultants provide ongoing resource consent advice to the New Zealand Transport Agency. Following a review of a proposed land use development, GMD planners assess the application 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 are also required between the planner and network/safety engineers and where applicable, local government, to determine the best way forward for each proposal. We then provide recommendations that best maintain the integrity of the state highway network. For further information please contact Lily Conradie on

Thames-Coromandel District Council Policy Review

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

Urban Growth Planning

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 Susan Henderson on

Waitomo District Council Corporate Planning

GMD Consultants have provided extensive support to Waitomo District Council with their Corporate Planning function, as well as providing assistance in other policy planning tasks as required, after previously supporting the Council in the development of their 2018-28 Long Term Plan.

This work included project planning, management and administration, strategy and policy review, preparation of documentation for council workshops, development of standard operating procedures for performance measure reporting, peer review of Asset and Activity Management documentation, liaison with Auditors, and the provision of templates and guidance to key staff. 

For further information please contact Emma Wright McHardie on or Mary Rinaldi on

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 Susan Henderson on or Mary Rinaldi on

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 on

Vibrant Safe Waitomo Strategy and Action Plan

GMD Consultants were engaged by Waitomo District Council to develop a strategy and action plan on behalf of the Vibrant Safe Waitomo Regional Coalition. The Vibrant Safe Waitomo initiative is an accredited Safe Communities scheme. It is a community-led collaboration that provides leadership and direction, with everyone working in partnership to create a safer and more vibrant community for all.  The work on the strategy and action plan involved building on the comprehensive research done by the VSW Regional Coalition for their Safe Communities accreditation application, and turning their identified priorities into a strategic way forward. 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. The strategy and action plan were adopted by the Regional Coalition in December 2019. For further information please contact Emma Wright McHardie on or Mary Rinaldi on

An Ecosystem Services Approach to Policy Development for Waikato Regional Council

GMD Consultants have prepared a report for Waikato Regional Council setting out how ecosystem services can form a key part of the policy development and decision making process. The process aims to add richness to the information that decision makers have to consider, and reflect the mutliple benefits (social, economic and cultural) that communities derive from our natural capital. For further information please contact Gavin Donald on

Waikato River

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 on

New Plymouth and Stratford District Councils Bylaw Development

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

Indigenous Biodiversity Management Guidance

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 on

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 effects the values and uses of Tūrangawaewae Marae members. For further information on this project, contact Gavin Donald on

Ngāruawāhia Community Facilities Project

GMD Consultants project managed the development and engagement process in relation to a proposed Ngāruawāhia Community Facility. This process entailed a significant engagement process with inputs from both the community board and the community in general. An option was developed to re-purpose the old Waipa Delta Public House and town library to include a new library, open spaces, arts room and facilities that could be utilised by groups like Plunket. The designs for this multi-purpose community space recognised the town’s relationship with the Waikato River and Māori heritage. The facility remains at design stage with Waikato District Council and the Ngāruawāhia Community Board.  For further information on this project, contact Gavin Donald on