Susan Henderson
Principal Consultant
susan@gmdconsultants.co.nz
027 594 4161
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Susan is a Principal Consultant with GMD Consultants. Susan joined GMD Consultants after a long period working in the public sector, in New Zealand and the United Kingdom, with particular focus on policy development and implementation.

Susan began her career as a consents planner in local government in New Zealand, processing a wide range of land use and subdivision consents, as well as being involved in monitoring and enforcement activities. Susan worked for five years for urban councils in the UK, with involvement in planning and policy development, including authoring two Supplementary Planning Guidance documents for Sutton Council.

Immediately prior to joining GMD Consultants, Susan spent over 10 years working in the City Planning and Economic Growth and Planning units at Hamilton City Council as a senior and then principal planner. In her role she was responsible for a wide range of projects under the Resource Management Act and the Local Government Act including drafting district plan provisions, writing s42a reports, managing designation and notice of requirement processes, undertaking consultation and notification processes under Schedule 1 and writing section 32 reports.

Susan has significant experience in policy and strategy development. Susan co-ordinated and was a co-author of the original Future Proof Growth Strategy and Implementation Plan 2009 (a growth strategy for the Hamilton, Waikato and Waipā areas). Susan was the HCC representative for the Upper North Island Strategic Alliance (a collaboration between upper North Island regional and metropolitan councils) and was the Secretariat for that project, providing advice to the Chief Executives, Mayors and Chairs. Susan also helped to develop and write the Waikato Plan (a spatial plan for the Waikato region) as part of the core project team.  Recently, Susan was part of the core project team helping to write the Hamilton-Waikato Metropolitan Spatial Plan, the first joint Crown-Iwi-Council spatial plan.

Susan has experience with public consultation processes both under the Resource Management Act and the Local Government Act. Susan also has considerable experience in preparing submissions to statutory processes such as district plan reviews, resource consent applications, designations, plan changes, council Long Term Plans and central government documents. More recently, Susan was involved in developing the growth inputs into the Hamilton City Council’s Long Term Plan.

Other recent experience includes helping to draft the Bay of Plenty Conservation Management Plan for the Department of Conservation, assisting Waikato Regional Council with the Healthy Rivers Plan Change (Plan Change 1 to the Waikato Regional Plan), contributing towards the Outstanding Water Bodies work under the NPS-FM for Waikato Regional Council, and undertaking a section 17a review of economic development activities under the Local Government Act for councils in the Manawatū.  Susan also assists with providing advice to iwi in policy development settings.  Susan is currently assisting with drafting an update to the Future Proof strategy in order to address the requirements of the National Policy Statement on Urban Development.

Susan recently graduated with a Certificate in Te Ara Reo Māori (Level 1 and 2) at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa.

Susan is a full member of the New Zealand Planning Institute.