I grew up in the Central Plateau and not too far from Ohaaki Power Station and as a result, geothermal has always been there, but is something I knew very little about. I jumped at the opportunity to use my understanding and experience of working within the resource management framework in New Zealand to assist on a project that is trying to utilise geothermal resources that no one in the world currently uses.
I enjoy the diversity of topics that we get to work in as planners and the complex problems we help to solve. We work with a broad range of people from all different technical backgrounds and it's our job to consider all the technical input and to make recommendations on a way forward. We are known to be ‘specialist generalists’,meaning we know about a lot of things, and specialise in pulling all the different disciplines together and making sense of it, this project being a perfect example.
I was responsible for developing an internal policy guidance document for Beef + LambNZ for the key policy topics of relevance to their team, including on matters relating to climate change, retaining biodiversity, freshwater management and stock exclusion from waterways and winter grazing. The document provides guidance to Beef + Lamb NZ staff with a consistent basis for their position on the various topics for us in regional planning processes across New Zealand.
This project posed many challenges but perhaps the most significant one for me was the need to recognise of the views of the various B+LNZ staff, farmers, board members and other industry representatives who shared their views on the project. These views then contributed to the development of a robust policy approach that included practical solutions to the policy issues posed with the expectations of the wider community within a resource management framework.
Where are you? On the Tongariro Crossing, not working, but enjoying our amazing geothermal and volcanic landscapes.
Read more about Deborah's experience here.