Urban Futures New Zealand

Shaping the sustainable and accessible towns and cities of the future


Rachel Devine

Partner - Environment


Rachel Devine leads the Environment Team at Minter Ellison Rudd Watts and is recognised in international directories as one of NZ’s foremost expert environmental lawyers. Her 20 years of experience in environmental law includes advisory work for the government, including assisting the Minister of Housing in the creation of the Housing Accord and Special Housing Area legislation and the Ministry for the Environment on the current rewrite of NZ’s resource management legislation. She advises a wide range of clients on changing planning requirements (including the special Auckland and Christchurch processes) and assists developers to convert land for intensive housing, e.g. the old brickworks in New Lynn.

Thomas Simonson

Principal Regulatory Advisor

Local Government New Zealand

Thomas has worked for Local Government New Zealand for nearly five years as a Principal Regulatory Advisor. He has managed policy and advocacy issues in the area of local government funding and financing, housing, climate change, economic development and roading and transport. Thomas is originally from Seattle and spent his early career in large scale urban planning developments. After more than a decade of working for land development companies (coordinating with dozens of councils in Northern California) he relocated to the east coast for five years to consult to the US Federal Government on infrastructure and construction projects with the Washington DC Army National Guard, the US Department of the Interior and with the Department of Defense. Thomas holds a Master of Arts in City and Regional Planning from California Polytechnic University – San Luis Obispo as well as a Master of Science in Housing from the London School of Economics.
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