It’s been a busy time for Boffa Miskell, as the company’s presence on the South Island has expanded into Otago, and the Christchurch office has moved to new premises in the city centre.
Chief Executive Kerry Gupwell says there were practical and value-driven reasons behind these moves.
“Among the values that we espouse as a company are Nga Tuhono and Whanau – partnerships and family. It’s about doing what’s right for our staff and our clients; and growing relationships within the communities we serve. Opening an office in Dunedin, expanding our presence in Queenstown, and moving our Christchurch office into the heart of the city are simply ways of expressing our commitment to those values.”
At around 50 strong, the Christchurch office is the company’s second-largest, and plays an on-going role in the rebuild of its city. It’s also home to most of the company’s biosecurity consultants.
After operating from two locations in the immediate aftermath of the earthquakes, the office consolidated a few years ago into a space in Addington. Last month they moved to Cambridge Terrace on the banks of the Avon River, not far from the pre-earthquake office location and adjacent to many of the city centre projects Boffa Miskell has played a role in bringing to fruition.
Planner Ken Gimblett, managing partner of the office says, “The move back to the city centre – alongside the Avon River and within sight of various recovery and regeneration ‘anchor projects’ our team are involved with– wasn’t only about the practical aspect of needing more space. It was about ‘walking our talk’ and truly demonstrating the pride and commitment our Christchurch staff feel toward the city they call home, and those parts of the city that we’ve helped re-build.”
The new office is an open-plan, agile workspace; which Ken says better accommodates the company’s multi-disciplinary approach and promotes greater interaction between teams of consultants.
The decision to expand Boffa Miskell’s presence in Otago comes after years of working on landscape, planning and ecology projects in the region.
The Dunedin office is in the historic NMA Building, in the city’s Warehouse District. Senior landscape architect Mark Brown says he’s looking forward to fully immersing himself in the growth and re-invention of the city.
“We have been involved in Dunedin-based projects for a few years, and in particular a range of Council-driven city regeneration projects led by senior urban designer Rachael Eaton. This past year, it became clear that to achieve the standard that we set for ourselves as a company, we need to be here in Dunedin full-time.”
Rachael and Mark are joined by planner Tim Vial and landscape architect Emma Taylor – both of whom have lived and worked in Dunedin for several years.
Planner and associate partner Chris Ferguson has long been Boffa Miskell’s ‘man on the ground’ in Queenstown, drawing on the expertise of design and ecology consultants in the Christchurch office as needed; but again, the rapid growth of the region informed the decision to establish a greater presence and hire full-time local consultants.
“Queenstown is growing exponentially, and it’s at a critical point in its development. Boffa Miskell has a long history in the area, but we now need to have a full complement of disciplines – planning, design and ecology – right here, to meet the needs of our clients.”
Chris is joined by fellow planner Ralph Henderson and landscape architects Megan Ash and Mathilde Menard. All three have deep professional and personal roots in the Queenstown area.
“Looking at the year-to-year increase of project work coming from that part of the country, it’s clear that Otago is growing,” says Kerry. “So, from a practical point of view, it’s the right decision to have our people there, full-time. But it’s also about becoming part of the community – truly understanding the place we’re in, growing those local relationships with the clients and project partners we work alongside.”
16 August 2018