University of Otago Master of Planning

Planning Careers

Otago's first class reputationResearch Areas

Since its inception Otago Planning graduates have established an excellent reputation with employers in New Zealand and overseas.

Otago graduates are employed by many planning and policy related agencies in the public and private sectors, including district and regional councils and central government departments.

We frequently have employers and practising planners visiting the department and we have a range of initiatives in place throughout the two-year programme to assist you in securing full time planning employment once you have competed.


Recent MPlan Graduate Employers
  • Christchurch EarthQuake Recovery Authority
  • Ministry for the Environment
  • Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment
  • Department of Conservation
  • Treasury
  • Department of Internal Affairs
  • Dunedin City Council
  • Otago Regional Council
  • Queenstown Lakes District Council
  • Central Otago District Council
  • Clutha District Council
  • Environment Southland
  • Waitaki District Council
  • Timaru District Council
  • Environment Canterbury
  • Wellington City Council
  • Rangitikei District Council
  • Kaipara District Council
  • Taranaki Regional Council
  • Auckland Council
  • Kai Tahu Ki Otago (KTKO Ltd)
  • Fish and Game, NZ
  • Transpower New Zealand
  • New Zealand Transport Agency
  • Boffa Mikell Ltd
  • GHD Consultants NZ
  • Jacobs Consultants
  • BECA Ltd
  • Tattico Consultants Ltd
  • Mitchell Partnerships
  • UK & Australia, various consultancies and councils.

Upon completion of the Programme MPlan graduates have a range of transferable skills that can be applied across all government sector and private consultancy roles, including:

  • a balanced appreciation of the significance and role of planning;
  • an understanding of the provisions of the Resource Management Act and its implementation; 
  • an understanding of planning and environmental law;
  • problem identification, identification of a range of policy options, evaluation and analysis of policy options, policy development and implementation skills;
  • an ability to interact with people from different academic, professional and cultural backgrounds;
  • an appreciation of equity, ethnic, gender and indigenous peoples issues in planning;
  • communication;
  • the ability to link theory with practice;
  • project management, time management and organisational skills;
  • problem solving skills;
  • strong written and verbal communication skills;
  • group work and leadership skills;
  • public participation techniques;
  • appreciation of environmental mediation procedures and facilitation techniques.