University of Otago Master of Planning

Planning Staff Members


Associate Professor Michelle Thompson-Fawcett (Ngati Whatua) - Head of Department

Head of Department

Planning Coordinator

Department of Geography


Research Interests: Innovations in the management of urban form, including developments in sustainable settlements, urban growth management, and inner city revitalisation; the interface between iwi and planning authority resource management processes and strategies;the links between place making/marketing, environmental enhancement and strategies to address regional development imbalances.

Background:DPhil(Oxon); MPlan(Hons)(Auck); BTP (Auck); MNZPl. Ten years planning experience related to urban, rural, conservation, transportation, and iwi issues at the regional and district levels in New Zealand; six years teaching and research experience in resource management and geography in Great Britain and Canada.




Professor Claire Freeman ClaireFreeman

Department of Geography

Research Interests: environmental planning, planning for the natural environment; GIS and land use planning; community and open space planning; children & young people

Background: PhD (Leeds Metropolitan University), Dip TP & Dip Env Management (UCE), MA (Univ Wits), Senior lecturer Leeds Met Univ 1991-1997, MNZPI, Senior lecturer in Planning at Massey University 1997-1998; also worked as Planning Co-ordinator at the West Midlands Urban Wildlife Trust UK, & at Department of Geography at the Univ of the North West South Africa




Ceri WarnockAssociate Professor Ceri Warnock

Faculty of Law (PLAN 515)

LLB (Hons)(Wales), LLM (Auck)

Ceri teaches resource management law.  Her primary research interests include environmental, international environmental law and energy law.  She reports cases for the NZRMA and is a member of the Resource Management Law Association.




Planning Hui

Mr Edward Ellison and Dr Jim Williams make a significant contribution to the students' learning through the annual Planning Hui.

Mr Edward EllisonEdward Ellison

Background: Kaumatua of Te Runanga o Otakou; farmed ancestral lands at Otakou for 30 years. Has been involved in resource management in a variety of capacities, including serving on the Otago Conservation Board, working as Manager Iwi Liaison for the Otago Regional Council, and representing Te Runanga o Otakou in planning matters throughout Otago. He is a past Deputy Kaiwhakahaere of Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu, the tribal council, and serves on the NZ Conservation Authority.



Jim WilliamsDr Jim Williams

BA(Hons)(Well), MA, PhD(Otago)
Lecturer, Te Tumu, University of Otago
(Ngai Tahu)

Dr Williams' research interests include Ngai Tahu history and language and resource management including mahika kai, as well as comparisons with other Indigenous peoples.