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Council will get fresh new ideas from planning students

Planning students

Waikato District Council is proving itself to be a learning organisation after introducing a number of Resource Management Policy Planner casual, fixed-term jobs aimed at students.

Stephanie Andrews-Paul, Ryan Crawford, Layla Gruebner and Helen Peat started with Council earlier this month and will be working with us for a couple of months summarising submissions from those who had their say on Stage 2 of the Proposed Waikato District Plan  (proposed new land use rules and maps for natural hazards).

All four students are in their final year of a Bachelor of Environmental Planning and say being able to work at council appealed because it gave them real life experience.

“I have already learned so much from this experience. It has been really beneficial to have professional planning experience while I am completing my studies,” Stephanie said.

Layla said Council was a good place to start as a graduate planner to learn the ropes. “It is also a good opportunity to learn about the resource consent process which I think is a key foundation of planning, and having a deep understanding of this process is essential for a planner.”

Waikato District Council appealed to Ryan because of the fantastic and supportive team that work there and the “warm friendly working environment”.

The students aren’t the only ones to benefit from this experience. Council will get fresh new ideas from the newest generation to the workforce and access to the most up-to-date teaching coming out of the tertiary world.

All four students are fitting right in with the post-COVID world adapting to an innovative flexible working environment. All four have been set up to work remotely and have been empowered to fit their work around their studies. This flexible working is becoming the norm at council and is something to be celebrated. “Focusing on what is best for our customers, organisation and staff and factoring in learnings from our Covid-19 experience has given us the opportunity to look at things differently. Flexible working in its various shapes and forms is something which really appeals to a number of our staff (including the students in this case) and meets the needs of our customers. It’s a win win situation” Chief Executive Gavin Ion says. 

The students will be graduating at the end of the year and will be looking to enter the work force. We hope they enjoy their time here at Waikato District Council and wish them well for their future plans.