Context’s specialist Chinese team hosts a panel discussion on the challenges and opportunities of New Zealand development

01 December 2020

On Thursday 26 November, we hosted an event and panel discussion at our Auckland studio to celebrate the launch of our Mandarin website and to mark a step forward in our relationship with the Chinese-New Zealand market.

Last Thursday, we were pleased to host special guests Chris Crow (Urban Economist at PwC), Daniel Johnson (Director at Quantum Quantity Surveying), and Frank Xu (President of the NZ Chinese Building Industry Association (NZCBIA)) at a panel discussion on developing, designing, and building in our new post-COVID environment.

The event, attended by a 60-strong audience of design professionals and industry members, was intended to help the Chinese design and building community understand the challenges and opportunities of developing in the New Zealand market and in Auckland specifically.

Moderated by Principal Owner Stephen Voyle and translated by Associate Nick Chan (who leads our Chinese team), the discussion accompanied the introduction of our Chinese team to the wider market, as well as the launch of our Mandarin website, official WeChat channel, and Mandarin Guide to New Zealand’s Design and Consenting Processes — all aimed at helping us better communicate with clients and fellow design professionals and enabling the Chinese community to navigate the country’s complex development systems.

Among the topics discussed by our three esteemed guests throughout the lively, highly informative presentation were:

· Lessons from Auckland’s Seascape project, set to become the city’s highest residential building and for which Frank serves as Project Director.


· The potential design and urban growth ramifications of the recent National Policy Statement on Urban Development (NPS-UD), for which Chris performed a cost-benefit analysis commissioned by the government.


· The challenges of financing commercial and residential development in New Zealand, which Dan has been consulting on for over 20 years.


Context is pleased to have had the opportunity to host this event and to foster discussion around these important topics within the Chinese design and building community.

As a thank-you to our guests, we provided everyone with copies of our newly released Mandarin Guide to the Design and Consenting Processes in New Zealand. Meant to break down New Zealand’s complicated and often overwhelming design process, it offers a simplified yet comprehensive look at what it takes to get a project built here in Aotearoa. Should you wish to receive a digital copy of this guide, please email us at [email protected].