Principal Mike Thomas Made an NZILA Fellow

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Heidi North

Landscape Architect Mike Thomas was awarded one of three Fellowships by the New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architects this week.

The fellowship is an acknowledgment of Mike’s substantial contribution to the landscape architecture industry, across both in the work he has delivered and in his advocacy for the advancement of the profession.

Over his 20-year-plus career, Mike has had a significant influence on the public realm and transport infrastructure for New Zealand. He has had recent involvement in major projects of the Christchurch rebuild, including An Accessible City, South Frame Public Realm, Harewood Road / Russley Road Underpass and the recently opened former CTV site. In Auckland, urban project examples include, the VXV Plaza which extends into Fonterra’s global headquarters and the Governor Fitzroy Plaza at AUT’s highly successful AUT Sir Paul Reeves building.

“Landscape is more than the green stuff between buildings. It’s the places cities occupy.”

Mike leads the landscape architecture offering at Jasmax. He has championed multi-disciplinary working from day one at the firm. Realising the efficiencies and enriched outcomes that come when design teams are considering architecture, urban design and landscape architecture from the project’s outset.

Mike says, “Working in China in my early career I saw first-hand how urban design and landscape architecture come first in the design process. It is widely acknowledged that these disciplines establish the potential of the land before buildings and infrastructure are imagined and developed. In New Zealand we can adopt our own approach to this – and that’s what I’ve been advocating for with Jasmax and within the landscape architecture industry.”

In addition to his built contributions, Mike has also held governance and advisory roles within the New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architects, Auckland Urban Design Panel, the Auckland Housing Panel, Tamaki Makaurau Design Alliance, GALA, International Federation of Landscape Architects, the Unitec Advisory Panel, and with tutelage roles with Lincoln University, Victoria University and Unitec.

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