Mike Thomas

"My dream is to make places. At Jasmax we try to internalise the external, and externalise the internal spaces."

Born and raised in The Mount (Bay of Plenty), Mike’s late teens and early 20's were influenced by two forces. He knew from an early age that the sciences were what he wanted to do. Secondly, he had itchy feet.

By his early 20's he had lived and worked in Sydney, travelled Israel, India, Nepal and Thailand – and even worked in the UK as a cook for a well-known aristocratic family. It was in the UK that Mike got involved in landscape construction. Wanting more upon his return to New Zealand, Mike qualified as a Landscape Architect where his first project was the country’s largest lakeside restoration, Lake Horowhenua.

Mike’s experience of working in Hong Kong and China - including a US$25 billion project in West Kowloon - allowed him to witness how landscape architecture can influence city making. “We won four international design competitions, with a multi-disciplinary team, led by myself – a landscape architect. It was fascinating to come to the realisation that cities occupy landscapes rather than the other way around and therefore the value in this critical thinking upfront can bring cities closer to nature and their natural systems,” he says. “The opportunities involved masterplanning whole ‘chunks’ of cities.”

Today, Mike leads a 20-strong national Landscape Architecture team across Jasmax’s locations. Advocating an interdisciplinary approach to design, Mike’s broader team is closely aligned to and integrated with the architectural practice.

His philosophy is a driving force behind the close integration of the two disciplines: to interconnect the built environment with our natural one.

Mike is most recently known for his involvement on Christchurch’s definitive South Frame Project and for his design of the 13 kilometre Te Whau Pathway - a major commuter route, linking Auckland’s East and West coasts.

Mike is warm, creative as well as practical and easy to work with. He is renowned for the value that he brings to collaborative projects. Mike remains passionately interested in Aotearoa New Zealand, its people, environment and values.