In late March, as part of an ongoing programme to improve our technical knowledge, our Land Development team went on a field trip around Christchurch to review the challenges experienced at some of the development areas that our team have worked on.
The annual New Zealand Planning Institute (NZPI) conference, New Zealand’s premier planning conference was recently held in Nelson and attended by Jo Draper, Ruby Kim, Benjamin Walch, Carl O’Neil and Fraser Dixon. Abley’s exhibition booth (below) enabled us to connect with delegates and was a great opportunity to get attendees to participate in a commuter survey, the results of which are outlined below.
The 2WALKandCYCLE conference (5th biennial) is taking place in Dunedin from Tuesday 16 – Friday 19 March 2021. The Abley team are doing presentations on a range of walking and cycling topics, as follows:
Every year, road controlling authorities in New Zealand spend billions of dollars on extending, upgrading, and maintaining the country’s road infrastructure network. Long before shovels meet dirt and even before design concepts are mocked up, transport planners invest time and effort in identifying and prioritising possible future infrastructure improvements. In the absence of a crystal ball, doing this relies on the expertise of staff who have an in-depth knowledge of transport and are equipped with the right tools. In the Strategy & Planning team at Abley, one of the tools we use to evaluate the future performance of transport networks is Paramics Discovery, a traffic microsimulation package developed by SYSTRA Ltd, and one that we consider particularly well-suited to this purpose.
Our Auckland office enjoyed an evening of social and competitive cooking at Sachie’s Kitchen in Parnell organised by Shane Ingley and Andy Bartle, for the company’s social club. The group of staff and partners were split into four teams, each assigned a different cuisine, and challenged to cook a range of dishes within a 40 minute timeframe. The competitive format meant that the teams were judged on knowledge of cuisine, presentation, timing, taste, and their oral presentation of the dishes. New graduate Jack Chipperfield won valuable points for his team – the Red Dragons, who were responsible for a Korean Bibimbap with his colourful recounting of how the dish formed an integral part in peace talks between North and South Korea, outscoring Courtney Groundwater’s story of her green curry and Son-in-Law eggs from Thailand made by Team Orangutans.
In September 2020, we conducted a routine staff survey measuring how Abley team members commute to the Christchurch and Auckland offices. As a company with a professional focus on sustainable transportation, monitoring our own commuting CO2 emissions is important to us, to help inspire positive change.
As human beings, we are constantly using our past experiences to learn and do things that we haven’t seen before. When you train a model from scratch, it’s like learning the road rules without ever having been in a vehicle. It is achievable but takes much longer.