What We’ve Done

Since establishing in 2004, vivian+espie have provided resource management planning and/or landscape planning advice on over 1,000 resource consent applications, district plan changes, or Environment Court appeal cases in the lower South Island.

Over the last decade we have provided advice and project management services in relation to a very wide variety of projects that have included:

Subdivision Consents / Projects

vivian+espie have been the lead planning and landscape consultants on many subdivisions in sensitive rural locations in a number of South Island Districts. Examples of our work include carefully designed subdivisions in locations such as The Mackenzie Basin, Lake Dunstan, Tarras, Hawea, rural Wanaka, the Wakatipu Basin and rural Glenorchy. We specialise in obtaining land use and subdivision consents in these areas where the visual effects need to be carefully managed. Work has ranged from initial feasibility advice, through conceptual design to detailed design, resource consenting and gaining titles. Projects have ranged from two lot subdivisions through to 200 lots.

Rural Subdivision applications – Queenstown Lakes District

Spatial Planning / Private Plan Change Projects / Planning Policy

We have assisted a number of clients in the creation of new District Plan zones in order to facilitate development and activities. Some key projects have included the Pukaki Tourism Zone in the Mackenzie District, the Quail Rise, Arrow South and Peninsula Bay Zones in the Queenstown Lakes District, the Rolleston L3 Rural Living Zones in the Selwyn District and the Residential 4A Zone in the Waimakariri District.

Pukaki Downs – Tourism Zone
Wooing Tree Estate – Cromwell, Central Otago

Surface of Water Activities

vivian+espie specialise in obtaining consents for surface of water activities. We have worked alongside many clients to assist them with consents for this type of activity. Recent examples include the Kiwi Water Park on Lake Dunstan, boat moorings in the Frankton Arm and a commercial fishing operation on Lake Wakatipu (Queenstown Fishing).

Queenstown Marina Development
Jetties & Boat Moorings

Heritage Projects

Our team members understand the complexities of heritage projects having assisted in obtaining consents for many proposals involving buildings. Examples of this work include the historic former Queenstown Courthouse (change of use to a bar / restaurant), (Category 1 Listing with Heritage NZ), a change of use for the historic Glenpanel Homestead (Category 3 Listing), along with Dudley’s Cottage and the Threepwood Stables.

Dudley’s Cottage, Arrowtown Chinese Village (2019)
Threepwood Stables Dwelling

Commercial Activities

Our team have worked on many complex commercial projects including presenting proposals to urban design panels and providing expert evidence in the Environment Court. Some examples of projects we have worked on include the Mitre 10 Mega Building at the Frankton Flats area and a new office and retail development on a key central block on Beach Street in central Queenstown. Some of our other projects are detailed below.

Recreational Activity – Hot Tubs
Cowboy’s Bar – Extension


vivian+espie have worked on many consents for home builders and investors alike to enable the full potential of a property to be realised. Whether our clients have been wanting to rent out their current property to visitors or build something that is slightly outside of the District Plan requirements, with our skills and knowledge we have been able to assist them with their projects.

Residential Visitor Accommodation Activities

Residential Builds

New Property Purchases

vivian+espie has carried out many Due Diligence reports for its clients to assist in the buying and selling of properties. These reports set out the planning issues and opportunities with a particular site.

Landscape and Visual Effects Assessment

vivian+espie provide specialist services in relation to assessing and reporting on the landscape and visual effects of proposed developments. Assessments range from large scale landscape changes, such as new zones or infrastructural projects, down to the effects of a single building. Examples of our work in this area are a cottage on the Wanaka Mount Aspiring Road and Guide Hill Station in the Mackenzie Basin.

Guide Hill Station – Mackenzie Basin

Wanaka Mount Aspiring Road – Cottage

District plan formulation projects

vivian+espie were extensively involved in the formulation of the Queenstown Lakes District Plan in the early 2000’s, including presenting extensive evidence to the Environment Court in the process of settling appeals to the new Plan.

Since that time we have been heavily involved in the current review of the Queenstown Lakes District Plan on behalf of a number of clients, as well as in the settlement of key parts of the Central Otago District Plan, the Christchurch City District Plan and the Mackenzie District Plan. vivian+espie also helped prepare the Business Mixed Use and Residential Design Guidelines which have been incorporated as documents into the Proposed District Plan.

Large scale infrastructural projects

State Highway 6 Kawarau Falls Bridge

vivian+espie have provided key resource management and landscape planning inputs for a wide range of infrastructural projects. From small scale matters like Notice of requirement over existing infrastructure, to The Project Hayes, Mount Stuart and Flat Hills windfarms in Central Otago and Southland; the State Highway 6 Kawarau Falls Bridge; the Manuherikia Irrigation Project and the MacRae’s Flat goldmining operation in the Waitaki District.

Concessions, licences and leases on public land

Our team have helped our clients achieve their projects on reserve and conservation land. We have applied for concessions, licences and leases on public reserve land. We have also prepared Reserve Management Plans for local government. Approval had to be sought from various parties including the harbour master, Contact Energy and Land Information NZ.

Kiwi Water Park
Queenstown Marina

The above are some examples of the broad and varied work we have carried out for some of our clients. We will be happy to discuss our track record in relation to your own individual type of project.