This year Tuia Pito Ora New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architects is celebrating 50 years since its inception and today beginning its countdown to the commemorations.
The Institute is building up to the anniversary with its covid delayed 2022 NZILA Firth Conference in Auckland in October which will culminate in the Resene New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architecture Awards gala dinner on the 13th of October at the Cordis Hotel.
The Landscape was NZILA’s magazine launched by the legendary Charlie Challenger, who established the first ever landscape architecture qualification in New Zealand at what was then Lincoln College in that late 1960s.
Writing in “The Landscape” in 1982, the then NZILA president Neil Aitken wrote about the start of the Institute.
“A group of us based in Christchurch who had been refining first thoughts and ideas, writing aims, objectives and a draft constitution considered, with legal advice, that applying for registration as an incorporated society was the most direct and appropriate means of achieving professional recognition.”
The first formal step, according to Neil Aitken, was taken on the 15 November 1972 when 15 signatories applied for registration under the Incorporated Societies Act 1908.
The signatories were Tony Jackman, Frank Boffa, Charlie Challenger, Robin Gay, Bill McLeary, Frank Spacil, Eleanor Ironside, Sally Mason, Esmae Sage, Ray Wright, Patricia Shiel, Neil Aitken, Hugh Baxter, George Malcolm, and Paula Parsonson. Incorporation was finally granted on 3 January 1973 by the Justice Department.
The first executive committee was formed under the chairmanship of Tony Jackman and was made up of Frank Boffa, Charlie Challenger, George Malcolm, Neil Aitken, Robin Gay and Hedley Evans. Earl Bennett replaced Hedley Evans on the committee in time for the first AGM.
The Institute is producing a book to commemorate the 50th anniversary which will trace the history of NZILA and the landscape architecture profession.
Over the next seven months LAA will feature more milestones from the Institute’s history, profile some of the pioneers of the early years of the profession here in Aotearoa as well as highlighting important landscape architecture work done here over the past half century.