Soci314 Seminars

These past three weeks, the Soci314 class has had class presentations on Wednesdays, and while we still have two more groups to present, I just wanted to talk briefly about the seminars we have had so far.

I really enjoyed all the seminars so far. They were all interactive, and usually I don’t like interactive classes, but it was really neat to actually engage with other students, and almost have “student lead teaching”. I especially liked the seminar about Ethics by Danyon and Beth because it made me really think. The problem our group received to think about was about a developer wanting to chop down a heritage tree to develop more housing.

There are two issues I was torn over with this problem

  1. Auckland is in desperate need of houses for people to live in
  2. it’s a heritage tree. I love nature, the environment, it’s been there longer than New Zealand has been colonized!

There is also the fact that this tree may hold great significance to Māori, but I kind of put that under #2.

My answer was to build around the tree, why not have two houses on either side of the tree? Or make a nice public park? Why not? Because money. If a park was put there, the developer would lose out on money, if the houses were moved 10m either side of the tree, that could mean one less house at the end of the road.

Our own presentation went OK. We were lucky and a few questions, but we didn’t really plan any class interaction like other students did. Our topic was about NZPI and Planning Standards. We both felt, and other students agreed, that “planning standards” that NZPI “represent” are really just rules that any good person, planner, builder, fast food worker, would really abide by anyway. So it’s interesting that this group, among many other associations hold very similar “code of conduct” that their members must abide by, when any good person would abide by them anyway.

I enjoyed researching about NZPI, I found out that you can join without being an official planner, but it’s a little unclear as it whether you receive all the same benefits. I also found a suitable PG course I could do, if I ever wish to become a planner (I’m more “environmental management” than the “planning” in my degree).


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