Birman Consulting Limited (BCL) is an independent sole-consultancy specialising in Resource and Environmental Planning, based in Napier, New Zealand, and established in August 2018. The owner-operator is Murray Tonks – a qualified Planner and Resource Management professional with over 30 years working experience in New Zealand and the wider Pacific.
Murray Tonks is qualified with a Master’s degree in Regional & Resource Planning (Otago University). He also holds a Bachelor of Science and Post-Graduate Diploma in Science in Geography (Otago University). Murray is a member of the NZ Resource Management Law Association and Geothermal Institute and was for 20 years a Director and Senior Consultant with Environmental Management Services Limited – a national resource management consultancy with offices in Hamilton, Napier and Wellington – before going independent as Birman Consulting in 2018. Through BCL Murray has continued to provide services as a general Planning Consultant, with increasing focus on property development.
Birman Consulting provides services in relation to the management of Resource Management Act (RMA) statutory consent processes; Environmental Impact Assessment; Planning and Policy Analysis; and Community Consultation for private, corporate, institutional and local authority clients in New Zealand and abroad.
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The Retirement Sector Housing Demand Forecasts Study was part of a group of investigations commissioned for the 2016 review of the Hawke’s Bay Heretaunga Plains Urban Development Strategy.
The study focused specifically on forecasting growth in the retirement sector of the housing market and the effects that this would be likely to have on the overall future mix of housing, on house sizes, and on future land-use planning regulations.
The study revealed that 30% - 40% of all ‘new’ housing in the Heretaunga Plains area over the next 30 years is likely to be retirement village housing alone.
This will have significant impacts on the demand for land suitable for large scale retirement housing developments and on the comparative future values of existing large family homes versus smaller retirement units.
The results of this study continue to be widely used and quoted.
Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, Hastings District Council & Napier City Council.
From 2012 through until the present Murray has been engaged in a variety of subdivision and land development initiatives for a mix of low, medium and high-density housing schemes including rural-lifestyle and conventional urban subdivisions and freehold unit-title retirement villages.
Murray was Principal Consultant Planner for the 67-unit Frimley Retirement Village (Hastings, NZ), consented in 2013, and more recently managed all consenting for the Clive South housing development (Clive, NZ) – comprising a combination of conventional sections and freehold unit-title retirement housing community, and consented in 2019.
Other recent projects include: the ‘Poplars on Poraiti’ rural lifestyle development (Poraiti); Breadalbane development (Havelock North); and Foreworld development (Bay View).
In 2015 Murray Tonks was Project Manager and principal author for an Environmental & Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) assessing a proposed mini hydro development in the Tsak Valley, Enga Province, Papua New Guinea.
The task of the ESIA was to establish the likely effects of the proposed hydro scheme – both positive and negative – for the local communities and environment. Important considerations were the expectations of the three resident tribal groups with interests in the river and land. Local advisers/translators were engaged to help with this process.
The investigation also assessed the relative merits of alternative locations for penstocks, access roading and generation plants.
NZ Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade.
Between 2015 and 2017 Murray Tonks was engaged to oversee the preparation of consent applications and supporting analyses for the renewal of discharge consents, under the Resource Management Act (1991), for the Otane Wastewater Treatment Plant (Central Hawke’s Bay). The role also included consultation with iwi / taiwhenua and with submitters.
The consents granted for the continued operation of the plant required the future installation of upgraded treatment technology including dosing, filtration and UV treatment in combination with the existing oxidation ponds.
Central Hawke’s Bay District Council.
Birman Consulting Limited
50 Dalton Street
Birman Consulting Limited
PO Box 554
DDI: +64 6 834 4300
Mobile: +64 27 448 2995Email us