Birman Consulting Limited, (BCL) is an independent Environmental Planning consultancy based in Napier, New Zealand. BCL established in August 2018 and is owned and operated by Murray Tonks – a qualified Planner and Resource Management Analyst with nearly 30 years professional experience in New Zealand and the wider Pacific.About Birman
Birman Consulting Limited is owned and operated by Murray Tonks. Murray has a Masters qualification in Regional & Resource Planning (Otago University) and bachelor and post-graduate science qualifications in Geography. He 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. EMS merged to form a new and larger company in 2016, which Murray remained with until establishing as an independent operator, under BCL, in August 2018.
Birman Consulting provides services in Environmental & Social Impact Assessment; Environmental Management; Planning and Policy Analysis; Demographics; Community Consultation; and management of statutory consent processes, including resource consents for private, corporate, institutional and local authority clients in New Zealand and abroad.
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.
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.
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 process resulted in the successful granting of consents, with the concerns of all submitters covered and no hearing or appeal required.
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.
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