Planning Something Unbelievable

Justine Bray, Technical Principal for Planning and Environment, joined our WSP | Opus team in Auckland nearly 25 years ago.

Crossing over from the public sector, Justine’s ability to work across business development, leadership and technical roles has always been part of her dynamic skillset. She says, “Change is exciting, it is something that I’ve really enjoyed since I began with the firm. It has helped me to maintain my passion as well as re-focus and aim towards greater opportunities.”


In her career with us, some of the roles Justine has held have included managing the Auckland planning business, running business development nationally and now being a Technical Principal for planning.


She says, “WSP has always been accommodating and enabled me to experience all kinds of project work. Throughout my tenure, the firm has also been supportive to my family. In the past, I have utilised flexible work arrangements which have taken various forms such as reducing my travel schedule and allowing me to work part-time.”


This dynamic take on what flexible work looks like and the family friendly culture at the firm is what has kept Justine with the business. She says, “I believe that flexibility in the workplace has come a long way, we are making great inroads towards achieving a balanced workforce.


“The new wave of diverse young professionals coming through the ranks is most exciting and shows that we are making real inroads.”


One Moment in a Long Career

For the past 20 years, Justine has acted as a decision maker for councils, advising on planning projects and providing strategic guidance on driving better outcomes. She says, “I’ve also been helping universities with their masterplans. I get a great buzz out of doing outstanding work and delivering amazing results. There are many projects that I look back on and can see the value I’ve added.”


A proud achievement for Justine was being invited by the Auckland University of Technology to attend the grand opening of its new engineering Computer and Mathematical Sciences building with the Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand in attendance.


Justine says, “It’s these kinds of projects which make you feel proud. Meeting the Prime Minister is one of the highlights of my career. Having her there to open a project I helped create… I’m not sure there is a greater honour in my field. It truly is a massive thrill!”


Changing Times Ahead for Planning

Excited for what the future holds, Justine believes some of the biggest challenges for New Zealand include managing fresh water, planning for the impacts of climate change and densification and growth in larger metropolitan areas. She concludes, “planning is evolving and there is an increasing focus on involving stakeholders early in the design process. While the challenges are significant, there are incredible opportunities to plan the extraordinary.


“As planners, it’s up to us to deliver the right infrastructure that gets all these stakeholders together to enable future communities to thrive.”


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