After growing up on arable properties in Suffolk, UK, Victoria fell in love with New Zealand following six months on a central North Island station. Returning to the UK to complete surveying and planning degrees, Victoria married a Kiwi and returned to work on the family’s mixed dairy and sheep farm outside of Whanganui before pursuing a planning career in Christchurch.
While working as a planning consultant in Canterbury, Victoria and her husband purchased 42ha on the foothills of Mt Oxford and started a beef cattle stud and breeding Thoroughbreds for racing. This led to Victoria becoming involved in the Gelbvieh Cattle Breeders Society, Thoroughbred Breeders Society, and the Oxford A&P Show, including being voted in as Chairwoman of the Gelbvieh Cattle Breeders Society and President of the Oxford A&P Show.
As Victoria became more involved with the farm, she left private consultancy to manage the Planning Department at Waimakariri District Council, where she was responsible for managing resource consents, district planning policy and development, as well as compliance and enforcement. Following the Canterbury earthquakes of 2010/11, Victoria became the Council’s representative on the planning recovery working group of six territorial authority planning managers advising and working with CERA on recovery legislation, plans and developments. During her time at the Council Victoria was also appointed to the Ministry for the Environment’s working group advising on flood risk management and resource consent processing.
Victoria has an excellent knowledge of regional and district plans, planning legislation and compliance monitoring. She is experienced at preparing resource consent applications, presenting planning evidence at council hearings and at the Environment Court. Victoria is also a qualified Hearings Commissioner and is well respected in the industry. This has led to her being invited to present at a number of conferences both in New Zealand and abroad.
In joining Ravensdown, as their National Principal Planner, Victoria has been able to combine her interests of farming and planning in the rural environment. Many of the issues being faced by farmers today are also issues Victoria is encountering on her own property. This, combined with her wealth of experience, means that Victoria has a good understanding of farming practices and constraints and is best placed to assist farmers with planning and environmental issues.