Who We Are

With decades of experience in both the public and private sector, Avant Planning and Urban Design are leading specialists in delivering resource consents of all varieties. We can do this through our strong understanding of both technical information and council processes. We pride ourselves on our ability to pursue creative, efficient, and customised solutions for clients to ensure a successful project outcomes.

What Makes Us Different

Most importantly, engaging with Avant Planning and Urban Design differs from the conventional corporate consultancies as there are not multiple layers of “middle” management. We are a boutique consultancy that is big enough to handle projects of any scale, but small enough to ensure all our clients receive a personalised solution towards their desired results —creating a service that is intimate, personal, and effective.

Meet the team
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Sunny Kan (MUrbDes, BPlan (hons), Int.NZPI) Sunny Kan (MUrbDes, BPlan (hons), Int.NZPI)

Sunny Kan (MUrbDes, BPlan (hons), Int.NZPI) — Director

Sunny is an all-rounder with understanding the planning process and the inner workings of Council consenting practices and has planning experiences in Auckland and Wellington. He has developed a holistic approach to understanding consenting requirements and finding constructive solutions to achieving what the client needs. Sunny is a qualified urban design specialist and has experience working for Auckland Council as an urban designer and privately providing urban design assessments for development projects.

Mike Yu  (BPlan, MNZPI) Mike Yu  (BPlan, MNZPI)

Mike Yu (BPlan, MNZPI) — Director

Mike covers all aspects of planning, ranging from project inception to delivery with a keen eye for detail. Skills he has acquired through a multitude of professional experiences both within New Zealand and the UK. Before Avant Planning and Urban Design, Mike held a senior managerial position in a multi-disciplinary company where his work performance gave confidence and security to his wide range of clients.

Mike’s overall ambition is to address all his client needs through thoughtful execution.

Gyanendra Datt Gyanendra Datt

Gyanendra Datt — Principal Planner

Gyanendra is our principal consultant with extensive knowledge and experience, having worked in both the public and private sectors in New Zealand and the UK. Gyanendra has been involved in all facets of planning, with experience in resource consenting and policy planning. Gyanendra manages our most complex projects as well as our public sector work; he also provides our internal and external staff training programmes.

Rakad Jaffar Rakad Jaffar

Rakad Jaffar — Senior Planner

Rakad is a senior specialising in regulatory planning and has experience in both the private and public sectors in New Zealand. She has a pragmatic approach and is externally recognised for her project management skills. Given her background, Rakad has good working relationships with a range of stakeholders and experts and is able to communicate with a wide audience when it comes to understanding and applying the planning framework.

Shilpa Maharaj Shilpa Maharaj

Shilpa Maharaj — Senior Planner

Shilpa has extensive experience in the private sector, managing the resource consenting processes for a variety of applications ranging from infill subdivisions to apartment buildings. She also prepared submissions for the Auckland Unitary Plan on behalf of clients during its notification process. Shilpa is pragmatic with a keen eye for detail which ensures that projects are delivered to a very high standard.

Celina Celina

Celina — Office Manager

Celina has joined us after working in the Hospitality Industry for over 18 years. Having a wide experience in the Accounts area, she will be overseeing all administrative duties in the office ensuring the smooth management of the company.  She has vast experience in all reporting functions, payroll and other financials for the company. Celina is critical in coordinating the multitude of tasks required to keep Avant Planning running like a well-oiled machine.

Theodore Theodore

Theodore — Pug

Known as “Theo”, our resident pug is highly adept at cleaning any spills on the kitchen floor, barking at couriers and welcoming visitors alike, and waiting patiently for his bed to be moved into the sun throughout the day. With 7 years of experience, he’s very qualified to help eat your breakfast, lunch or dinner and keep the office crumb-free.

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